Is It Time to Move? Italy Scores High in Work-Life Balance Rating

It got a 9.4 out of 10.


( While it has long been an issue, the concept of work-life balance suddenly became an important discussion once again as the world battled with the pandemic. Work-life boundaries collapsed as work was literally brought home, the load for remaining employees piled up as companies retrenched others, and everyone was just burnt out from the mess of it all. Other companies saw a trend of mass resignation as people realized that life is far more important, especially with the millions of death due to COVID.


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According to Better Life Index, Italy tops the charts when it comes to work-life balance. It has an index of 9.4 with 10 being the highest score. Data shows that only 3% of employees work "very long hours in paid work," which is below the 10% average. This index is facilitiated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a global policy forum headquartered in Paris.

Work-life balance has two indicators: time devoted to leisure and personal care and employees working very long hours. Working long hours, according to research, impairs personal health, increases stress, jeopardizes safety, and is even counter-productive. Up to 10% of employees in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries work 50 hours or more per week in paid work. More time spent at work means less time spent on personal care and leisure, which are very important for a person's well-being. "A full-time worker in the OECD devotes 63% of the day on average, or 15 hours, to personal care (eating, sleeping, etc.) and leisure (socializing with friends and family, hobbies, games, computer, and television use, etc.)," they added.

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Aside from work-life balance, OECD's Better Life Index also measures other things that affect the well-being of societies: housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, and life satisfaction. The Index covers only 38 countries, which are members of the OECD as well as other developed economies and emerging economies.

OECD clarifies that it "has not assigned rankings to countries" as that is something that users can adjust based on what's important to them through the interactive website. For example, you can choose to focus on the topic of work-life balance, then the site produces the scores of countries based on that factor; if jobs are more important for you, the interface also presents that.

Data is in real-time as more and more users add their votes since the site started in 2011.

The OECD Better Life Index is based in Paris, France. For more information, visit OECD's website.

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