Helsinki: The World’s Best Work-Life Balance City

Published July 9th, 2021 - 09:00 GMT
The World’s Best Work-Life Balance City
Whether or not you are struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance, read along to know about the city that has the world’s best work-life balance! (shutterstock)

Are you one of those who struggle with having a healthy work-life balance? I know I am. And I was further challenged when the pandemic forced us indoors to work from home. It was a difficult time for many, but for those who were already struggling with their work-life balance, it was even more taxing. 

Whether or not you are struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance, read along to know about the city that has the world’s best work-life balance! 

In a 2019 study, researchers evaluated a number of 40 cities that have reliable and available data. By collecting data about the work-life balance of each city, the study analyzed how long employees work, how much time they spend commuting, and what they receive in return. Not only that, but the study also considers whether employees living in these cities are feeling happy, safe and have access to health and wellness. Can you guess which city came on top in that study? 

The answer is, Helsinki! 

Fast forward to 2021, Helsinki ranks as the world’s best city for a healthy life-work balance! With an overall score of 100, Helsinki topped the chart when it came to happiness and paid maternal and paternal leaves. But Helsinki supporting the health and wellbeing of its employees and encouraging work-life balance is not new news. In fact, Finland is one of the first cities to offer flexible working hours. More than two decades ago, the Working Hours Act was passed to give employees flexible working hours. However, what is even more inspiring about Finland is that it is continuing to put more effort into staying ahead in the game. That was primarily reflected when Finland went on to introduce the new Working Hours Act that adapts to the changing working environment and better suits what employees might need.

“It is about adapting to the modern world,” says Tarja Kröger, a senior civil servant and advisor at Finland’s Ministry of Employment and the Economy

Giving employees the chance to work flexible hours will help them accommodate their life and work in such a healthy manner that it can boost productivity and reduce stress, research says. When it comes to giving space for employees to step up and make their own decisions about when to work, the situation can be tricky, as many companies fear receiving lower work quality. And that is why it is imperative to shed light on the fact that this stems from a lack of trust and communication between employers and their employees. What helped Finland overcome this challenging issue is its culture of trust. With such a high level of trust comes the ability to integrate new ways of working that are more flexible and mutually beneficial to both employees and employers. 

Furthermore, in order to have the coming generations continue in the stride of having a healthy work-life balance and wellbeing, Finns work on instilling their principles in its people through education. In addition to trust, collaboration and wellbeing are among the most important principles for Finland. By instilling such beliefs early on, Finns are able to pave the way for better ways of working as their cultural beliefs are deeply rooted within their people. 

Curious to know more about what Finland’s capital has to offer? 

- It has the the highest minimum paid vacation of 25 days

- Average commutes are only 26 minutes - this one is a favorite of mine! 

- Living costs and crime rates are low

- Parks and nature cover more than one third of the city

Seeing how Finland has helped its city, Helsinki, rank the top in terms of having the best work-life balance shows that with great and inspiring leadership comes great rewards for the country as a whole. That is why it is imperative for other cities across the globe to adopt similar approaches in order to encourage a better overall quality of life and a healthy work-life balance. 

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