The best country for maintaining a work-life balance has been revealed

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Susan Devaney
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Scandinavia knows how to strike a healthy work-life balance with success, according to a recent report. 

From leaving the office on time to setting aside space for relaxation, we all know what constitutes as maintaining an optimum work-life balance, but achieving it all of the time can sometimes feel far-off for most – especially if you live in a fast-paced city like London.

As we enter a new year, maybe now’s the time to make a change and switch to a country that values a whole lot of leisure time?

But where to fly off to? Fear not because a recent report from TotallyMoney has done all of the leg work for you. By looking at how much leisure time is offered and minimum working hours, they have found which European countries are coming out on top for providing a great work-life balance for its citizens.

“It’s important whatever business you’re in to make sure you get some downtime, for personal time and for spending time with family,” said Joe Gardiner, head of brand and communications for TotallyMoney.

“But it looks like the best place to go to really get a balance is northern Europe.”

Here are the top 10 countries that scored highly in Europe:

10. Belgium 

Canals of Bruges (Brugge), Belgium. Winter evening view.

With a high productivity level of 61 and the average working hours per week sitting at 37, the residents of Belgium have stuck a good balance. 

9. Austria 

Lakeside village of Hallstatt, Austria, early morning

With an 8am to 3pm working day on a Friday, Austrians know the key to a good life is kicking the weekend off earlier than usual.

8. Germany  

Skyline of Frankfurt am Main and the Eiserner Steg - September 2016

Clocking in around 30 hours of work per week and scoring seven on the happiness index, the Germans know what they want from life. 

7. Luxembourg

Night view of Grund and St John's Church from Ville Haute, Luxembourg City

Working on a Sunday is prohibited. Hello, lazy Sunday mornings and a happy life. 

6. Spain

Aerial view of the old town in Valencia from the Serranos Gate - Spain

The Spanish know all too well that working all day long won’t do anyone any favours which is why they clock off at 1:30pm and resume at 4:30pm – sounds great, right? 

5. France

Villefranche sur mer between Nice and Monaco

The French are known for living life to its fullest, so is it any wonder they’ve made the top 10? Outside of cities, the French like to take a longer lunch break between 12 and 2pm. 

4. Finland

Scenic summer view of the Old Port pier architecture with ships, yachts and other boats in the Old Town of Helsinki, Finland

By scoring a solid 7.5 on the happiness index and providing its people with 13 bank holidays, Finland is definitely a country to consider making a move to. 

3. Netherlands 

Beautiful sunrise over Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with flowers and bicycles on the bridge in spring

Working only 30.3 hours per week, the Netherlands allows its citizens to strike a good work-life balance. 

2. Sweden 


With a minimum holiday allowance of 25 days per year and 14 bank holidays, Sweden came in at a close second. 

1. Denmark 

Panorama view of Ghent canal in Belgium.

With an average monthly salary of around 3270 euros (£2900), the northern country secured the top spot with its great cost of living. By scoring 7.5 on the happiness index, it seems the people of Denmark are pretty pleased with life. 

H/T: Redonline 

Images: iStock / Stig Ottesen


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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.