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The Best Countries for Work-Life Balance in 2024

Are you stressed about your commute to work? Are you feeling burned out from the long weeks? Maybe you should consider moving to one of the best countries for work-life balance.

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, a prominent global HR platform utilized by major international brands, has conducted research on the working cultures across 60 nations with the highest GDP.

This study aims to identify countries that achieved a favorable balance between professional responsibilities and personal life, promoting a healthy “life-work” dynamic. And yes, it’s purposefully written that way, since “The attitude should be life first, work second,” according to Remote.

In this Pacific Prime article, we’ll take a closer look at what is work-life balance, the factors that influence it, and the countries with the best work-life balance in 2024.

Defining Work-Life Balance

To start, we should take a look at how to define the term “Work-life balance”. It can be defined as “The amount of time you spend working, compared to the time you spend pursuing things outside of work, measured in hours, enjoyment, or mental energy”.

Simply put, your work-life balance depends not only on the amount of time you spend physically at work, but also on the energy, focus, and attention that your work demands when you’re not in front of the computer.

7 Factors that Influence Work-Life Balance

There are several factors that constitute your work-life balance. These factors can determine whether or not you have the ability to finish your work on time, if you can leave it at the office, or if it takes your personal time away from work.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the seven factors that influence your work-life balance. Mind you, each factor can both be a benefit and a drawback.

1. Balanced distribution of workload

Managing workload focuses on maintaining a practical balance between tasks and responsibilities to prevent stress and burnout. To achieve this, people need enough time, tools, and support.

2. Having transparent and effective communication

Prioritizing clear communication and transparent leadership builds trust, aligns teams, and cultivates a positive work environment.

This approach also promotes employee interaction and engagement in social settings beyond work-related contexts.

3. Trust and Flexibility

Offering flexible working arrangements, like remote opportunities and adjustable hours, can accommodate different employee needs and preferences.

Having flexibility requires trusting the employees and fostering a sense of responsibility and ownership among them. This supports a positive work-life balance.

4. Having clear policies and boundaries

Having clear policies, boundaries, and defined expectations through structured frameworks can help employees understand the rules, as well as the importance of taking breaks and time off from work.

5. Employee well-being and a supportive environment

Emphasizing the importance of employee well-being involves prioritizing health and wellness programs, mental health support, and fostering a supportive company culture.

This approach highlights the significance of comprehensive employee well-being.

6. Having a commitment to learning and development

Being committed to continuous learning and personal growth through skill development opportunities can enhance professional progress and job satisfaction, ultimately improving the overall work experience.

7. Leadership practices and acknowledgment

Recognizing achievements in both public and private settings is a common practice.

The leadership style within an organization defines its employee culture. It can either foster a supportive and healthy environment or create a demanding and unbalanced atmosphere.

Interesting Statistics to Consider

With all of the above information to consider, here are some interesting statistics regarding the top barriers to a healthy work-life balance, according to Randstad Workmonitor.

The Top 10 Countries With the Best Work-Life Balance in 2024

According to Remote’s study, factors that determine the countries that offer the best work-life balance include statutory annual leave, minimum sick pay, paid maternity leave, minimum wage, healthcare system, happiness index, average weekly work hours, and LGBTQ+ inclusivity.

With an index score based on these factors, here are the top 10 countries that currently achieve an optimal work-life balance.

1. New Zealand

Index score: 79.35

Taking the top spot of this list is New Zealand. New Zealanders enjoy generous annual leave with a high minimum wage, while new mothers enjoy 26 weeks of paid maternity leave.

This makes New Zealand a popular destination for those looking to further their careers and carve a new life abroad.

2. Spain

Index score: 75.55

The runner-up in this list is Spain. Known for their quintessentially Spanish afternoon siesta, the Spaniards know a thing or two about striking the right balance between business and pleasure.

While a midday nap isn’t necessarily part of the corporate culture in the country’s companies, you can expect a relaxing lifestyle, coupled with one of Europe’s most exciting cultural hubs in cities like Madrid.

