If you’re feeling a bit burnt out these days, you’re not alone. More than a third of all Canadians reported feelings of burnout at the start of 2022. Of course, there are more factors to consider than just ‘hustle culture’ or the place you live, but it certainly helps to live in a city with a good work-life balance. But what does that really mean?

Kisi just released a new study comparing data on work intensity, liveability, holiday allowances, vacation days, parental leave, and inflation rates in cities around the globe. The result? A pretty comprehensive list ranking the best (and worst) cities for work-life balance in 2022.

How does Vancouver rank?


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As you might have guessed, Vancouver isn’t topping any charts when it comes to affordability. In fact, our official affordability score is 66.1 out of 100. This number reflects monthly living costs as a proportion of average household income after tax.

On the flipside, Vancouver scores 79.6 on the happiness, culture, and leisure scale, 85.6 for outdoor spaces, and yup – 99.7 for air quality! We might have rent to pay but at least we can breathe easy.

In terms of work culture, only 10.10% of our population is considered ‘overworked.’ Not too shabby, right? This reflects the percentage of full-time employees working for more than 48 hours per workweek – so a higher number equals more people working overtime.

Finally, the study looks at how much support (legislative and community-wise) each city provides its residents during difficult circumstances, like the pandemic. The quality of healthcare, access to mental health services, and the extent of gender and LBGTQ+ equality are also taken into consideration.

With that in mind, Vancouver ranks 16th out of 100 cities around the globe, with a total-work life balance score of 92.23.

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What about the rest of Canada?

It turns out that the highest-ranking Canadian city in all of these categories is none other than Ottawa at 7th place, with an overall score of 95.51.

Toronto and Calgary also made the list, ranking 19th and 30th respectively. Both cities in addition to Vancouver have dropped on the list since 2021.

Which cities have the best & worst work-life balance?

According to Kisi, the most overworked cities in the world are Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Montevideo in Uruguay.

As for the places with the best work-life balance, it’s almost exclusively Nordic cities. Olso, Norway landed in 1st place, followed by Bern, Switzerland, Helsinki, Zurich, and Copenhagen.

So, if the all-consuming grind of hustle culture’s got you down, it might be time to consider relocating.

Cheers to our fresh air, Vancouver!