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These States Provide the Best Work-Life Balance

Everyone is looking for a good work-life balance, but for parents, it can make all the difference in time spent with family. Massachusetts takes the top spot. Where does your state rank?
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Updated March 28, 2024
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Image: Pressmaster | Shutterstock

For parents, a better work-life balance can make all the difference when it comes to being able to attend big events, pick your child up from school or just have a few hours more at home to spend with your little ones at night. Ultimately what company you work for makes all the difference, but it turns out some states have more options than others.

A new report from AI productivity platform Plus Docs sought to determine which states provided better opportunities for parents as a whole. To do so, the company analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics data and looked at average weekly hours worked (full and part-time) and average weekly earnings, to give each state an index score out of 100 for how good—or bad—of a work/life balance they have.

According to the report, the best state for work-life balance? Massachusetts. The Bay State takes the top spot on the list, with a work-life balance score of 60.29 out of 100. With the highest average weekly income ($1,329.02 per week) and, as a result, the highest average hourly wages ($39.32 per hour), the people of Massachusetts were found to be among the states with the lowest average weekly hours worked, only working on average 33.8 hours per week.

In second place is Washington, with a work-life balance score of 58.32 out of 100. Seeing the second-highest average weekly wage of any state at $1,313.70, Washington also ranks second only to Massachusetts in terms of average hourly wage, with an average hourly wage of $37.75. The people of Washington were found to only work 34.8 hours per week on average, equating to just 6 hours and 57 minutes per day over a standard 5-day work week.

Third place on the list goes to California, with a work-life balance score of 55.71. Californians were found to work 34.8 hours per week on average, bringing home an average weekly wage of $1,291.68 – or $37.44 per hour, only slightly behind Washington’s average hourly wage of $37.75.

New York takes the fourth spot on the list, with a work-life balance score of 43.98 out of 100. Notably, New York sees the third-lowest weekly hours worked on average—tied with Wisconsin and Hawaii at only 33.3. These lower hours are likely attributed to New York City’s numerous part-time and freelance jobs. New Yorkers were found to take home $1,192.81 per week on average, equating to an hourly wage of $35.82. Rounding out the top five is Alaska, with a work-life balance score of 42.21 out of 100 and average earnings of $1,179.85 per week.

Here are the top 10 best states for work-life balance based on their overall scores.

Top 10 States for Work-Life Balance

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Washington
  3. California
  4. New York
  5. Alaska
  6. Minnesota
  7. Connecticut
  8. Maryland
  9. New Jersey
  10. Colorado

If you constantly feel like you are struggling to maintain a work-life balance, you aren’t alone. Take some inspiration from Olympian and reality TV star Sanya Richards-Ross on how she finds balance in her busy schedule.

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