European Employee Wellbeing Index

Where should you move for the best workplace wellbeing?

EU statistics say that 35% of the European workforce believes working has a negative impact on their health. Governments and trade bodies are aware of this - but which cities are evolving to meet this challenge and which are falling behind?

Last year at Selecta, we asked our 10,000-strong workforce, spanning 16 European countries, to participate in an employee engagement program; a 73% response rate indicated employees are passionate about these issues and keen to contribute to a better workplace.

We wanted to delve deeper, and so we conducted a study ranking 121 European cities using data sets that relate to an employee’s wellbeing. The result is an index determining which city is best for overall employee work-life balance.

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To compile our index, we have used a number of data sources. For each category, we sifted through the internet for the most recent and reputable data. Because these data sources were in a variety of different formats, a min-max normalisation was used to standardise the data into a score between 0 and 100.

Formula used:

This results in a score between 0 and 100 for each data point, and each city is ranked accordingly based on its overall average score.

Flexible Working Availability

Looks at the amount of times ‘Flexible Working’ was mentioned within job listings on Indeed, in English and local languages. This was then divided by city population to give a per-capita score.


Free Refreshments

Looks at the amount of times ‘Free tea, coffee, snacks and fruit’ were mentioned within job listings on Indeed, in English and local languages. This was then divided by city population to give a per-capita score.


Work Atmosphere

Taken from a European-wide survey by Effectory International asking workers to rank their work atmosphere.

Global Employee Engagement Index

Hours Worked

European countries average number of usual weekly hours of work. Taken from a survey by Eurostat.


Work-life Balance

Taken from an index by the OECD, which analyses different factors between work and daily living to give an overall work-life balance score.


Quality of Parks

Using the Google Maps API, user review data was collected to find the average ratings of places tagged as ‘parks’ in each city. A higher score designates a higher quality of city parks that employees can go to for a break.

Google Maps

Air Quality

Crowdsourced data looking at the overall pollution levels in a city.

Air Visual

Ease of Commute

Results from the TomTom Traffic index 2019 showing which city has the highest congestion levels.

TomTom Traffic Index

Cafe Availability

The number of outlets tagged as ‘cafes’ on TripAdvisor per km2 in each city. A higher number of cafes results in more lunch facilities for workers.


Healthcare Availability

Crowdsourced data looking at the overall healthcare levels given to different cities’ citizens.


Gender Employment Gap

European countries’ employment statistics by gender. A higher score means a more gender-balanced workplace.


Employment Rate

European countries’ employment rates of people aged 15 to 64. A higher score indicates less unemployment.


Worker Safety

Data taken from an index by Global Finance Magazine based on different factors contributing to the overall safety of a country.

Global Finance Magazine

Maternity Leave Provision

Each countries’ national maternity/paternity leave allowances for workers.


Worker Rights

A national-level survey by The International Trade Union Confederation of violations of trade union rights in each country. Higher scores indicate the places with the least number of conflicts.

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