Which European city has the best employee wellbeing?

Workers decide on what new job to take for a variety of reasons. Whether they’re related to what the company benefits are, the pay and pension, or what the local city environment is like. As the global competition for talent increases, companies are recognising these considerations: making sure that their workplaces are enjoyable for their employees, and setting up in cities that are great to live in. More than ever, providing a good work-life balance for employees is an essential component of modern business practices.

We’ve ranked 121 European cities for employee wellbeing, looking at topics such as employee benefits and perks, employee rights, commuting times, and quality of lunchtime park/cafe facilities. The result is an index of 15 factors determining which city is best for overall employee wellbeing.

After we normalised our datasets, we were left with our winners- these were:

  1. Utrecht, Netherlands
  2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  3. Munich, Germany
  4. Zurich, Switzerland
  5. Bergen, Norway

Our research gave us some interesting insights at the city level.

Looking at the data points in the ‘Working Conditions’ tab, we can see which cities rank well for different datasets within the workplace. Using Indeed, we were able to find out how many job listings featured the phrase ‘Flexible work’ for each city. Eindhoven came top with the city offering flexible working as an option.

Keeping staff motivated during the working day can be difficult. One-way employers can help employees get motivated is by offering free refreshments throughout the day. Using Indeed again, we were able to see which city had jobs mentioning ‘Free tea, coffee, snacks and fruit’ the most. Paris came top with Munich right behind with the companies offering the most free refreshments in the workplace.

Outside of the workplace, employees look for a city to be a great place to live in. The ‘City Liveability’ tab encompasses this and looks at different data points that contribute to an employee enjoying the city they are working in. Looking at the data points in the ‘City Liveability’ tab, we can see which cities rank well for people who enjoy venturing out for their lunch breaks.

‘Quality of parks’ and ‘Cafe availability’ are especially interesting, as studies show that employees who go outside for breaks reduce stress, boost productivity and overall health. If you enjoy a stroll on your breaks, look for Russian cities. Despite its sometimes-harsh weather conditions, Moscow has the highest rated parks. However, if you enjoy a takeaway coffee or a little ‘me’ time in a quiet cafe, Barcelona has the most cafes per square km of their city for you to choose from.

Looking at the bigger picture, the ‘Society and worker rights’ column features different datasets for each country that could affect an employee's wellbeing. As expected, Nordic countries such as Finland, Sweden, and Norway all scored highly across the board. Turkey, unfortunately, didn’t fare as well, almost coming last in every single dataset of this category.

To see the full list of results and data points, you can view our interactive index here: Employee Wellbeing Index

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