This Is the Best State for Work-Life Balance

The top state may surprise you.

When it comes to work life balance, the majority of American workers—60%—say achieving it is a struggle. Along with the acceleration of trends like quiet quitting and burnout (more than 75% of workers reported experiencing burn-out at their jobs) in recent years, prioritizing work-life balance is more important than ever.

What some may not know, however, is that this can be dependent on where you live.

Some U.S. states are easier to live and work in than others. That’s why employee services company, Remote, decided to look at the data to create a definitive ranking.

Through data analysis, Remote created a nationwide ranking of the top states “in which to live and work in the United States for a strong life-work balance.” The results may not be what you’re expecting.

What is work-life balance, exactly?

Most of us have a general idea of what work-life balance means. But particularly, what is the working definition of work-life balance?

According to Remote’s definition, “life-work balance is a working culture that understands that life should come before work.” The company goes on to say that it’s a general culture in which employees can succeed in their career without that affecting other areas of their lives. Those areas may refer to aspects like health (physical and emotional), family, leisure time and wellbeing.

What factors were considered to determine the nationwide ranking of work-life balance?

Woman Works from home with cat and colleagues Drazen_/Getty Images

In order to calculate which state has the best work-life balance, Remote took the following “critical factors” of each state into account:

  • Healthcare
  • Minimum wage (USD per hour)
  • Maternity leave and payment rate
  • Statutory annual leave
  • Sick pay
  • Average hours worked per week
  • Overall happiness levels on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the happiest)
  • LGBTQ+ inclusivity on a scale of 0-9 (with 9 reflecting the highest inclusivity rating)

Then, Remote conducted an index data analysis to highlight the ease of ability to achieve work-life balance in each state. Remote clarifies that these factors shape the ecosystem regardless of in-person, hybrid or remote work. Although, the company does acknowledge that “hybrid or remote work is a great start.”

What state has the best work-life balance?

The number one state with the best work-life balance may come as a surprise. After all, some may expect the largest states or ones like California or Florida—full of beaches and sunshine—to offer the best work-life balance.

However, Remote found that the top state for work-life balance happens to be Connecticut! The quaint East Coast state offers plenty of benefits that allow it to lead the national ranking. In fact, these are the top 10 states with the best work-life balance:

  1. Connecticut
  2. Washington
  3. New York
  4. California
  5. Rhode Island
  6. New Jersey
  7. Oregon
  8. Vermont
  9. Maine
  10. Massachusetts

From coast to coast, across the board these states tend to offer the highest minimum wage nation-wide, as well as mandatory sick pay and inclusive work environments.

Why is Connecticut the best state for work-life balance?

According to Remote, Connecticut clenches the trophy for best work-life balance state for a few reasons. First, because its minimum wage is $14 per hour, which is 34% higher than the nationwide minimum wage average overall. Additionally, Connecticut offers 12 weeks of paid maternity leave at a 95% maternity payment rate. Plus, the state promotes high levels of LGBTQ+ inclusivity.

How did the other states rank?

Here’s the full list:

  1. Connecticut
  2. Washington
  3. New York
  4. California
  5. Rhode Island
  6. New Jersey
  7. Oregon
  8. Vermont
  9. Maine
  10. Massachusetts
  11. Arizona
  12. Colorado
  13. Maryland
  14. Hawaii
  15. New Mexico
  16. Michigan
  17. Minnesota
  18. Alaska
  19. New Hampshire
  20. Iowa
  21. Missouri
  22. Montana
  23. North Dakota
  24. Delaware
  25. Illinois
  26. Utah
  27. Nevada
  28. Virginia
  29. Arkansas
  30. Florida
  31. Nebraska
  32. Kansas
  33. Pennsylvania
  34. Kentucky
  35. Ohio
  36. Idaho
  37. South Carolina
  38. West Virginia
  39. Wisconsin
  40. Oklahoma
  41. Texas
  42. Wyoming
  43. Mississippi
  44. North Carolina
  45. Indiana
  46. Georgia
  47. Alabama
  48. South Dakota
  49. Tennessee
  50. Louisiana

Nonetheless, Remote encourages employers to offer a healthy life-work balance. “Businesses that commit to ensuring their employees can enjoy a healthy life-work balance are likely to have more engaged—and consequently more productive—workforce,” the organization writes.

Next, read these work-life balance quotes to inspire and celebrate healthy boundaries

Sources:

  • Remote: “USA Life-Work Balance Index by state”

Jessica Kaplan
Jessica Kaplan is an assistant editor who has written lifestyle content for Reader’s Digest, Family Handyman and The Healthy. Her expertise includes travel and restaurant news. These days, she creates timely trend content for Taste of Home. When she’s not writing, Jessica is bound to be planning out her next trip, trying out a new coffee spot or listening to a podcast.