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7 Reasons to Work in Denmark

  • by: Jonny Kramer
  • On: 26, Aug 2020
7 min read

The coronavirus pandemic has seen multimillions of individuals across the globe lose jobs or work contracts, placed on furlough or suffer financial or personal losses. 2020 became the year for workers around the world to re-evaluate not only their careers, but also their lifestyles and personal goals.

Half of all employees state they are intending to look for a new job after the effects of COVID-19 have stabilised, and many more are seeking a more permanent change. Better work/life balance, travel opportunities, climate and desire for more culture are some of the most popular reasons behind the drive to find a new career overseas.

Here are seven great reasons to move to Denmark.

7 Reasons Expats Love Working in Denmark

1. Work/Life Balance

Denmark tops the list of best countries for good work/life balance. The OECD index covers over 200 countries across six continents and records real-life data from real people living in these regions, rather than just government figures, to present a full picture of what it’s really like to live in different countries around the world.

Denmark achieves the highest overall score across the following areas:

  • Job vacancies and job prospects
  • Average income
  • Housing
  • Health, wellbeing and safety
  • Access to services such as healthcare and quality of services
  • Environment
  • Education
  • Civic engagement and governance
  • Community
  • Overall life satisfaction.

Danish employers value efficiency and output more than hours worked: just 2% of employees work very long hours compared to the OECD global average of 11%. Full-time workers devote 66% of their day to personal care and leisure, above the OECD average of 62%, meaning that expats and migrant workers will enjoy a better work/life balance than in their home countries.

2. Culture

According to various international studies, Danes are some of happiest people on the Earth. Danes value culture, leisure activities and family life above work, and socialising is core to everyday life. Highly educated and well informed, Danes are informal, friendly and welcoming, and have a relaxed attitude to most areas of life.

The country has a rich and artistic heritage, which has helped to develop its extensive cultural offering. Residents and visitors can enjoy many national parks, lakes and sand dunes, a plethora of museums and art collections, some of Europe’s largest festivals, LEGO amusement parks at the home of Legoland, and sites of intriguing history such as castles and royal palaces. Scandinavian architecture aims to make every inside and outside area as efficient and enjoyable as possible, to maximise the wellbeing of all those inhabiting each space.

Famed for their pastries, Danish food incorporates many traditional and modern flavours. Danish restaurants hold a total of 35 Michelin stars, more than in any other Nordic country. Street food and fresh seafood are in plentiful supply, Smørrebrød open-faced sandwiches are topped with meats and cheeses, and apple cake, buttermilk soup or Risalamande almond rice pudding round off any good meal. Although historically focused on a diet heavy in meat and fish, Danes are increasingly turning to vegetarian and vegan options, presenting a wealth of dishes to expats from around the world.

3. Economy

Despite working fewer hours than other countries, staff at Danish companies are some of the world’s most productive workers. Employees in the country are the second-most productive workers in Europe, and more productive than workers in the USA, Canada, Japan and Australia (with the USA and Japan topping the list of the world’s highest number of working hours).

Productivity per individual means a successful Danish economy. Comprising mainly of service industries, trade and manufacturing, the country’s per capita gross national product is among the highest in the world.


A Northern European location ensures expats are close to a wide variety of European travel options. Travellers can reach the airport in 20 minutes from the centre of capital city Copenhagen, and fly to the following countries within one to two hours:

  • Norway – Discover vast mountain ranges, fjords and green spaces peppered with Viking history, and enjoy outdoor activities like fishing, hiking and skiing
  • Sweden – Explore thousands of coastal islands, lush forests, royal palaces and museums
  • Germany – Enjoy North Sea beaches before jumping into the unique art and nightlife of capital Berlin
  • Netherlands – Cycle around capital Amsterdam and marvel at the region’s canals, tulip fields and world-famous Golden Age art.

In under 3 hours, flights can also take travel enthusiasts to other popular European destinations such as Belgium, France and the UK.

5. Employment Opportunities and Support

The country’s already low unemployment rate has steadily reduced every year for the past eight years. With many global companies having established local offices, there are a wide variety of jobs in Denmark across industries and sectors. Employees benefit from high autonomy and equal involvement in decision-making with a collaborative work ethos, creating high levels of job satisfaction.

The country’s unique labour market model, Flexicurity, balances the needs of employers whilst simultaneously safeguarding the welfare of employees.

The model has three core elements:

  1. Employers can hire and fire individuals whenever they wish, without excessive costs or litigation time for dismissal.
  2. Unemployment insurance is available to all under union membership: members can receive 90% of their salary for two years after being made redundant or becoming unemployed.
  3. The Government runs education and retraining programs and provides counselling services to help unemployed people get back into work as quickly as possible.

The Scandinavian welfare model (also practiced by Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland) provides a wide range of benefits to help those who need it most, as and when they need it. Healthcare and education are free and available to all, shared parental leave is generous, paid sick leave protects workers when ill, and those with long-term illnesses or disabilities receive additional financial support.

6. Environment

Denmark’s small size means residents are never more than 50km from the sea. Commuting is much easier and environmentally friendly thanks to cycle routes and sustainable transport, and close proximity between suburbs, towns and cities. With over 7000 kilometres of coastline, beach holidays are integral to life in the country, and forests and plenty of green spaces keep society and its environment healthy.

The country is also the warmest in its region. The proximity of the Gulf Stream brings warm currents and temperatures in the summer time.

7. Quality of Life

The now world-famous concept of ‘Hygge’ prioritises the comfort of the soul. The Danish life philosophy teaches a positive view of life, aiming to keep individuals in harmony with their environments and live happily amongst others. The pace of life is slower, freeing individuals from stress and enabling everyone to enjoy the most important things in life.

The country’s ethos has resulted in a very low crime rate and some of the world’s best standards of living.

Cities and towns have excellent public transport such as buses, trains and the metro system, and bicycle lanes are provided everywhere, making every journey as safe, healthy and enjoyable as possible.

Danes are legally entitled to five week’s holiday pay plus 10 bank holidays, flexible working is increasingly enabled by employers, and most employees work their allotted hours or slightly less to maximise family time.

The Scandinavian law of Jante (Janteloven) creates a collaborative ethos amongst all residents. The aim is to place society ahead of the individual in importance, refrain from jealousy or negative feelings towards others, and be open to learning and improving. Danes are very committed to volunteering, value nature and the wellbeing of others, and always offer help when needed, making for a liberal, cohesive society.

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