Skip to main content

Do New Zealanders have the best work-life balance in the world?

Do New Zealanders have the best work-life balance?

Choosing where you want to live and work is a big decision. You need to balance work opportunities, a country’s values and its commitment to work-life balance.

While many see Australia as their dream destination, New Zealand is continuously ranked highly by healthcare professionals and other migrants for its quality of nursing jobs and healthcare roles.

In fact, HSBC’s Expat Survey ranked New Zealand the fifth best place to live, while in 2018 it was ranked 2nd. Quality of life and physical and mental well-being were two major factors.

To help you get a better understanding of why New Zealand is ranked so highly, we thought we’d take a closer look at the work-life balance Kiwis enjoy.

Kiwis love it

While working hard and getting ahead is important to New Zealanders, finding a balance with family time and seeing friends is essential.

A recent survey by Stats NZ found that 76% of Kiwis were satisfied with their work-life balance. Part of this is due to work conditions, where 91% of respondents said they had very good relationships with their managers.

If you meet someone living in New Zealand, they’ll tell you that life is for living!

Flexible working conditions

One of the major reasons Kiwis can juggle working and life away from work is the high amount of people taking advantage of flexible working conditions.

Just over half of workers surveyed by Stats NZ said they had flexible start and finish times. Workers who are given the ability to start and finish their job at different times can make juggling commitments at home much easier.

While flexible working hours is not as common in healthcare, around 4 in 10 employees have the opportunity. It’s expected this ratio will increase as healthcare services become more flexible and home-based.

Four-day working week

It’s not just flexible hours keeping Kiwis happy with their work-life balance. Some organisations are looking to a shorter working week to boost productivity and keep employees zen!

New Zealand company Perpetual Guardians recently trialled a four-day working week to boost work-life balance. Nearly 250 employees were given the opportunity to work four, eight-hour days while getting paid for five.

The result of the trial was a massive success.  An internal survey found that 78% of employees felt they were able to manage their work-life balance, a 28% increase over past surveys.

Long parental leave

Another way Kiwis balance their working and non-working life is through generous parental leave.

Currently, new parents can take up to 12 months parental leave, with up to 22 weeks of paid leave available. The New Zealand government is planning to extend this to 26 weeks in 2020, a huge boost to workers looking to start their families after moving to the country for a healthcare role.

Working in New Zealand’s healthcare system means you have opportunities for flexible working arrangements.

Before you move, you may need to take an English test to prove language proficiency. OET is the only English test designed for nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals accepted in New Zealand for visa and registration.

Learn more about OET and how it can help you live in work in New Zealand today!