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The top 5 best cities for work-life balance

Updated 24 Aug 2022

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, work-life balance has become a topic on every employee’s mind. Employers have also been hard at work introducing policies such as flexible and hybrid working to retain and attract talent.

Global access control company, Kisi, compared the factors contributing to a healthy work-life balance in 100 cities and ranked them from the best to the worst.

Here are the top five best cities for work-life balance in 2022.


2022 ranking: Oslo – 1st
2021 ranking: Oslo – 2nd

Thanks to a significant number of annual holidays, access to quality healthcare and mental health services and great leisure options, Oslo is the city with the best work-life balance in the world.

Only 11 percent of the workforce felt overworked, while the Norwegian capital's societal institutions and liveability are generally excellent. Perhaps the only downside to living and working in Oslo is the high cost of living, which is further impacted by inflation, as the city only scored 59 percent for affordability.

Learn more about moving to this European paradise in our guide.


2022 ranking: Bern – 2nd
2021 ranking: Bern – new entrant

Bern has entered the survey for the first time since its inception, and with a fantastic quality of life, it’s easy to see why. The city boasts a low unemployment rate, with almost half the workforce working remotely.

Bern scored 100 percent for culture, happiness and leisure, while inclusivity and tolerance in the city are also high. The city is one of the most liveable in Europe, with exceptional air quality and plenty of green spaces, all of which make for incredible work-life balance.

Read moving to Switzerland to find out more about this vibrant country.


2022 ranking: Helsinki – 3rd
2021 ranking: Helsinki – 1st

The Finnish capital, Helsinki, trails closely behind Bern and has also been knocked off the top spot by Oslo. The city offers the highest number of parental leave days in the world at 1,190. The minimum annual leave offered in Helsinki is 25 days, but in practice most employees have about 30 days of leave a year.

These are generally strong indicators of a healthy work-life balance. Finland is also world-renowned for its unconventional yet effective social welfare policies, which make for excellent liveability and a happy population.

Check out moving to Helsinki to learn more about life in the Finnish capital. 


2022 ranking: Zurich – 4th
2021 ranking: Zurich – 3rd

The picturesque Zurich was ranked the third most liveable city in the world, so it’s no surprise the city’s work-life balance is among the best. The capital is also the second Swiss city featured on the list.

The city's infrastructure and outdoor spaces are of a magnificent standard, while the arts and culture scene is lively and diverse, making for delightful leisure time. Though Zurich has a high cost of living, salaries in the city are competitive and usually offset the sometimes exorbitant living expenses.

Keen to explore this exciting city? Read moving to Zurich for more.


2022 and 2021 ranking: Copenhagen – 5th

Ranked the second most liveable city in the world, Copenhagen prioritises family life, with 364 days of parental leave and the average worker taking 28 days off a year.

The quality of life in Copenhagen is also one of the best in Europe, as the city boasts outstanding air quality, a plethora of green spaces and exceptional healthcare facilities. Moreover, less than 11 percent of the workers in the city were overworked, with 40 percent of the labour pool working remotely. 

Want to know more about living and working in Denmark? Read moving to Denmark.

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