Achieving work-life balance: International executives thrive in Helsinki

Discover work-life balance in Finland – the happiest country in the world. Hear from global business executives who’ve embraced the 90 Day Finn programme, exploring the city’s diverse workforce, innovative tech sector, and renowned education system, all while enjoying ample time for hobbies, socialising, and relaxation amidst Finland’s breathtaking natural landscapes.

4 min read

Carmen Nguyen

Want to enjoy the best worklife balance in the world?

Find out why Helsinki is a place for a good life.

Embracing a healthy work-life balance

In today’s digital era, living and working are no longer confined to the same location. Executives and professionals worldwide are increasingly seeking opportunities to embrace a global lifestyle while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Helsinki has emerged as a top choice for these international business professionals, offering a unique blend of professional opportunities and family benefits.

Gavin Westwood, Senior Vice President at HCL Technologies, shares his journey, “I’m British, but I’ve lived in many different countries. For the past ten years, Finland has been my home of choice due to its work and family benefits.” With extensive experience in technology companies, Westwood affirms that Helsinki is an ideal city for tech professionals. “Helsinki boasts a professional, highly educated, and diverse workforce, where English is widely spoken. Its excellent travel connections are crucial for anyone working in a global enterprise.”

Helsinki boasts a professional, highly educated, and diverse workforce, where English is widely spoken. Its excellent travel connections are crucial for anyone working in a global enterprise.

Gavin Westwood, Senior Vice President at HCL Technologies

Innovative ventures in Helsinki

The allure of Helsinki as a destination for international business executives continues to grow, with the introduction of initiatives like the 90 Day Finn Programme. The programme offers a unique opportunity for professionals like Maya Markovich from California and Holda Crocker from Oregon to experience life in Finland’s vibrant capital.

Maya Markovich, with a background spanning venture capital, law, behavioural science, and change management, has found Helsinki to be the perfect setting for her multifaceted expertise. “Finland’s reputation for excellence in education, sustainability, a rapidly developing tech sector, and shared progressive values drew us to the 90 Day Finn programme,” says Markovich. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to bring together the threads of our experience in a new way.”

Respect for natural resources is deeply ingrained in Finnish culture, with a genuine commitment to sustainability goals

Holda Crocker, International Sales Engineer, Orenco Systems

Holda Crocker, an international sales engineer for Orenco Systems, is particularly interested in Finland’s water industry. “Respect for natural resources is deeply ingrained in Finnish culture, with a genuine commitment to sustainability goals,” she says. “I’m eager to connect with water resource professionals in Finland and explore the European wastewater and water reuse industry from a Northern European perspective.”

A rich learning experience

Helsinki not only offers a great work environment but also fosters a culture of lifelong learning. The world-famous Finnish education system excites international professionals with school-aged children, including those arriving through the 90 Day Finn programme.

Matt, Maya Markovich’s husband, looks forward to delving into Finland’s EdTech landscape, leveraging his experience in the sector and previous work with major clients like Google for Education. Similarly, Holda Crocker values Finland’s emphasis on lifelong learning, as she aspires to learn the Finnish language while living in the country.

Gavin Westwood expresses delight at the enthusiasm shown by participants of the 90 Day Finn programme regarding Finland’s education system. He points out that the education experience extends beyond the school environment, offering rich cultural and intellectual growth opportunities.

Experiencing Finland’s famed work-life balance

Helsinki’s reputation as the happiest country in the world, as per the World Happiness Report, is no coincidence. The city has built a robust infrastructure that supports the well-being of both individuals and society.

Westwood highlights, “You see where your taxes go here. You see the great healthcare system, the efficient transportation network, the fantastic education. You see where your money goes in society and how everything just works.”

According to Work in Finland, 50% of employees work between 35 to 40 hours per week, with only one-sixth working over 50 hours. Typically, employees follow a Monday-to-Friday work schedule, leaving nights and weekends free. This setup allows ample time for hobbies, socialising, and relaxation amidst Finland’s world-renowned nature.

Markovich shares her perspective on work-life balance, saying, “To me, work-life balance is the ability to focus on enjoyable and challenging work when it’s time to work, but fully disconnect from work to focus on family, health, relaxation, and cultural enrichment when it is time for that.” She looks forward to adopting a different approach to life priorities, especially after the impact of COVID-19 on the corporate culture.

Crocker, an international sales engineer with responsibilities across different time zones, emphasises the importance of prioritising family time. She appreciates how Finnish society values and supports this approach, which contributes to a sense of well-being and life satisfaction.

Embrace the Helsinki Experience

Helsinki stands as a beacon of hope for international business executives seeking the ultimate work-life balance. The 90 Day Finn programme has opened doors for professionals like Maya Markovich, and Holda Crocker to explore the city’s enriching work opportunities and experience the happiness that Finland’s capital exudes.

Discover the magic of Helsinki, where professional success and personal fulfilment harmoniously coexist, and where the pursuit of happiness is not just an ideal but a way of life.

About 90 Day Finn programme

90 Day Finn programme was designed to provide the opportunity to international investors, founders, corporate executives, event organisers and tech talents to live and find opportunities in Finland for three full months. As part of the programme, we provide support for the 90-day relocation, tailored services based on your business needs and guidance for obtaining long-term residency.

Group shot of the 2022 90 Day Finns and their families
@Peter Forsgård

Contact Helsinki Partners

If you are interested in learning more about Helsinki and its possibilities – please contact us via the form here. We’ll make sure to get back to you within a few working days.

Juhana Hurtig