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Copenhagen has world’s best work/life balance

Danish capital Copenhagen has worlds best work/life balance according to business media Forbes. Photo courtecy Wonderful Copenhagen/ Maria Sattrup

Workers are motivated by a lot more than just the size of the paycheck. According to a recent survey by Forbes Advisor, employees really care about things that will increase their mental well-being, when they think about relocating. The survey ranks Danish capital Copenhagen as the best city in the world, when it comes to work/life balance.

“Hygge” as a factor for attracting talent

Forbes Advisor is a subsidiary of business-media Forbes. Copenhagen won its first place in their “Worldwide Work-Life Balance Index 2023” for its strong emphasis on sustainability and a high quality of life. This is reflected in its infrastructure, public transport and green spaces. Inhabitants of the Danish capital are also known for taking time to care about oneself and others and for their “hygge” lifestyle.

Copenhagen Science City is home to more than 500 innovative companies, and they all need to attract highly educated talent from around the world. We see this ranking of Copenhagen as the best in the world for work/life balance as yet more evidence, that our innovation district is among the best places in Europe to launch or scale an innovation-based business”: Kristoffer Klebak, Head of Secretariat, Copenhagen Science City.

Companies uphold work/life ideals

Talent thinking about relocating to Copenhagen will be especially interested to learn that many companies in the Danish capital uphold the work/life values within the workplace. For example, by offering flexible working hours and five week minimum annual leave. Additionally, unemployment rates are lower than many other parts of Europe (2.4%) and companies offer a fair parental leave split of 52 weeks for both parents.

A very Scandinavian top ten

Out of a possible score of 100 Copenhagen scored an impressive 70,5. First runners up, Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden, scored 65,1 and 64,8 respectively. Forbes Work-Life Balance Index 2023 ranked data from 128 cities for their Work-Life Balance Score and Scandinavian cities take up six of the ten top spaces.

“Best cities to live” data

The study analysed various “Best Cities to Live In” indices, narrowing down those which had available data in the categories:

  • World Happiness Index
  • Gender Inequality Index
  • Average working hours
  • Minimum legal annual leave
  • Property price to income ratio
  • Proportion of remote working vacancies
  • Maternity leave policies
  • Parks and nature reserves per capita
  • Unemployment rate
  • Sunlight hours

Data was collected between January – Feb 2023.

About Copenhagen Science City

Copenhagen Science City is a two square kilometre innovation district in the heart of the Danish capital. Here, University of Copenhagen, University Hospital Rigshospitalet and University College Copenhagen are working together with start-up community Symbion to create optimal conditions for students and researchers dreaming of starting a business, and for companies who need to develop, validate or test their products in collaboration with the knowledge institutions. Significant portions of the university’s research and training in science and health and medical sciences are located in the innovation district.