Why You Need To Leave The Office And Get A Life

By Olivia Atkinson
5th May 2016

Denmark work life balance, Denmark working week, 33 hour working week, work life balance

Fact: Kiwis work like absolute Trojans. Not to blow smoke up our own arses or anything, but we work bloody hard. We do unpaid overtime like it’s the norm, bust our guts to get ahead and fob off our mates/loved ones/cat because we ‘have to work late again’. So it would only make sense that we had enough downtime to refuel and de-stress, right? Ha! Wouldn’t that be a dream. 

But then there’s ol’ Denmark which is on to a very, very, VERY good thing. The official working week is 37 hours but studies show that the average Dane works just 33 hours a week, leaving them with a whopping 135 hours to do what ever the hell they want. Dammit, Denmark! You know how to make a country jealous. 

In light of this disheartening discovery, we’re left with two options. Pack our bags, say adios to Aotearoa and move to Denmark OR apply some Danish work-life balance hacks to our own lives. And since most of us will probably have to settle for the latter, we’ve found out how to stop work from eating our souls. Less overtime = more happiness = less stress… you get it idea. 

Here are six ways to nail the Danish work-life balance

Literally get up and go 

If you don’t have anything pressing (even if you do, it can probably wait), leave work when you’re supposed to. Most of us office workers don’t actually get paid for the work we do after 5pm, so you’re entitled to leave once the working day is done and dusted. Heck, when you hotfoot it out of the office, you might even encourage another fellow workaholic to leave on time too. 

Remember that time is money 

None of us mind doing to odd late night or extra hour here or there, but when you consistently give your employer time for free, you are basically handing over cash monies. 

Get a life outside of work 

It’s all too easy to let your job hijack your life, especially if it’s a job you love. However, you run the risk of resenting it if you don’t carve out time to do other things you love. Unfortunately for us work fiends, it has been said that working late can be shocking for your health, put hardship on your relationships and make you into a ‘Can’t sorry, working late’ party pooper. Rule of thumb: having somewhere better to go after work is what will get you out of the office. 

Fake a family 

This one might seem like something you’d do for lols, but it’s actually legit. Danish work-life balance expert Martin Bjergeaard suggest everyone (regardless of age) ‘pretends’ they have sprogs so you can slip away early to ‘pick up the kids’. Yolo. 

Trust yourself  

Your employer hired you because they thought you were more than capable for the job. And y’know what? You are. You have everything you need to get shit done within working hours. Once you fall into the ‘finish it at home’ trap, you’ll struggle to leave work at work. 

Remember: The world ain’t gonna crumble if you leave on time 

Seriously, what are you still doing here? 

Now that you’re out of the office (hurrah!), here’s some great things to do

Image credit: Devil Wears Prada 

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