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What are the best cities for work-life balance in 2022?

If you’re wondering which are the best cities to work in, then a good follow-up question would be: which cities have the best work-life balance? After all, work should only be one part of your life and not all of it. That’s why every year, Kisi examines cities across the globe to see which ones promote a holistic approach to work and life. The mobile access technology company’s study sets out to determine which internationally coveted cities are ideal to both live and work in. In this Pacific Prime article, we take a closer look at the cities with the best work-life balance in 2022.

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Looking at work-life balance statistics in 2022

Exploring more than just generic metrics like the cost of living, Kisi’s annual study dives deeper into modern work culture in its entirety. It addresses how the way we work and live has changed in cities around the world amidst the pandemic – and now increasing inflation and the Ukraine war. Even though every city listed has dealt with its fair share of challenges in recent times, some have managed to come out on top for reasons such as pre-existing frameworks and innovative support systems.

Before we dive deeper into the study, let’s take a look at the top cities for work-life balance according to Kisi’s rankings. The five cities with the best work-life balance are as follows:

  1. Oslo, Norway
  2. Bern, Switzerland
  3. Helsinki, Finland
  4. Zurich, Switzerland
  5. Copenhagen, Denmark

On the flip side, we also have the cities with the highest percentage of overworked people, or people who work over 48 hours per working week. The top five overworked cities in the ranking include:

  1. Dubai, UAE
  2. Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  3. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  4. Singapore, Singapore
  5. Montevideo, Uruguay

Kisi’s 2022 Work-Life Balance Index is available for online viewing. The comprehensive ranking lists cities with the best work-life balance, from highest to lowest. Every column is filterable and you can read more about how each factor was evaluated below the table.

Measuring work-life balance during a pandemic

Now that you have an idea of which cities have the best and worst work-life balance in the world, we’ll get back into the study itself. Kisi’s study isn’t designed to determine the most liveable city in the world nor the best places to work. Instead, it serves as a guideline for cities to measure their ability to support their residents in achieving work-life balance, primarily through alleviating work-related stress and more. As burnout rates increase globally, time management and self-care are more important than ever.

Kisi’s study aims to raise awareness of the many different ways in which cities (and countries) can support the workforce’s health and wellbeing – not only in times of crisis but at any given time. In its 2019 and 2021 studies, Kisi determined which cities’ residents had the best overall work-life balance by looking at factors such as:

  • Work intensity
  • Liveability
  • Wellbeing
  • Rights

With recent changes like social restrictions, working from home, and isolation, this year’s study has much more to look at. Likewise, 2022’s index compares cities at different phases of the pandemic. It offers insight into how COVID-19 has impacted and continues to impact residents’ work-life balance in cities across the globe.

How the cities with the best work-life balance are determined

The study started off by selecting 100 in-demand cities that attract professionals and families for employment opportunities and lifestyle offerings. The overall work intensity of a metropolis was evaluated according to factors like:

  • Overworking
  • Holiday allowance
  • Parental leave
  • Remote working possibilities (% of ‘teleworkable’ jobs in each city)

Unemployment figures were an area of focus, along with the percentage of people who had to work multiple jobs to survive. Inflation rates were used as a marker of where individuals’ disposable incomes were mostly impacted by the economic environment.

Kisi researchers also looked at how citizens were being offered a constructive living environment, such as by observing gender and LGBT+ equality, along with mental health quality and accessibility. Mental health services started to increase during the pandemic, and continue to with the Ukraine war. What’s more, they observed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in each city and the support that citizens were given.

To determine the liveability of each metropolis, researchers examined its affordability, a factor that more are paying attention to due to global inflation. Similarly, other factors that were evaluated include:

  • Overall happiness
  • Safety
  • Access to health, wellness, and leisure activities
  • Air quality

Companies with the best work-life balance have this in common

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Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. As a reputable health insurance broker and employee benefits specialist with over two decades of industry experience, Pacific Prime has the knowledge and expertise to help you structure a competitive employee benefits plan that works.

Contact our corporate team to learn more about our offerings today!

Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime
Jantra Jacobs is a Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime with over 10 years of writing and editing experience. She writes and edits a diverse variety of online and offline copy, including sales and marketing materials ranging from articles and advertising copy to reports, guides, RFPs, and more.

Jantra curates and reports on the results of Pacific Prime’s monthly newsletters, as well as manages Pacific Prime’s Deputy Global CEO’s LinkedIn posts. Complemented by her background in business writing, Jantra’s passion for health, insurance, and employee benefits helps her create engaging content - no matter how complex the subject is.

Growing up as a third-culture kid has given her a multicultural perspective that helps her relate to expats and their families while 8 years of working remotely have given her unique insight into hybrid work arrangements and enthusiasm for employee benefits.
Jantra Jacobs