In August 2019, the 2019 Work-life balance index listed Helsinki as the best city for work-life balance. 40 metropolitan cities were chosen to take part in a study that included three main factors determining how well the city was able to support the lives of city residents and relieve work related stress and intensity. The factors forming the study comprised of work intensity, society and institutions (including e.g. healthcare) and city livability.

To top it off, Finland was also chosen the happiest country in the world not once but three years in a row, in 20182019 and 2020 by The UN Sustainable Development Solutions, the organization conducting World Happiness reports. And the mighty PISA survey conducted in 2000 that brought the finnish education system the most desired in the world.

It seems like the Finns are living the dream these days. Long gone are the grey days of Finnish famine in the 60’s. The Finns are able to have longer vacations than most of the world, enjoy the world’s cleanest air out in the nature, work flexible hours, commute to work in no-time, have kids in a safe environment where parents are paid for their maternal and paternal leaves and even have access to public healthcare where e.g. every child gets dental health care for free until they’re 18.

Sounds like the perfect place to live in

And it is the perfect place to live in many ways. The world’s happiest country has just been blinded by its own success. In a country where a majority of the people have all the possibilities in the world to live the best life they’ve ever had, we’ve never had so many challenges in balancing out our own life.

And that’s where the project initially got started.

When Helsinki was chosen to have the best work-life balance in all of the metropolitan cities included in the survey, we were excited to share the news with our friends and family. After a while, having had profound discussions with likeminded people around the capital area in Helsinki, we soon realized that the survey results were not matching with reality. After all it was just an index outlining the conditions we have without mirroring the reality where most of us live in.

Next up, we both will share our personal stories in a nutshell so you know a bit more about where we come from.

Mirka’s story in brief

I have spent most of my professional life in corporates. I started off in banking followed by two different positions in different banks, from where I stopped by to see what’s the startup fuzz all about. I have been lucky to have had such great places to work in my past, they’ve taught me a lot. Nowadays I work only four days a week giving myself some time to do other activities and spread my interest in other areas as well such as yoga, meditation and reading.

In these upcoming blog articles I am thrilled to share my thoughts about topics I find insightful and useful when it comes to balancing out our busy lives.

Mikko’s story in brief

My professional life has been mainly entrepreneurial. Most of my career I have been working in companies which I have co-founded. One out of the three companies successfully merged with a bigger company in the same industry. Two others taught me a lesson and offered some perspective, as I tend to put it.

I experienced some of the toughest times in my life just before turning 30, a few years after both of my parents had died and one year after one my companies almost had filed for bankruptcy.

Today, I am especially excited about this Work-Life Balance in Helsinki blog project as a new learning platform. I envision this blog to enable learning for me and for you as a reader. Read more about my thoughts related to this here.