Moving to a new country usually means adjusting to a new way of life — both in and out of work.
Inter Nations, the world’s largest network for expats, has compiled the top 10 countries for work-life balance. The ranking is based on interviews with some 13,000 expats living in 188 regions.
The company also found that people who reported to be happiest with their work-life balance do not necessarily work fewer hours — it’s the quality of life outside of work that seems to count more.
Scroll down to see the best countries for work-life balance, alongside the number of hours expats tend to work there:
10. Malta — where expats working full-time put in about 43.9 hours per week, less than the global average (44.3 hours per week). Many expats in this country reported having more than enough disposable income to cover everything they need.
9. Oman — 43.5 hours/week. While most expats are happy with their work-life balance, many report a relatively low satisfaction with their career prospects and job security.
8. The Netherlands — 42 hours/week. Most expats reported being particularly happy with the country’s booming economy and labor market. One Canadian expat said: “Life is hassle-free and very relaxed.”
7. Costa Rica — 44.3 hours/week. Expats noted that it was expensive to live here, though.
6. Sweden — 42.3 hours/week. Most of respondents here were happy with their career prospects, job security, and opportunities available to them.
5. New Zealand — 42.3 hours/week. Most people move to this country for a better quality life, rather than for work. A British expat described New Zealand of having a “generally laid-back and friendly lifestyle.”
4. Czech Republic — 44.9 hours/week, the longest hours out of all the countries on this list. Despite that, people in this country appear to enjoy the quality of life here. An Australian expat said: “My employer offers me a lot of benefits, including more vacation days and good healthcare.”
3. Norway — 42.9 hours/week. A Brit described jobs being very family-friendly. However, many respondents in the northern European country said their disposable household income doesn’t cover everything they need to daily life.
2. Bahrain — 42.9 hours/week. Most respondents here described being satisfied with their jobs as well as life beyond it. “You can still find time to relax after a day of work,” said an expat from the Philippines.
1. Denmark — 39.7 hours/week, the shortest working week out of all the countries on this list. Expats from Indonesia and Portugal lauded the balance between work and private life here.
During its research, Inter Nations also found these countries to have some of the worst work-life balance in the world: Hong Kong, Greece, Italy, Kuwait, and Japan.