Recent analysis of countries worldwide by online home rental company Spotahome has revealed nations with a good work-life balance are happiest.

Spotahome has standardised the latest data available on work-life balance to rank 55 countries out of ten.

The World Happiness Report 2018 also released its new data on the state of global happiness, ranking 156 countries by their happiness levels. Having a good work-life balance is credited with giving us better health, higher engagement and performance levels, more mindfulness and prevents employee burn-out.

From our analysis, two-thirds of countries in the top 30 for work-life balance, also feature in the world’s top 30 happiest nations:

Countries in the top 30 for work-life balance and happiness Work-life balance Happiness
Netherlands 2nd 6th
Sweden 3rd 9th
Denmark 4th 3rd
Norway 7th 2nd
Canada 8th 7th
Luxembourg 9th 17th
Finland 11th 1st
Belgium 12th 16th
Germany 15th 15th
Ireland 16th 14th
Czech Republic 18th 21st
Austria 20th 12th
Switzerland 21st 5th
Brazil 22nd 28th
France 24th 23rd
Chile 26th 25th
United States 27th 18th
United Kingdom 28th 19th
Australia 29th 10th
New Zealand 30th 8th

Of the happiest countries which have the best work-life balance, 60 percent also feature in the top 30 list for the highest-paid workers, with workers of Switzerland, the U.S. and Luxembourg making up the top three best-paid.

The UK features in all three lists, but while it ranks 9th for highest salaries, it is only 28th in the world for work-life balance and 19th for overall happiness.

Russia is the best country worldwide for work-life balance – with only 0.2 percent of employees working more than 50 hours per week – but it doesn’t feature in the top 30 list of happiest nations. It comes in at a poor 59th place and doesn’t appear in the world’s highest-paid list either.

Digging deeper into the World Happiness Report, Russia’s lower rankings in healthy life expectancy, salaries, generosity and freedom to make life choices outweigh the benefits of having a good work-life balance.

Melissa Lyras, Brand and Communications Manager at Spotahome commented on the findings:

 “The ability to successfully combine work, family commitments and leisure activities are important to our well-being. The finding that 1 in 8 employees in the OECD works more than 50 hours per week is concerning, considering the positive correlation between work-life balance and happiness.

 “It’s great to see European nations taking the lead in helping citizens strike a healthy work-life balance. However, there’s still room for improvement across other continents.”

 To see the full data for countries and their cities, including how they rate for other health-related categories, please visit Spotahome’s dedicated webpage here.