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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The 10 best U.S. cities for work-life balance

How great is it to have balance in life?  Just as we try at Renewable Now to help bring balance to the environment and economy, so, too, do individuals need to achieve stability in all aspects of their lives.  Of course, the sooner, the better.

Where do you live?   Can you find peace within the daily demands of life?  Are their places that grace equity in life, and place a strong emphasis on quality of life?  This article say's an unequivocal, "YES".

Our ecosystems, too, are under stress.  We battle contamination in food, water supplies, air quality degradation and  multiple environmental on onslaughts.   We self-inflict punishment on our systems as well.  Those living in these areas, or similar conditions, should feel good about the many advantages you enjoy.  Those outside these "best" meccas should strive to create as many of these positive conditions as possible within our means and geography.

We don't advocate working less--we love work.  We simply encourage everyone to work smarter and find your own way of reducing stress and adding enjoyment.

Having a positive work-life balance isn't totally dependent on your job; where you live can also play a role.
Bloomington, Indiana, tops this year's ranking of the best cities for work-life balance, according to the finance site NerdWallet. Home to Indiana University, the top employer in the region, Bloomington was crowned the best city for work-life balance because of the low number of average weekly hours worked, as well as its shorter average commute times.
"Workers who seek a healthy work-life balance can reduce stress and improve the quality of their lives," Divya Raghaven, a strategy associate at NerdWallet, wrote on the company's blog.
NerdWallet figured its rankings of 536 U.S. cities based on four factors: the mean hours worked per week by an average employee in each city, the average daily commute time, as well as the median earnings for full-time, year-round workers and the median rent in each city.
A common theme among the highest-ranked cities is that seven of the top 10 are home to major colleges or universities. Rounding out this year's 10 best cities for work-life balance are:
  • Provo, Utah — Employees in Provo average 30.9-hour workweeks, the lowest of all the 536 cities in the study. Brigham Young University is located in Provo and is among its top employers.
  • Gainesville, Florida — The average Gainesville employee works just 32.5 hours a week. A major employer there is the University of Florida, the eighth-largest university in the United States.
  • Eau Claire, Wisconsin — In addition to a workweek with fewer hours, Eau Claire employees spend less time commuting and have a relatively low cost of living. The home-improvement chain Menards is headquartered in Eau Claire and is one of the city's major employers.
  • Tuscaloosa, Alabama — Besides being home to the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa is a manufacturing, service and retail hub. Employees there average just 33.1-hour workweeks.
  • Iowa City, Iowa – Employees inIowa City work an average of 34.1 hours a week and spend just 17.2 minutes on their daily commute. The University of Iowa is the largest employer in Iowa City.
  • College Station, Texas– College Station is home to Texas A&M University, one of the largest institutions for higher education in the nation.Residents there work an average of 34.1 hours each week and have an average commute of 17.1 minutes.
  • Eugene, Oregon – Employees in Eugene work an average of 34 hours a week and have median earnings of $42,288. Top employers in Eugene include PeaceHealth Medical Group and the University of Oregon.
  • Bellingham, Washington — Workers in Bellingham spend an average of 33.4 hours a week on the job and have average commute times of just 17.5 minutes.
  • Kalamazoo, Michigan — Employees in Kalamazoo work an average of 33.6 hours a week and spend an average of $866 a month on rent. Kalamazoo is home to companies in the pharmaceutical, life sciences and manufacturing industries.
Some of the cities that ranked among the worst for work-life balance include Dale City, Virginia; Waldorf and Germantown, Maryland; Menifee and Tracy, California; and New York City.

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