Work-Life Balance in Finland

A man talks on the phone outside of an office complex.

Karoliina Bärlund / Helsinki Partners

There’s time for it all – family, friends, and a fulfilling career.

Read on to discover how the happiest country in the world makes it easy to build the career of your dreams while maintaining a fulfilling personal life.

Juggling work and life is easier in Finland

Emphasis on culture and innovation

Finland is a stable, safe, and progressive country with strong social welfare programs. Here, we emphasize work-life balance, providing an employee-friendly workday, and holding employers to high standards

But that's not all. Finland also has a vibrant start-up scene and rapidly growing tech sector, offering exciting opportunities for English-speaking professionals from around the world. Flat hierarchies and a national appetite for innovation encourage employees of all levels to weigh in on things like workplace culture, policies, and processes, and regular work hours enable everyone to enjoy plenty of time with family and friends. Finally, Finnish companies view workplace culture as a key competitive differentiator and strive to create a positive, inclusive work environment for all.

A male worker in the tech industry.

Credits: Jussi Hellsten / Helsinki Partners

Innovation at your fingertips: Finland has one of the world's fastest growing startup scenes.

Two people use computers and virtual reality headsets.

Credits: N2 Albiino / Helsinki Partners

Finnish companies are well-equipped to give you the know-how, networks, and support to bring even the boldest ideas to life.

Employee-friendly work hours

Finns know that happy, well-rested (and well-rounded!) employees are an organisation’s most valuable resource. While working hours may vary from field to field and across industries, the eight-hour workday is standard. In fact, 50% of employees work 35-40 hours per week, with just one-sixth of them working over 50 hours per week. Typically, though, employees work Monday through Friday, with nights and weekends free, leaving ample time for things like hobbies, socialising, and relaxing in this Nordic country’s world-renowned nature. And while there has been talk of implementing a nation-wide four-day work week or six-hour workday, eight hours remains the norm.

Speaking of time off, employees are entitled to plenty of paid holidays and vacation days, and many Finns take four weeks off during the summer months. To learn more about holiday time, visit the welfare and benefits page.

People gather on an outside terrace in Helsinki.

Credits: Jussi Hellsten / Helsinki Partners

Finland’s capital, Helsinki, was ranked the best place to live for work-life balance based on data about work intensity, institutional support, legislation, and livability in 2021.

Strong support for families

Family welfare and equality for all are two ideals universally upheld by Finnish society, so it’s no surprise they’re also deeply embedded in workplace policies and culture – or that opportunities for family leave are generous. 

 

Furthermore, every child in Finland is entitled to municipal daycare by law. Fees are determined by income level, with a maximum payment of less than 300 euros per month per child and a hefty discount for each additional child. Private daycare is also available and relatively affordable. The reason? Having affordable, reliable care for children ensures better work-life balance for parents and enables all adults to fully participate in the workforce. 

 

Strong support for families is also exemplified by the near-equal gender split in the workforce, with 78% of men and 73% of women working at least part time. Finnish women are some of the world’s most highly educated, and Finland is the only country in developed world where fathers spend more time with school-aged children than mothers do. Visit the family page to learn more about how Finland supports children and families.

Finland is the world’s happiest country

Work and play in a pristine environment

Many people come to Finland for work and stay for everything else. After all, we are the happiest country in the world! One reason for that is the country’s strong social welfare programs, including free education and affordable healthcare for all. Two more are Finland’s government accountability and high-functioning infrastructure. And a fourth is this Nordic nation’s stunningly beautiful – and easily accessible – nature. From snow-capped fells to pristine lakes and endless forests, Finland’s diverse landscape offers plenty of opportunities for both relaxation and outdoor activities. Even in urban areas, green space is never far away – Helsinki, for example, is recognized as one of Europe’s greenest cities. Plus, our air is some of the cleanest in the world, making Finland one of the healthiest places to live and work. 

 

And don’t worry if nature’s not your thing. From its historic wooden towns to sauna culture, Finland has something for everyone. And because of our emphasis on work-life balance, there’s time to explore – and enjoy – all of it. 

 

Ready to find a job in Finland? Search open opportunities here.