Want More Work-Life Balance? You May Need to Move!

Best countries for work life balanceIf you want to achieve more work-life balance, you may have to move.  To Europe.  To Denmark, to be precise.

Denmark is the top country in the world for work-life balance, according to a recent study released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The study ranked the level of work-life balance according to three indicators:

  • Average amount of time each day spent on leisure and personal care
  • Percentage of employees who work on average more than 50 hours a week
  • Employment rate for women with school-age children

The findings revealed that Danes devote 68 percent of their day – 16.3 hours – to personal care (defined as “eating, sleeping, etc”) and leisure (“socializing with friends and family, hobbies, games, computer and television use, etc.”).

Only 0.02% of Danes work more than 50 hours a week.  And 78% of Danish mothers go back to work once their children are in school.

Top 10 countries with the best work-life balance

Here’s the list of the top 10 countries with the best work-life balance, according to the OECD:

  1. Denmark
  2. Norway
  3. Netherlands
  4. Finland
  5. Belgium
  6. Switzerland
  7. Sweden
  8. Germany
  9. Portugal
  10. France

Denmark also tops the list in the category of “life satisfaction.”  The OECD study stated that 90 percent of Danes reported being satisfied with their life, while 92 percent believe that their life will be satisfying five years later. The average among OECD countries was 59 percent of people saying they are satisfied with their life and 68 percent believing that their life will be satisfying five years later.

I find it interesting that the top 10 countries for work-life balance (out of 34 countries that participated), according to this list, are all in Europe, and have economies that tend to be more socialistic.

So do we all need to become socialists in order to enjoy more work-life balance?  I hope not.  What do you think?


  1. There’s little innovation (that I know of) happening in many of the countries on your list … no one’s inventing Google, Twitter, advances in cancer screenings, or other things the world enjoys. So while the work-life imbalance in the U.S. might feel stressful every once in awhile, we can at least know that we’re leaving a legacy that improves the lives of people everywhere.

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