7 of the Best Cities in the World for Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance may fundamentally be a personal choice. But there are external factors that affect people’s ability to achieve it. For those who live in countries where most workers clock in over 40 hours of work every week what is left of their time dictates how much is allotted for leisure. There are cities, however, where people in the workforce spend less time at work thus giving them more personal time to enjoy as they choose to.

Paris, France
Highlights: France has a 35-hour work week measure in place since it was introduced in 2000. But the City of Light boasts of even shorter work hours averaging 30.84 in a week. The recent ruling that makes it legal for French workers to ignore work related emails after office hours seems like an added boost in creating an environment where the working population can enjoy work-life balance.

Lyon, France
Lyon, France
Highlights: Coming at the heels of Paris is another French City. Workers in Lyon enjoy a roughly 31.36-hour workweek and a total of almost a month’s worth of holidays.

Moscow, Russia
Highlights: Moscow is one of the cities in the world with the shortest work hours per week. Workers in this city spend approximately less than 32 hours at work.

Helsinki, Finland
Highlights: Helsinki makes it to the less than 32-hour work week group. It also boasts of a workforce that enjoys benefits that allow for greater work-life balance with plenty of options for family leave. Finland’s list of holidays likewise provide ample time for Helsinki workers to spend more hours spending time with family or doing non-work related activities.

Vienna, Austria
Highlights: Austria has a 40-hour work week or lower on average. And in Vienna, it is not unusual for workers to clock in less than 33 hours ever week. The city’s workers likewise have more than 25 days of holidays every year.

Milan, Italy
Highlights: Milan work week is fairly shorter than most countries with workers averaging about less than 33 hours at the office.

Copenhagen, Denmark
Highlights: Denmark landed at the top spot in the 2016 World Happiness Report – a ranking measured using several parameters including quality of life. So it should not come as a surprise that Copenhagen makes it to the list of best cities for work-life balance, which is one of the cornerstones of better quality of living. Work hours may vary for women and men averaging at around a 35 to 40-hour work week and could sometimes go as short as less than 33 hours a week for some.

In Praise of Workplace Wellness Programs

Wellness Room

Workplace wellness has become popular over the years with many companies coming up with their own policies to promote it. The rise of employee wellness programs is a positive development towards supporting initiatives that push for workers’ well-being.

Corporate wellness programs vary and often tailored based on various factors including employees’ needs and the nature of work involved. For some businesses, it may take on the form of providing better access to health assessments and education. For others, it could be providing a soothing space for employees to relax or a gym or fitness room and equipment to make it easier for their people to get a workout in the workplace.

As the trend continues, there are many possibilities which can shape companies’ employee wellness initiatives of the future. Who knows, there may even come a time when corporate buildings will feature facilities like a free indoor walking track and other facilities that will take workplace wellness to new heights.

Another approach some businesses take is to support organized fitness activities like employees forming recreational groups or sports teams. Some companies recognize and provide limited or full financial support for hiking or mountaineering clubs, running groups, and basketball or football teams among others.

Whatever type of program may be in place, a company’s wellness policy can provide immediate and long-term benefits not just to employees but to the business itself. With chronic stress one of the factors that lead to burnout, a business decision like investing in employees’ well-being can help in making the workplace less stressful or at the very least, provide a way for people to distress if needed.

What Makes An Effective Leader?


In this highly competitive world, who do you think can guide us in becoming successful – not just in our work lives, but also in our personal lives?

That’s right, effective leaders.

Effective leaders are the kind of people who are not just there for position, the kind of people who are not just there for earning, and the kind of people who are not just there for themselves.

So, what makes an effective leader?

Here are some of their remarkable qualities:

They are passionate.

Being a leader doesn’t only require you to be in a position. Being a leader also requires you to have passion to be in a position. This means you don’t just give tasks to your people. You also have to do tasks – not just for you, but for everyone in your team. This means you don’t just establish rules for your people. You also have to follow rules – not just your rules, but the entire company’s rules. That’s what being an effective leader is about.

They love to learn.

Just because you’re already earning, it doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. Always remember, work life and personal life are lessons themselves – the kind of lessons no one can ever teach us at school and the kind of lessons no one can ever teach us that easily. Being a leader – albeit, an effective one – is about learning. It’s learning more about your craft, as well as others’ crafts and how to improve these. It’s also learning more about yourself, as well as other people and how to develop themselves.

They are considerate.

Being an effective leader is not about making your people understand you. It’s about making them understand you and making yourself understand them. Simply put, “give and take.” You learn, they learn. They learn, you learn. Being an effective leader is also not about boss rules. It’s about going beyond those boss rules to truly understand your own people – and ultimately, other people like your clients.

What other remarkable qualities do you think makes an effective leader? Share them with us below!

Positive Ways to Deal with Work Stress

work management

Looking for a stress-free work is unrealistic at best and may be a complete waste of time to say the least. Even the most idyllic workplaces have their share of stress triggers. Some companies score high in providing an environment that promotes job satisfaction. But there are also those that still need a lot to improve on. Managing stress at the workplace is an important skill worth learning and honing. Here are some of the positive ways to deal with stress on the job that could help you avoid needless burnout.

Be mindful of the signs

Know your stress triggers and develop the habit of quickly recognizing stressful moments for what they are. Learn to identify the things or situations that elevate your stress levels. This approach can help you steer clear or at least prepare strategies on how to deal with stress when it creeps on you. You can also develop the habit of taking time to reflect on your moods and feelings. Are you feeling overly anxious, irritable, tired, unmotivated, and depressed? Chronic and excessive negative feelings could be a sign that you are stressed out. You have to recognize the signs so you can take the necessary steps to unwind and regain your momentum.

Know your priorities

Trying to accomplish too many things at once can be overwhelming to say the least. You are in a constant state of tension as the pressure builds up. Managing stress at work involves a lot of prioritizing and delegating, if needed. Focus on the most important things first and get comfortable saying no to things that would steal your time from doing them.

Plan and organize

Organization is another important aspect of coping with stress at work. Mental and physical clutter affects your ability to get things done. Minimize or eliminate clutter by clearing your mind and workspace of things unessential to your job. Create a plan, stick to it, and monitor your progress so you do not feel overwhelmed.

Manage distractions

Another great way to manage stress at work is to get rid of distractions or at the very least, find ways to manage them effectively. Find a productivity strategy that works best for you and make it part of your daily work routines. Set aside time for breaks and use those downtimes to do non-work related stuff.

Relax and set reasonable expectations

Unrealistic expectations set you up for a lot of potential stress. Set reasonable expectations from yourself or from your co-workers. Make time for some relaxation. Use periodic breaks to simply breathe and do things that help relax your mind and body.