A person sitting in a bench in a pear by the lake

Finding Harmony: The Finnish Approach to Work-Life Balance 

In Finland, work-life balance is not merely a fundamental concept but a priority. The goal is to create a harmonious dynamic between professional responsibilities and personal well-being. As such, the country has maintained its rank as the world’s happiest country for the sixth time in 2023. This is according to World Happiness Report rankings based largely on life evaluations from the Gallup World Poll. With several benefits that puts a spotlight on promoting a healthy work-life balance, Finland’s capital Helsinki lives up to its ranks, having been able to focus on ensuring a lifestyle that prioritizes community and a healthy lifestyle. If you are planning to start your journey and a life in Finland, here are some of the things to keep in mind about Finland and it’s approach to work-life balance: 

Employee-Friendly Workday 

Finland observes a standard eight-hour workday, typically Monday through Friday. There’s always lunch breaks and coffee breaks. According to the Work in Finland website, 50% of employees work 35-40 hours per week. Just one-sixth is working over 50 hours per week. These working hours leave enough time to cultivate hobbies, socialization and even a time with the Nordic country’s world-renowned nature. Moreover, there are a lot of companies in Finland offering flexible working arrangements. For example, remote or hybrid work can be very helpful in achieving the work-life balance. 

Mother, child and father walking hand in hand in the nature

Generous Benefits 

Speaking of employee benefits and time off, it’s worth noting that in Finland, individuals typically enjoy an extensive period of respite during the summer months, with many taking up to four weeks off for vacation. Additionally, as part of their employment entitlements, Finns generally receive up to five weeks of paid time off annually. That’s further enhancing the ability to recharge, unwind, and prioritize the well-being outside of work obligations.

Alongside this, there are entitlements to paid holidays, vacation leaves and extensive benefits such as parental leave benefits. The availability of municipal daycare services guarantees for accessible and dependable childcare alternatives. With this, it’s evident how Finland puts much attention on assisting employees through different phases and milestones of life. Finland also has strong social welfare programs, including free education and affordable healthcare. 

A man with a bike in a cosmic background

Promotion of Hobbies and Leisure Activities

Standing by its priority of valuing people as its important resource: Finland also promotes the importance of hobbies and leisure pursuits in maintaining a well-rounded lifestyle. This comes alongside the combination of workplace practices and family support policies. Because of the vacant time devoid of work, individuals have ample time to engage in hobbies. For example, outdoor activities, sports, arts, and cultural events are popular. Hobbies are quite affordable as well. The Finnish government and local communities are also supportive of hobby-related initiatives. They provide resources and infrastructure to encourage participation in recreational activities to contribute to work-life balance and overall well-being. Some workplaces even provide one hour of work time to be used for sports, or different financial benefits for free time. That can be, for example, a certain amount of money to be used for sports or cultural events.

Finland fosters a culture that prioritizes and encourages individuals to actively engage in their interests, hobbies, and pursuits. Finland promotes holistic well-being and advocates for a balanced lifestyle that extends beyond professional endeavors. It’s thereby contributing to the overall fulfillment and contentment of the citizens.

We’ve also written an article about working as a health care professional in Finland, providing more insights in the work-life balance of the healthcare field. If you are interested in relocating to Finland or have plans to work, sign up below to apply to Silk Road’s vacant positions for health care workers.