Man at His Best

These 10 Countries Have The Best Work-Life Balance In The World

Time to move to Bhutan...

BY Michael Sebastian | May 31, 2016 | Culture


When you're not at work (which...when are you not at work?) you're glued to your phone, bouncing between work email, Instagram, work email, texts, work email, Snapchat, work email, and so on, in an endless loop that ends once you've sedated yourself enough to sleep. And then you start all over again in the morning. 

Friends, it doesn't have to be this way. 

In other countries, people at least try to strike a healthy work-life balance—​and sometimes their government actually helps them do it. France, for instance, just introduced a law that gives workers the right to ignore email after 6PM (Yes, really.) And Sweden continues to experiment with a six-hour work day. Yes, they pay more in taxes than Americans, but they also get more in return. 

France and Sweden aren't the only countries or examples of generous social benefits. Here are 10 more. Consider them suggestions for where to move after November's presidential election. 

1 | The Netherlands 

You can take sick leave work for up to two years and still receive 70 percent of your salary, according to a survey by the employment site Glassdoor. It's the most generous sick-leave policy in Europe and compared to America, where there is no policy, it frankly boggles the mind.

2 | Lithuania 

Employers must give workers a minimum of 28 days paid vacation and up to 58 days. Sweden, France and Denmark aren't far behind. Employers there promise a minimum of 25 days off a year.

3 | Great Britain 

New mothers can take up to 52 weeks off, receiving pay for 39 of those weeks, according to the Glassdoor survey. It's the most generous policy in Europe in terms of time off.

4 | Bhutan 

The tiny Buddhist nation tucked between China and India, high up in the Himalaya mountains, officially keeps track of its citizens happiness. Its Gross National Happiness Index seeks answers to questions like, "How much do you trust your neighbors?" "Is lying justifiable?" "Do you feel like a stranger in your family?" The results are more important to the nation's leaders than gross domestic product, which measures the health of the country's economy.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Bhutan in April.

5 | Iceland 

Many European employers offer paternity leave so dads can also spend time with their newborn son or daughter. Iceland's parental leave is among the most generous, giving dads 120 days off at 80 percent pay, according to The Huffington Post

6 | Sweden 

Prisons in Sweden are meant to rehabilitate criminals, which helps explain why the country's recidivism rate —​ or how often someone returns to prison —​ is so low. In 2014, it was 40%, about half that of the U.S. And Swedish penitentiaries​ more closely resemble American offices or college dorm rooms than they do prisons, according to The Guardian

This Swedish prison cell looks a lot like a college dorm room.

7 | Spain 

The Spanish love to enjoy themselves, and with 14 public holidays—​the most in the European Union, according to Glassdoor—​they have ample time to kick back.

8 | Denmark 

Unemployed workers in Denmark get 90 percent of previous earnings for up to 104 weeks, making it the most generous unemployment benefits in the EU, the Glassdoor survey said. It far outpaces the U.S., where unemployment pays 40 to 50 percent of earnings for up to 26 weeks.

9 | Finland

In addition to a generous parental leave policy—​158 days shared between new parents—​new moms receive a cardboard box from the government that doubles as a bassinet and includes bodysuits, a sleeping bag, outdoor gear, bating products, diapers and bedding, according to MarketWatch. Parents also enjoy shortened work hours until their child is two and free daycare.

10 | Canada 

Just over the border, Canada ranks among the 10 happiest nations in the world. It's in the top 10 for disposable income and the bottom 10 for employees working long hours. Perhaps as a result, Canadians are among the healthiest people in the world. 

Justin Bieber, a Canadian, looking very healthy.

From: Esquire UK.