Denmark the best country for work-life balance and overall life satisfaction Want to knock off early from work to attend little Søren’s football game? Looking to be a successful career woman while also raising small children? Yearning for an overall...
Want to knock off early from work to attend little Søren’s football game? Looking to be a successful career woman while also raising small children? Yearning for an overall sense of satisfaction with life? Boy, are you in the place.
A recently-released study from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) places Denmark as the top country in the world when it comes to work-life balance. The nation also tops the list in the category of ‘life satisfaction’.
The OECD’s Better Life Index, released on May 24, compared the organisation’s 34 member countries in 20 different indicators across 11 categories, including education, environment, safety, work-life balance, and life satisfaction.
It was within the two latter categories in which Denmark led the pack.
The index for work-life balance was compiled from three indicators: the average amount of time each day spent on leisure and personal care; the percentage of employees who work on average more than 50 hours a week; and the 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.”). The OECD average was 64 percent of the day spent on leisure and personal activities.
Previous OECD findings revealed that Danes were second only to Belgians as the people in the world who work the least amount of hours, so it should come as no surprise that only 0.02 percent of Danish residents work more than 50 hours a week. Only in Sweden and the Netherlands were people less likely to put in long hours. According to the OECD, people in Denmark work 1563 hours a year, while the OECD average was 1739 hours.
In the final work-life balance indicator, the study showed that 78 percent of Danish mothers are employed after their children begin school, significantly higher than the OECD average of 66 percent.
The Better Life Index also provided further fodder for the country’s much-ballyhooed reputation as the happiest in the world. Coming just a month after a Gallup global survey revealed that 72 percent of the Danish population would describe themselves as ‘thriving’, the OECD report 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.
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