People in the Netherlands enjoy the best work-life balance, according to recent findings by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Unsurprisingly, the most important aspect for a healthy work-life balance is the amount of time people spend (not) at work, how many people work very long hours, and other factors. The authors of the Better Life Index note that “evidence suggests that long work hours may impair personal health, jeopardise safety and increase stress.”
In the Netherlands, only 0.4 percent of employees work very long hours (50 or more hours a week), the third-lowest rate in the OECD, where the average is 11 percent. In comparison, 11.1 percent of American employees work very long hours, so the United States doesn’t make it in to the top ten ranking. It ranks 27th out of 38 considered countries. Also, the U.S. is the only OECD country without a national paid parental leave policy – although three states do provide leave payments.