How to Work, Love and Play like the Danes

What if you could move to a country that made it the norm for working parents to take it easy and spend more time with their kids? 

In Brigid Schulte's book, Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One has the Time, she explores how different Denmark is from the rest of the world, particularly when it comes to parenting, leisure and sharing of household tasks by men and women.

Denmark: Parenting comes first, Productivity second 
The Danish economy is one of the most competitive in the world and it is also has one of the most productive ranking with one of the highest standards of living in the world.

                                         [Image Credit:]
Consider this:

Denmark has one of the longest paid parental leaves and one of the highest rates of mothers who work in the labor market in the world.

Danish men do almost as much housework and child care as Danish women. They are more involved in house work and child care unlike men in any other country in the world.

Danish mothers have the most leisure time of mothers in any country.

Denmark's Happiness Formula: Leisure First
The very structure of Danish society is set up to support leisure. 

The Danes believe that meaningful work can be done without working all hours and sacrificing yourself. [Also, read : There's no woman on the moon and What My First Job Taught Me and Why I didn't learn from it

Now connect the dots...

And here's what we can learn and embrace from the Danes:
  • Six weeks of paid vacations
  • Flexible work options [Also, read: Keep Cool]
  • No one works till 6 pm or 7 pm just to show they are there
  • Govt-sponsored mothers' groups put together by nurse educators
  • Adult education is a norm in Denmark, with classes that are affordable and subsidized.
  • Being ambitious at the cost of sacrificing family time is not something that is appreciated. [Do read: The Secret of Success
  • Hygge – the Danish essence signifying happiness – is all about living in the moment. 
  • The simple, lovely things – that’s what the Danes embrace 
And now, tell me: what's your secret to maintaining a happy work-life balance in your life? 

NOTE: These brief points are taken from Brigid Schulte's book, Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One has the Time.  READ her book to know more.


Vishnu said…
hi Swapna - ok, you've made a case for anyone to move for Denmark. More leisure time, more family time and living in the present moment? Yes - sign me up!!
Hi Vishnu, Glad that you are on board:)

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