Best Countries for Work-Life Balance

Sophie Watkins, July 20, 2018

If you have ever been sat at your desk after everyone else has gone home, wishing for a better work/life balance, maybe you should consider relocating…

According to the International 2017 Expat Insider Survey, the following countries are the best for offering a great work/life balance according to expats;

5. New Zealand

If you are looking for fewer working hours, you should definitely consider relocating to New Zealand, with full time workers reportedly clocking in 2 hours less per week than the survey average (42.3 hours compared to 44.3 hours). Also, New Zealand has a higher-than-average number of part-time expat workers, it is easy to see why three quarters New Zealand based expats are happy with their work/life balance. 

It seems that the respectable working hours and New Zealand’s “generally laid-back and friendly lifestyle” have helped make a very positive impression on the expat workforce, with 89% reporting that they are generally satisfied with their overseas life.

4. Czech Republic

“This is not a county of workaholics” according to one American Expat. 76% of expats in the Czech Republic reported that they were generally happy with their working hours and work/life balance (76% &  73% respectively), despite having the longest working hours of all the countries ranked in the Top 10 - 44.9 hours per week.

In spite of this, three quarters of Czech Republic based respondents reported that they were satisfied with their jobs. If great career prospects and job security are what you are looking for, then the Czech Republic scores the highest in both categories among the top 10 countries for work/life balance.

3. Norway

Norway could be the place for you if you are looking to relocate with a family. “work-life balance is very important here and jobs are generally very family-friendly” reports one British Expat. It seems that many would agree, with 72% stating that they are satisfied with the work/life balance. Expats in Norway also work less hours than the weekly average (42.9), so it is easy to see why 77% of expats were also satisfied with their working hours.

2. Bahrain

As the overall ranking winner in 2017, it is not a surprise to see Bahrain ranking high in the work/life balance satisfaction poll. “You can still find time to relax after a day of work”, according to an expat from the Philippines, which may contribute to the high levels of job satisfaction among expats based here - 73% of expats reported that they were generally satisfied, with a massive 36% giving the highest possible rating, more than twice the global average of 17%.

1. Denmark

Topping the list for work/life balance is Denmark, which is not surprising considering that the working week is 4.6 hours shorter than the global average! With average working hours of just 39.7 hours per week, full time working expats in Denmark enjoy the shortest working hours amongst the top 10 countries offering a great work/life balance. An expat from Indonesia commented “I like the work-life balance, which I do not get anywhere else”, perhaps Denmark should be on the top of your relocation list too?

Written by Sophie Watkins – Consultant at Alchemy Recruitment Ltd

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