Liveability and shorter hours

The OECD Better Life Index measures and ranks the quality of life in 35 countries, including the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Germany and Belgium. The Netherlands’ work-life balance came out on top, with a whopping score of 9.3/10. This should come as no surprise, given the renowned liveability in the Netherlands and, of course, the Amsterdam Area.

Naturally, one of the most crucial factors of maintaining a healthy work-life balance is to avoid working long hours, and the OECD found that just 0.5% of employees in the Netherlands work very long hours – compared to the average of 13%. These shorter working hours definitely don’t equate to a drop in efficiency and performance – something that's supported by Amsterdam’s business rankings.

Life satisfaction, family and children

Yet, a good work-life balance isn’t only about working shorter hours; family, children, home life and social life are also important. Luckily, parental education rates, employment rates and youth life satisfaction in the Netherlands scored high, too. In fact, the OECD found that over 93% of children aged 11-15 report above average life satisfaction.

And responsibilities are typically shared in Dutch households. For example: the female employment rate (69.9%) is significantly higher than the OECD’s average (57.5%) and has been increasing rapidly over the last 30 years.

Amsterdam’s village-like charm is one of its key staples, and this sense of community rings true throughout the Netherlands: 9-in-10 people in the country claim that they know a family member or friend who they can count on during times of need.

All in all, the Netherlands’ residents are more generally more satisfied with their lives. The OECD found that Dutch residents gave their general satisfaction a score of 7.4; this is significantly higher than the OECD’s average (6.5).

Read more about Amsterdam’s business rankings