Us vs. Them: Top 13 Cities for Work-Life Balance Revealed

Spoiler alert: Europe is on to something.

life balance
(Image: iStock.com/Brzozowska)

It appears all prayers have been answered: there now exists a list telling us exactly where we need to be, if we’re serious about this whole work-life balance business.

This list— this mighty, mighty list by HR Grapevine—reveals the top 13 cities that you and I need to pack our bags and head to, leaving our lesser lives behind, as these cities have proven to be the best at mastering the art of work-life balance.

Check out the top 13:

  1. Paris, France — 30.84 hours
  2. Lyon, France — 31.36 hours
  3. Moscow, Russia — 31.66 hours
  4. Helsinki, Finland — 31.91 hours
  5. Vienna, Austria — 32.27 hours
  6. Milan, Italy — 32.52 hours
  7. Copenhagen, Denmark — 32.64 hours
  8. Luxembourg, Luxembourg — 32.75 hours
  9. Vilnius, Lithuania — 33 hours
  10. Brussels, Belgium — 33.02 hours
  11. Munich, Germany — 33.1 hours
  12. Amsterdam, Netherlands — 33.20 hours
  13. Madrid, Spain – 33.28 hours per week

I was going to bite my tongue on this, but clearly you will notice that not one, not a single, solitary one of these places are in or near the United States of America. This is cause for alarm. We’re doing something wrong, and it seems we have to go overseas to make it right.

Seeing as how we all work all the time, it may be difficult to find the time to plan our mass exodus. So, here are some more local suggestions to be implemented in the U.S. at large.

  1. Shorten the work day. Those 40 required hours really amount about 30 (or less) of actual work time, with the remaining 10 hours spent browsing, chatting, tweeting, or mentally escaping your circumstance. Tighten that work schedule. Less time = more productivity during said time. Tattoo that somewhere.
  2. Shorten the work week. Four days – MAX. Consider what happens in your work life every Monday and Friday, and ask yourself if a shorter week makes more sense. We’re now physically showing up to work five days a week, but are we really showing up “to work” five days a week? Ponder that.
  3. Siesta time. My days, thus my life, would be all the more balanced if I could just take a midday, hour long nap. It recharges, it rejuvenates, and it’s necessary. Am I asking for too much?

Any other suggestions on how we can improve work-life balance right here on American soil? Do share.