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Spain world's second best for work-life balance

Spain world's second best for work-life balance

Published on: 03 Jun 2015 14:13 CET

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According to a report on Tuesday by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation (OECD), Spain fell only behind Denmark in a ranking of work-life balance in a study of a group of the world's advanced economies.

Spaniards working full-time devoted a greater portion of their day to leisure and personal care than any other country in the world, including Denmark, spending more than 16 hours a day on things like eating, meeting friends and pursuing hobbies.

"Finding a suitable balance between work and life is a challenge for all workers, especially working parents. The ability to successfully combine work, family commitments and personal life is important for the well-being of all members in a household," the report states.

"Evidence suggests that long work hours may impair personal health, jeopardise safety and increase stress." 

Fewer workers in Spain have turned into workaholics as well it seems, with just 6 percent working 50 hours or more a week on average.

Just two percent of Danish employees worked such long hours.

The work-life balance finding was part of a larger 'Better Life Index' aimed at reflecting the overall well-being of people living in each country.

Spain ranked above average in not just work-life balance, but also health, community and housing. Still, the country lagged behind the OECD average in environmental quality, education, income and was the second-worst country for jobs with Greece at the very bottom.

Spaniards were also overall less happy with their lives than other countries, rating their life satisfaction at 6.5 on a scale of one to ten, compared to the OECD average of 6.6.

"Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards," the report said of Spain's economic conditions.

Denmark also led the way in overall life satisfaction, followed by Iceland, Switzerland, Norway and Israel.


Emma Anderson (emma.anderson@thelocal.com)