Best Countries for Work-Life Balance

Hint: The U.S. is not one of them.

Last year,  we looked at Having a Work-Life Balance, and presented several tips.

But, with regard to work-life balance,  how do those living in the United States compare to those residing in other countries? Unfortunately, not well!

As reported by Katharina Buchholz for Statista:

 “People in the Netherlands enjoy the best work-life balance, according to recent findings by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Unsurprisingly, the most important aspect for a healthy work-life balance is the amount of time people spend (not) at work, how many people work very long hours, and other factors. The authors of the Better Life Index note that ‘evidence suggests that long work hours may impair personal health, jeopardize safety, and increase stress.'”

 

“In the Netherlands, only 0.4 percent of employees work very long hours (50 or more hours a week), the third-lowest rate in the OECD, where the average is 11 percent. In comparison, 11.1 percent of American employees work very long hours,. So the United States doesn’t make it in to the top ten ranking. It ranks 27th out of 38 considered countries. Also, the U.S. is the only OECD country without a national paid parental leave policy – although three states do provide leave payments.”The U.S. therefore appears on the chart covering the countries with the worst work-life balance, where it comes in 11th.

Best Countries for Work-Life Balance

 

Having a Work-Life Balance

I’ve only grasped the value of a work-life balance in recent years. You? How to do better!

Millennials do a good job at a having a work-life balance. Us older folks don’t tend to do as well. For me, work has been dominant in my life.

So, what can we do to improve our work-life balance? Let’s learn some tips from Marissa Levin, reporting for Inc.:

“Today’s work environment has permanently blurred the lines between our personal and professional lives, which requires us to be even more intentional and protective with our downtime.  Burnout and mental health issues have reached crisis levels, with nearly 1 in 12 adults having depression. The number of hours we spend online checking E-mail or engaging in social media platforms continues to grow. Adults today spend an average of 11 hours online.”

“What can we do to ensure we care for our physical and emotional health while still attending to personal and professional obligations? These 8 steps can help even the most stretched person regain control over his/her schedules and restore a sense of calm to their daily life.”

“(1) Prioritize your health. (2) Put buffers in your schedule. (3) Stay true to your agenda – not someone else’s.  (4) Schedule touchpoints with your friends. (5) Plan for long-term fun.  (6) Get your sleep. (7)  Be OK with not getting it all done. (8) Remember the power of your thoughts.”

Click the image to learn about each of these tips.

Having a Work-Life Balance
CREDIT: Getty Images