A little peace and quiet – achieving a better quality of life

28 March, 2023

If you’re looking for a place where you can slow things down, take a breath, and enjoy your work more, come to Lithuania.

Ok. So what is it that gives our career and life true meaning? That’s a big question to start with, but recent research shows that in this regard, our priorities are shifting. Pre-pandemic, the answer was more likely to be good salary prospects, but increasingly people are looking for more depth than that. In a 2022 survey by the UK consultancy AVIVA, 41% of the people polled said that better work/life balance was what attracted them to their current position.

It’s a given, of course, that you want a good salary. But, as the old adage goes, money can’t buy happiness. Surely, of equal importance is having the time to unwind, to exercise, and collect your thoughts. Having a good work/life balance is what makes the difference here. And this is where Lithuania comes in. Rated 11th in the OECD for work/life balance for a reason, here you’ll find that you can have a career in a dynamic international company without sacrificing your lifestyle. 

The health benefits of a better work/life balance.

According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2022 Report, employees have never been more stressed. And this is a problem. After all, there are established risks between stress and a whole list of medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and asthma. So, with this as a background, you can see that having that balance in place has never been more essential. Imagine you could escape the office for an hour, and in 15 minutes be surrounded by forest. Taking deep breaths, and listening to a chorus of birds. Well, even, in Lithuania’s largest cities, that’s a reality.

VU Botanical Garden Laboratory © N. Tukaj

Healthy mind. Healthy body.

Take Lithuania’s capital Vilnius (which, by the way, is 46% green space). Here, any early morning during the week, you’ll see joggers taking advantage of forest paths that circle the city and its center, as well the picturesque path that runs by the side of the city’s main river, the Neris. Running here is not only a leisure activity, but a state of mind, with many of the city’s finest young entrepreneurs gathering to jog, think, talk, and innovate. Nature is a key ingredient to Lithuania’s cities and this permeates even into its business culture. In fact, one of the country’s most dynamic hubs of international tech talent, Vilnius tech park is located on the grounds of a former manor park. Employees working in one of the many companies there can wander under the trees to discuss new projects and grow ideas.

It’s no wonder, that with this mindful and creative, yet natural vibe, 98% of Vilnius citizens say they are happy with their city, which is the highest level of contentment across all EU capitals. And this proximity to nature is common across all Lithuanian cities and towns. This also makes Lithuania a great place for those looking for a more active outdoor lifestyle. The country has hundreds of designated nature trails, and there are plenty of expansive calm, and clean lakes for those more inclined to water sports like fishing, swimming, wakeboarding, and even yachting and sailing.

Less hustle and bustle.

So, we’ve established that there is plenty of opportunity to get a breath of fresh air. But that’s only part of the picture regarding work/life balance. The last thing any of us wants is to waste our day stuck in traffic. And to solve this Vilnius is leading the way in shared mobility. The city has the largest car-sharing density in the EU, with 2400 vehicles per 1M inhabitants. This not only keeps the number of cars on the road down, it also reduces Co2 emissions, and, of course, encourages people to mix with their colleagues. Win-Win. Then, for those wanting to use public transport, there’s the locally created Trafi app. It will tell you what transport is available and when, giving you the power to plan, and make better use of your time. You’ll also find a healthy remote working culture here that will give you more freedom to plan your work and your free time.

Vilnius street © EIKA

Family Friendly.

If we’re talking about work/life balance, we can’t forget to mention families. You want to live in a place that’s perfect to build a family. And so far, we’ve seen that Lithuania ticks a lot of boxes. There’s plentiful nature and a well-established outdoor lifestyle. Commuting is not an issue, so you won’t find that that will cut into your valuable family time. What else? You’ll find that Vilnius, Kaunas, and Klaipėda have ample activities on offer. Hot air ballooning over the city, a day at a toy museum, even a trip to the ski slopes – Vilnius has it all, while Kaunas can offer amazing art galleries (some even in the open), a devil museum, and a fun funicular. Klaipėda meanwhile offers sculptures, a sea museum, and even beaches.  And let’s not forget education. The main cities in particular have a wide range of affordable and quality private schools and kindergartens that provide world-class tuition in a range of languages.

Safe, reliable, and growing.

But of course, top of mind when talking about a work/life balance, is how safe and stable your surroundings are. And here again, Lithuania scores high. The country is in the top 25% of the safest countries in the world, according to the 2022 Global Peace Index. A proud and dedicated member of both NATO and the EU, Lithuania also currently has one of the most resilient economies in the region. Meanwhile, it continues to grow in dynamic business sectors like Fintech and Gaming, and the country is home to centre’s that service the international operations of such global giants as Moody’s, Nasdaq, and Thermofisher.

Restaurant in Kaunas © A. Aleksandravičius

So, there you have it. If you’re looking for a place where you can slow things down, take a breath, and enjoy your work more, come to Lithuania. Your career, your health, and your happiness, will be all the better for it.