The people in Denmark are always ranked as the happiest people in the world. Why? Well, they have the perfect balance between work and life.
The Danish way of work-life balance is extraordinary, a model that’s far from normal in most of the world. Denmark prides itself on having such a unique system.
Nowadays, there is a lot of discussion and attention around how much we should allow our work to consume us. Some people are practically “married” to their work. In contrast, others place a high value on time with their family and for leisure. There are a number of different strategies on how we can balance these as individuals.
Nevertheless, none are as good as the Danish way. They have extremely flexible work conditions and social support networks that include maternity leave and childcare benefits. That not only puts Denmark high on the international “life satisfaction” chart but also raises the average of the quality of living.
The Danish work-life balance consists of 3 major beliefs:
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1. Danish workers are trusted to deliver high-quality job performance
They believe people want to work and want to go to a good job. While many believe that time equals productivity, that’s not what happens in real life. When the work hours are over, everyone goes home—from the receptionist to the CEO.
2. The Danish culture places a high value on prioritizing family
There is no shame in putting family first, and the Danes do just that. The state even provides pensions for the elderly, maid services and childcare is tax deductible!
3. Danes believe that work and play shouldn’t be at odds.
Any pressure at work is never good. That means less work is done when there are high levels of stress and tension. When most people save up vacation for some far planned trip, the Danes get a minimum five weeks paid vacation. They use it to rest and recharge—without any shame and social stigma.
Their example of work-life balance is growing in popularity; many countries are trying to emulate the Danish quality of life. Being a little humble, realistic and appreciative will always benefit you. And treating people better will yield better results than any dictator-like behavior.