3. France

Index score: 75.34

Rounding off the podium is France. The French are known to be the experts of the art of living, and it is no different with work-life balance.

The French have a very healthy attitude to balancing work and play, but this doesn’t mean that it’s all play and no work. In fact, France has the seventh-highest GDP in the world.

Paris is undoubtedly the most popular city for relocation, but there are other small cities and towns that offer a slower pace of life.

4. Australia

Index score: 73.71

Australia is home to stunning beaches, year-round sunshine, and a laid-back culture that promotes a healthy work-life balance.

Unsurprisingly, Australia is consistently ranked among the top five countries with the best work-life balance and draws in millions of tourists each year.

While some visitors come for a gap year or a sabbatical, many choose to stay for the long run, with its attractive minimum wage, high happiness index ranking, and the benefits of the country’s funded healthcare system.

5. Denmark

Index score: 73.67

Denmark is one of the happiest countries on the planet, ranked just behind Finland. Because of high taxes, employees can enjoy great benefits such as generous annual leave, full sick pay, and universal education and healthcare.

Also, Denmark is one of the most inclusive and LGBTQ+-friendly countries in Europe. Copenhagen, the nation’s capital, presents an enticing lifestyle for all expats.

6. Norway

Index score: 73.05

Another Scandinavian country on this list is Norway and for a good reason. Employees in Norway can expect similar benefits as those in Denmark, such as generous annual leave allowances, free healthcare, and free education provided by the government.

Long work weeks are uncommon in Norway, which leaves you with more free time to explore Oslo and the rest of Norway.

7. Netherlands

Index score: 69.14

The Netherlands offers one of the best work-life balances in the world. Here, new parents can expect generous maternity pay benefits, and the overall quality of life is consistently high.

8. The United Kingdom

Index score: 69.07

The U.K. is known for its national health service, decent minimum wage, and one of the most generous maternity leave policies in the world.

Workers in the UK have one of the shortest average work weeks, at just 25.6 hours per week (combining full-time and part-time employees), tied for the lowest among the countries on the list.

9. Canada

Index score: 67.91

One of the major draws for those seeking a new life in Canada is its inclusivity. This is no surprise, as the country tops the rankings when it comes to LGBTQ+-friendliness.

Canadians also enjoy a universal healthcare system, making cities like Toronto and Montreal popular choices among remote workers.

10. Brazil

Index score: 67.73

World-renowned for its yearly carnival and party culture, millions of tourists consistently visit Brazil each year to experience the ultimate Latin American culture.

The work-life balance here is just as good as the parties, as there’s a generous rate for sick leaves and maternity pay, as well as government-funded universal healthcare.

What the Best Companies Share for Work-Life Balance

No matter what your corporate approach is, or the size of your company or workforce, it’s best to have group health insurance as a minimum requirement for your employees. However, it’s going to take more than that to have a happy and fully functioning workforce. 

Employee benefits are an integral part of an attractive employee compensation package. These days, it’s imperative for employers and HR managers to design a robust employee benefits solution that meets the workforce’s unique needs.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. With over 20 years of reputation as a world-renowned insurance brokerage, Pacific Prime has the knowledge and expertise to help you structure a competitive employee benefits plan.

Contact us to learn more about our offers today or get a free quote!

Content Writer at Pacific Prime
Veerabhatr is a content writer with over 6 years of experience with a particular penchant for storytelling and marketing, both in print and online. He now works with an experienced team of writers at Pacific Prime, aiming to shed light on the essence and benefits of insurance for companies and individuals by creating engaging, informative content across multiple platforms.

After obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences, International Relations from Mahidol University International College, Veerabhatr has forged his career as a content writer in the travel, lifestyle, and real estate industries, writing in both English and Thai. He now continues to hone his skills as a writer at Pacific Prime, looking to engage and educate the audience by simplifying insurance.

Writer by day, and a DJ by night, Veerabhatr is a staunch music lover, and listens to all spectrums of genres available. He also loves to drink beer (moderately), eat all types of food, go to the beach, and learn about different cultures across the globe. He is also a die-hard fan of football and motorsports.
Veerabhatr Sriyananda