Australia Ranks Fourth Globally In Top 10 Nations For Life-Work Balance, As Kiwis Take Top Spot

Australia Ranks Fourth Globally In Top 10 Nations For Life-Work Balance, As Kiwis Take Top Spot

In a new study from global employment experts Remote, Australia lands at number four in the top 10 best nations for life-work balance, a term describing the wave of professionals creating a healthy relationship between their careers and personal lives.

Remote’s global index study assesses the quality of life-work balance in the world’s top 60 GDP countries, ranking each nation out of 100. The overall score is determined through factors including minimum wage, sick leave, maternity leave, healthcare availability, public happiness, average working hours, and LGBTQ+ inclusivity.

This follows statistics showing more than three-quarters of employees have experienced burnout in their current roles. Remote believes the mindset of employees should flip to be life first, work second – hence the coining of the term life-work balance.

“Everyone should be able to enjoy both personal fulfilment and professional success, no matter where they live,” said Christopher McNamara, chief revenue officer at Remote. “Australia being one of the top 10 nations on our global life-work balance list, highlights that Aussies are leading the way for a brighter future of work by embracing this philosophy and offering the infrastructure to support it.”

Key findings:

  • Australia performed well in the study, while New Zealand took the top spot. Workers in Australia and New Zealand are among the most generously paid.
  • Europe leads the way in the life-work balance findings, with European nations making up six of the top 10 countries in Remote’s study.
  • The United States is ranked a lowly 53rd in the index owing to a lack of statutory annual leave or sick pay, and the absence of a universal healthcare system.

1. New Zealand – 79.35

The index study revealed New Zealand to be the country with the best life-work balance. Boasting a strong economy, New Zealand ranks at #1 in Remote’s list by scoring highly across several metrics, offering a generous statutory annual leave allowance (32 days), a high rate of sick pay (80 per cent), and a government-funded universal health care system.

2. Spain – 75.55

While the idea of the traditional Spanish siesta has become something of an international stereotype, the European nation of Spain still builds a culture that encourages balance. Scoring consistently well across the board, the country is particularly generous when it comes to statutory annual leave (36 days). It also has one of the shortest working weeks on average.

3. France – 75.34

One of the largest European countries by population (c. 65 million) and with one of the highest GDPs in the world, businesses in France have a healthy attitude to life-work balance, with workers enjoying ample free time, a generous minimum wage, and 36 days of statutory annual leave per year.

4. Australia – 73.71

Known for stunning landscapes, laid-back culture, and a favourable year-round climate (with many states enjoying more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year!), Australia unsurprisingly ranks high in the life-work balance index. The country offers the highest minimum annual wage per hour of any nation, and sickness leave is paid at 100% of your salary.

5. Denmark – 73.67

Considered one of the happiest nations (ranking second in the “Happiness Index” metric behind Finland), Denmarkoffers its workers a generous 36 days’ annual leave, 100 per cent sick pay, and universal healthcare support. Along with Norway, it’s also considered to be Europe’s most LGBTQ+-friendly country.

6. Norway – 73.05

Norway is a nation that understands the value of life-work balance. Norwegian nationals are considered to be among the happiest people in Europe. Its workers receive 35 days of statutory annual leave and 100% sick pay. Long working weeks are rare and the country boasts a renowned government-funded healthcare system — health expenditure per head is higher in Norway than in most other countries.

7. Netherlands – 69.14

Viewed as having a modern, independent culture, the Netherlands is the second-happiest country in our top 10, and one the most supportive of LGBTQ+ rights. Though the Dutch aren’t afforded a government-backed healthcare package, and the annual leave rate is about average, there’s a generous rate of maternity pay for parents.

8. United Kingdom – 69.07

With a high-income economy and a very high human development index rating, the United Kingdom boasts the globe’s sixth-largest economy based on GDP. The country also has a healthy attitude to life-work balance, with an internationally-renowned healthcare system, a generous minimum wage, and one of the highest global rates of statutory maternity leave.

9. Canada – 67.91

Canada offers a universal healthcare package and is seen as the most LGBTQ+-friendly country in which to live and work. Remote ranked Canada as the number one international destination for working professionals due to its high quality of life, safety, and a multitude of leisure opportunities.

10. Brazil – 67.73

Brazil is the only South American country to feature in Remote’s top 10. Its high standing owes largely to its generous rate of sick and maternity pay, as well as its government-funded universal healthcare system. Brazil is a popular travel destination that also adopts a healthy attitude to work and life.

McNamara said: “We conducted our global life-work balance study to highlight the possibility for people to find a better balance that allows them to get the most out of both their personal lives and career.

“When conducting the study, it was fascinating to observe different working cultures across the globe and how each approached the concept of life-work balance. Oceania indicates a modern and strong work culture with emphasis on support and inclusivity.

“Here at Remote, we champion companies and organisations that prioritise their employees by providing them with a strong foundation for life-work balance. True life-work balance extends beyond work-from-home mandates – it actively encourages employers to take time off away from the pressures of work, advocating for a balanced life to help us thrive in all areas.

“Burnout has been a hot topic of conversation in the news and among workplace cultures. While the world of work has come a long way since embracing remote-first attitudes and flexibility, there’s still work to be done across the globe to strike a perfect balance between our personal and professional selves.”

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