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Where in the world can you get the best work/life balance?

By July 17, 2018October 3rd, 2023FinGlobal

Where in the world can you get the best work/life balance?

July 17, 2018


“Looking for a better quality of life” is one of the top reasons expats give for their move abroad – especially those with families. Every year InterNations holds a global survey where they interview over 13 000 expats living in 188 regions to ascertain their opinions about the new countries they are living in and how they are finding the expat life.

One of the rankings on the survey that they investigate is work/life balance. Interestingly, they have found that people who reported to be happiest with their work/life balance do not necessarily work fewer hours – rather it is the quality of life outside work that seems to make the difference. Taking all this into account – here are the top 10 countries that globally offer the best work/life balance according to the expats who live there:

10 countries with the best work-life balance

1. Denmark

Expats in Denmark report that they only work 39.7 hours out of the working week and expats particularly from Indonesia and Portugal rated the balance between work and private life very highly.

2. Bahrain

Bahrain leads the way, rated as number one, when it comes to the “best expat destination” globally. Work/life balance is also rated highly with most expats reporting that they work 42.9 hours a week and have a very satisfying life outside work.

3. Norway

Norway is famous for being a family-friendly country and expats report that their average working week consists of 42.9 hours. Their only criticism when it comes to work/life balance is that the average expat salary doesn’t cover everything they need in their daily lives.

4. The Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has the longest working hours of all the countries on this list, coming in at 44.9 hours a week. However, the quality of life outside work makes up for this with expats rating the high number of vacation days and excellent healthcare very highly.

5. New Zealand

New Zealand is world-renowned for the excellent quality of life it offers its residents and when it comes to work/life balance, it ranks equally highly. Expats report that they generally work 42.3 hours a week and after hours enjoy an outdoorsy, laid-back lifestyle.

6. Sweden

Sweden is another Nordic country that offers expats a great quality of life. The average working week is 42.3 hours and expats here are generally very happy with their careers, job security and prospects.

7. Costa Rica

Costa Rica often comes first on The World’s Happiness Index, so it’s not surprising to find it on this list. Expats report that the average week is 44.3 hours and that their life outside work is rich with the many activities on offer.

8. The Netherlands

The Netherlands has a booming economy and a vibrant labour market. Expats report that their average working week is only 42 hours and life is very relaxed and easy.

9. Oman

The working week in Oman is only 43.5 hours however while the majority of expats are happy with their work/life balance they are concerned about their job security and career prospects.

10. Malta

The average working week in Malta is 43.9 hours, which is less than the global average of 44.3 hours. Expats in Malta love the lifestyle outside work and report having more than enough disposable income to pursue their interests and hobbies.

If you are a South African working and living abroad and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances through financial emigration, accessing your South African retirement annuity and our tailor-made tax solutions for South Africans around the world, contact FinGlobal today.


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