Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024
Top 3 countries to live and work in for 2024

Top 3 countries to live and work in for 2024

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These countries have been found to offer high living standards, strong economies, an excellent work-life balance, robust social security systems and inclusive, diverse work environments.

Working abroad has become a more appealing option over the years. In fact, according to Instant Offices, around 900mn people (16% of adults) globally want to leave their home country permanently, with more people than ever willing to relocate to chase career aspirations, higher pay and a better work-life balance.

That being said, some locations seem to be more favourable. Taking into account factors such as working hours, annual leave, equality, happiness, parental leave and more, these are the best countries to live and work in.

In top three, Norway, Australia and the Netherlands offer high living standards, strong economies, an excellent work-life balance, robust social security systems and inclusive, diverse work environments. Notably, Norway offers some of the highest paid maternity leave in the world, at 49 weeks. Australian minimum wage is one of the highest, at $15 per hour, while the Netherlands outranks the rest to offer the best work-life balance of all, with an average working week of 32 hours.

All dollars reflected are in USD.

Norway

  • Happiness score: 7/10
  • Minimum wage per hour: $17
  • Paid maternity leave days: 49
  • Annual holiday: 20
  • Length of average workweek: 34 hours 

The Netherlands

  • Happiness score: 7/10
  • Minimum wage per hour: $12
  • Paid maternity leave days: 16
  • Annual holidays: 20
  • Length of average workweek: 32 hours

Australia 

  • Happiness score: 7/10
  • Minimum wage per hour: $15
  • Paid maternity leave days: 18 
  • Annual holiday: 20
  • Length of average workweek: 29 hours 

Norway and Australia also made it to the list of happiest countries to work in, right behind Switzerland. According to the survey, factors that make Switzerland, Norway and Australia so content overall include GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy and the freedom to make life choices.

For employees feeling burned out and overworked, Australia, the Netherlands and Norway each offer 20 days of paid annual leave, while Norway offers the highest paid maternity leave of the countries on the list.

In terms of workweek, those in Australia, the Netherlands and Norway spend less than 35 hours working. For comparison, Turkey, Argentina and Mexico, had longer work hours, which all work an average 45-hour week.

Overall, Norway scored high in almost every area, with its scores making it the clear winner as potentially the best country to work in 2024. Aligning with this, Norway has also topped the UNDP Human Development Index for several years.


Lead image / Instant Offices

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