Lonely Planet Writer

The top country for working abroad offers better work-life balance

If you want to start a new job abroad, Germany is the best place to go to further your career, according to a new report.

Germany is the top country for international workers. Image by Tom Werner/Getty Images

International bank HSBC has announced its list of the best countries in the world to work abroad and Germany is top for “ambitious globetrotters looking to further their careers in 2019”. Based on a survey of more than 22,000 international workers, career ambition ranked as the top reason why people settle abroad. In the latest ranking, Germany beat out its neighbours like Sweden and Switzerland for the first time.

Museum island on Spree river and Alexanderplatz TV tower in center of Berlin. Image by ©Jonathan Stokes/Lonely Planet

According to HSBC, not only do 65% of the respondents rate it as the most productive workplace, 70% of foreign workers say that their work-life balance improved while living there. With some companies even banning employees from reading emails on the weekend, Germany becomes the second-best working culture in the world, ranking behind Sweden. The highly-regulated labour market also means that 73% of overseas workers say they have better job security after moving to Germany.

If you want work-life balance, Germany may be the place to go, but the second-place country may be perfect for those who want better pay. Bahrain rose ten places in HSBC’s ranking, after 77% of respondents say their earning prospects are better there than at home. Most international workers get a number of financial allowances to cover expenses – like accommodation (69%), airfare (68%), and medical (64%).  

London is a great spot for career advancement. Image by ©Matt Munro/Lonely Planet

In third place is the UK, which rose six places in the ranking to third. Most respondents said they made gains in work-life balance, career progression and earning prospects in the UK. According to respondents, the UK is the best country for those who want to learn new skills and the fourth best to climb the career ladder, just behind behind Hong Kong, USA and Singapore.

Learn more about the rankings here