SPAIN is Europe’s second best country for having a healthy work-life balance, according to a recent survey.
Work-life balance is assessed by the way we juggle our personal lives alongside the demands of our careers.
The term has become more prevalent since the concept of working from home became so popular thanks to the recent Covid pandemic.
However, a strong life-work balance extends beyond the ability to work from home.
To measure work-life balance accurately, a variety of factors were considered when remote.com assessed the data.
They revealed the top countries to live and work in Europe, considering factors such as healthcare, minimum wage, maternity leave, statutory annual leave, sick pay, and overall happiness levels.
Unsurprisingly, Spain figured well but Luxembourg won top spot.
Luxembourg ranks #1 on Remote’s life-work balance index: it performs well across all key metrics, particularly regarding statutory maternity leave (100% of your wage for 20 weeks) and statutory annual leave (37 days). With a happiness score of 7.32, Luxembourg is also one of the most content nations in Europe.
Spain has a strong business culture geared towards putting home life before work when it counts. The nation has a universal government-funded healthcare system, as well as a significant minimum wage. This is particularly impressive given that Spain has a far larger population compared to other countries in the top 10.
Norway values a strong life-work balance and this culture is enshrined within its employment laws, and long working weeks are rare across all industries. The country does not have a standard minimum wage like many other European nations. Instead, Norway has a collective agreement among nine key industries that cover 70% of workers.
With a happiness score of 7.39, Norway has one of the most content populations inside our top ten. They also have a renowned universal government-funded healthcare system, with health expenditure per head being higher than most countries.
Germany has the largest population in the top ten countries (83.8 million), which serves to showcase the impressiveness of its commitment to nurturing a strong life-work balance.
This nation provides workers with 30 days of statutory annual leave and 14 weeks of statutory maternity leave (at 100% of their wage). If you’re sick, companies are required to pay 70% of your wage during your absence.
Like Germany, France is one of the larger European nations to make the top ten. A generous statutory annual leave allowance of 36 days, as well as a high minimum wage, are key factors in this nation’s ranking.
In 2017, the French government passed a law known as the right to disconnect, which requires companies with more than 50 workers to create a “charter of good conduct”: a document stopping workers from answering emails outside of hours.
The rest of the top ten consisted of Poland, Slovenia, Iceland, Italy and then Denmark.
The UK came 28th in the list of 30 countries studied.
Why is life-work balance important?
Motivated and healthy teams deliver better results.
In a country that facilitates strong life-work balance, your time will be respected, both during working hours and in personal time, such as annual leave, public holidays, sick pay and maternity/paternity leave.
Ultimately, you should have enough capacity to look after yourself and those close to you, as well as sleeping properly, exercising and eating a well-balanced diet on a regular basis. These fundamental support mechanisms provide the platform to help you thrive.