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Which cities have the best work-life balance and greatest remote work density?

„Corona has once again pushed the Scandinavian cities far ahead in terms of work-life balance. A Bleisure classic takes 1st place in the number of most jobs with remote work capability.” Results Kisi-Index 2021

Mobile access technology company Kisi has released its annual study examining which cities around the world promote the most holistic work-life balance. This involved comparing data on work intensity, institutional support, quality of life and more, and ranking the metropolises that most successfully support work-life balance for their residents before, during and after the Corona pandemic.

Kisi Index 10 Work-Life_balanceHelsinki, Oslo and the Swiss financial metropolis Zurich are the cities with the most holistic work-life balance. They are followed by other Scandinavian destinations such as Stockholm and Copenhagen (see chart on the left). The first American city in the top 10 is Ottawa. Asia, on the other hand, is not represented in the top ten – but it is among the most stressed cities: Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Buenos Aires top the Kisi index in 2021.

Remote Work especially in financial and political centres

Kisi did not conceive the third edition of the study as an index of a city’s quality of life. Moreover, the aim was not to highlight the best cities to work in. Rather, the aim was to evaluate metropolises in their current ability to maintain a balance between work-related stress and life satisfaction. To do this, the study goes beyond the inclusion of cost of living to examine how working and living conditions in global cities have changed during the pandemic. Fifty metropolises were selected that are known for attracting professionals and families because of their job opportunities and lifestyle offerings.Kisi Index Remote Work 2021

The focus was also on the adaptability of a location to remote work. Here, the percentage of jobs that were classified as “remote work capable” in each city was calculated. The world’s financial and political centres are in the top 10. Singapore, Washington and again Zurich lead the ranking. (see chart on the right)

Work overload in Asia

Other aspects examined included a city’s overall work intensity based on factors such as overwork, holiday pay and parental leave. According to the study, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok each have the most overworked populations, with 20 to 30 per cent shares. In contrast, residents of Brussels, Amsterdam and Copenhagen overwork the least (around 10 per cent).

In turn, the countries that provided the most economic support during the Covid 19 pandemic were Denmark, Finland and Norway, while Brazil, Argentina and the USA offered the least.

Photo: ©, charts from Kisi