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Asia-Pacific: Work Intensity and Health Infrastructure Key in 2022 Liveability Index

Only one Asia Pacific city has appeared in the top 10 of the most recent Kisi City Liveability index, with three appearing in the bottom 10.

Building on the reports from 2019 and 2021, the index aims to show which cities offer the healthiest work-life balance for its citizens.   The index reviews three categories:

  1. Work intensity.  This includes the suitability of the city for remote working, as well as an evaluation of overwork, holiday allowances, parental leave provisions and vacation days taken.  The index also considers unemployment figures, impact of inflation and the percentage of citizens working multiple jobs.

  2. Societal and institutional support. This element examines the impact of the pandemic, as well as the quality of healthcare, mental healthcare, and the equality of access.

  3. Liveability.   As inflation increases globally, this element assesses not only each city’s affordability, but also access to cultural activities, leisure facilities, outdoor spaces and air quality.   

The top ranked countries include several Scandinavian cities, such as Oslo, Helsinki and Copenhagen.  Sydney in Australia has come in at #8, with remote working, parental leave provisions, healthcare, outdoor space and air quality helping to push the city up from #10 in 2021.  Sydney pipped its southern cousin Melbourne, who came in at #12 (rising from #15 in 2021).

Unfortunately, a number of Asian cities have appeared in the bottom 10 countries – including Hong Kong (#93), Bangkok (#96) and Kuala Lumpur (#98). While Singapore (#45) is considered the best country in the work for implementing Remote Working and #5 for Covid impact, it’s ranking at #97 for Overwork impacts the overall position.  In fact, Asia Pacific countries are overrepresented in the Overwork element, with South Korea (#89), Bangkok (#93), Tokyo (#94), Singapore (#97), Kuala Lumpur (#98), and Hong Kong (#99).  

Asian cities demonstrate the highs and the lows.  Kuala Lumpur is the worst location with respect to employees holding multiple jobs, while Hong Kong is the best city with respect to access to Mental Healthcare. Auckland is the best city in the world for inclusivity and tolerance, and Tokyo the best with respect to inflation.  All factors, sources and scoring methods are available on the Kisi website.

Outlook for Employers: Ranking tables do not tell an employer about the lived experience of individual employees, nor should they be used to encourage competition between cities. However, they can be a helpful prompt for a conversation about healthy work-life balance – particularly for those managing remote teams across the globe. 

Published on: June 15, 2022

Authors: Michelle Swinden

Topics: China, Japan & Asia-Pacific

Michelle Swinden

Executive Director, Asia-Pacific, HR Policy Global

Detailed Bio

Contact Michelle Swinden LinkedIn

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