Tokyo, Singapore, Washington DC, Kuala Lumpur, and Houston have been identified as the cities with the most overworked population globally, in a study by mobile access technology company Kisi.
This index was calculated on the basis of factors affecting work intensity, such as arrival time AM, hours worked/week (≥ 48 hours of work/week), minimum vacation offered and taken, unemployment, paid parental leave days, and commuting (one-way, minutes).
As a result, the cities with the most overworked population in the world are (work intensity scores in brackets):
1. Tokyo, Japan (100)
2. Singapore (95.4)
3. Washington DC, US (93.4)
4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (93.3)
5. Houston, US (91.7)
6. Buenos Aires, Argentina (91.3)
7. Atlanta, US (90.9)
8. Seattle, US (90.5)
9. Chicago, US (90.4)
10. Boston, US (89.4)
Bernhard Mehl, CEO of Kisi, commented: “Despite living in an era where unprecedented advancements have been made in technology and connectivity, we have failed to address the most everyday aspect of enhancing our everyday lives—finding the balance between work and leisure.”
The study also found the cities with the least overworked population, which essentially ties into the ranking for cities with the best work-life balance:
1. Helsinki, Finland (28.7 days of vacation taken per year)
2. Munich, Germany (406 days of paid maternal and parental leave)
3. Oslo, Norway (31 minutes of one-way commuting per day)
4. Hamburg, Germany (11.6 μg/m3 air pollutants)
5. Stockholm, Sweden (26 days of vacation taken per year)
6. Berlin, Germany (406 days of paid maternal and parental leave)
7. Zurich, Switzerland (40.03 minutes of one-way commuting per day)
8. Barcelona, Spain (12.3 μg/m3 air pollutants)
9. Paris, France (30 days of vacation taken per year)
10. Vancouver, Canada (364 days of paid maternal and parental leave)
Apart from being featured in the most overworked cities’ ranking, neighbours Malaysia and Singapore had additional aspects of the index in common. Both were ranked among countries with the lowest vacation days taken – 12.3 days taken in Malaysia, and 14 days taken in Singapore.
Asian cities also featured heavily in the top five ranking for cities with the highest percentage of people working more than 48 hours per week – Singapore’s workforce at an average of 44.6 hours/week, Kuala Lumpur at 46 hours/week, and Hong Kong at 44 hours/week.
The report also uncovered a number of interesting data points about cities globally, such as:
- Workers in Washington DC arrive to work at the latest time (10:30 am) followed by Hong Kong,
Houston and Berlin.
- Citizens in Oslo work the least number of hours per week, at 38.9, followed by Sydney and
- Only 4% of full-time employees work more than 48 hours in Oslo, Budapest, Stockholm,
Milan, and Barcelona.
- Helsinki and Paris offer the highest minimum number of vacation, at 30 days per year.
- Hong Kong and Singapore offer the lowest minimum number of vacation days, at seven days per year.
- Workers in Barcelona take the highest number of vacation days, at 30.5, followed by Paris and
- Singapore has the lowest percentage of unemployment, at 2.1%, followed by Munich and
- Helsinki offers the highest number of maternal and parental leave days, at 1127, followed by
Budapest and Oslo.
- Cleveland workers commute to work for the shortest amount of time, at 22.2 minutes, followed
by Las Vegas and Portland.
- Australian cities have the highest healthcare score, followed by Japan and Italy.
- Oslo has the best access to mental healthcare, with a score of 68.9, followed by Zurich and Paris.
- Oslo also has the highest gender equality score, at 77.9, followed by Stockholm and Helsinki.
- Stockholm has the highest LGBT+ equality score, followed by Toronto and London.
- Singapore has the highest safety score, at 100, followed by Tokyo and Toronto.
- Helsinki has the highest happiness score, at 100, followed by Oslo and Zurich.
- Munich has the lowest stressful city score, indicating the lowest levels of stress, at 15.8,
followed by Sydney and Hamburg.
- Singapore has the highest outdoor spaces score, at 100, followed by Zurich and Hong Kong.
- Seattle has the lowest levels of air pollutants, at 4.8 μg/m3, followed by Portland and Stockholm.
- Zurich has the highest wellness & fitness score, at 100, followed by Tokyo and Ottawa.
- London has the highest leisure score, at 100, followed by Tokyo and New York.
All images / Kisi