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Belgians have excellent work-leisure balance

Published on 07/05/2015
It might seem hard sometimes to find a proper balance between work and private life. Nevertheless, according to the newest ‘Better Life Index’ report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Belgians are quite good at measuring out labour time and leisure time.
The OECD questioned about 80,000 people worldwide to learn more about topics like life satisfaction, income, education, and environment. Another one of these topics was work-life balance, for which Belgium turned out to be one of the frontrunners. The country scored a 8.8/10 on the test, tied with the Netherlands, and was only topped by Denmark and Spain.
According to the report, people in Belgium work 1,574 hours a year, which is significantly less than the 1,765-hour average. Most striking perhaps is the gender gap that still exists in Belgium, with six percent of men working very long hours, compared with two percent for women. On the other hand, women spend a lot more time on domestic work than men: 245 versus 151 minutes per day. Nevertheless, Belgian men are still above the OECD average with this figure.
Finally, Belgium is also front-ranking the amount of time devoted to leisure and personal care. Full-time workers spend 65 percent or 15.7 hours of their day to personal care like eating and sleeping, and to leisure activities such as socialising with friends and family, hobbies, and television. In comparison, in Turkey (the worst-scoring country in this category), people have to manage with just 13.4 hours of daily spare time.
The OECD reports that, all in all, the average Belgian is pretty happy. 81 percent says that they experience more positive feelings like joy and pride throughout the day than negative ones such as concern, boredom and sadness.

The OECD work-leisure balance top ten (scored out of 10)

1. Denmark – 9.8
2. Spain – 9.4
3. Belgium – 8.8
4. Netherlands – 8.8
5. Norway – 8.7
6. Sweden – 8.1
7. Germany – 7.9
8. Russia – 7.9
9. Ireland – 7.9
10. Luxemburg – 7.9


Flandersnews.be / Expatica