(BPT) - More than 30 million Americans have quit their jobs since the spring of 2021 in what has been called “The Great Resignation.” People are looking for opportunities to explore passion projects, higher wages, expanded benefits or a better work-life balance as they reimagine their professional futures. Some may also be looking to “turn over a new leaf,” and Iceland is ideal for that next adventure.
Iceland sponsors a growing hub of innovation and technology companies. These companies and creators are developing forward-looking solutions to global challenges like sustainable energy and climate change. Increasingly, international companies are looking to Iceland as a business destination.
Here are seven reasons why you should consider Iceland for your next professional move:
1. Good work-life balance
Icelanders value a healthy work-life balance. In 2015, Iceland began trials that shortened a typical workweek to about 35 hours spread across four days. Analysis shows that employees who transitioned to a shorter workweek maintained or increased their productivity and improved their well-being and work-life balance, with workers saying they felt more positive and happier. Today, about 85 percent of workers in Iceland are adapting to slightly shorter work schedules, prompting companies around the world to rethink the standard 40-hour schedule. Many workers in Iceland benefit from short commutes as well. A typical commute seldom exceeds 30 minutes so travel times are reasonable relative to much of the world.
2. Stunning natural landscapes
You are never far from the sea or the mountains in Iceland. It’s easy to leave the office at the end of the workday and get outside and go for a hike, especially during the summer when there is sunlight nearly 24 hours a day. From the Midnight Sun to the Northern Lights, there are countless sightseeing opportunities, including hiking and biking trails, horseback riding, golf courses and even surfing! One of the best aspects of living in Iceland is the swimming pools, usually heated with geothermal water. Most neighborhoods have a local swimming pool with outside jacuzzies called “hot pots” (heitir pottar), and water slides for children.
3. Vibrant culture and community
Iceland has a strong sense of history, culture and community, which anyone living there will experience firsthand. Iceland maintains a cutting-edge culture of contemporary art, music, design and literature. Iceland is home to 266 museums and numerous annual events, including DesignMarch, a progressive design and innovation festival, and Iceland Airwaves, an immersive, multi-genre music festival as well as Iceland Innovation Week.
4. Gender equality & LGBTQ pride
According to the latest report from World Economic Forum, Iceland is the most gender-equal country in the world. In 2018, Iceland instituted Equal Pay Certification, which requires workplaces to prove that they pay employees the same wage for the same job without discriminating based on sex. Iceland follows the Nordic model of generous parental leave, one year in total that is split evenly between parents. Iceland also ranks first in the world on the latest LGBTI Global Acceptance Index, which measures the national level of acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. Iceland supports and encourages diversity.
5. A hub for innovation & hiring
Iceland is a top producer of innovative solutions across sectors, ranking among the top nations in the latest World Economic Forum World Talent Ranking. Iceland has unveiled plans for a one-of-a-kind knowledge-sharing community dedicated to innovation right downtown in its capital city. Reykjavík Science City will build upon the thriving microcosm of universities, companies, start-ups and healthcare research to create an innovation hub for green-tech, blue-tech, life sciences, as well as thriving gaming, and fin-tech companies. According to a recent Business Iceland survey, Icelandic companies plan to hire 800 specialists in 2022, including programmers, marketing and design professionals.
6. Safe and clean
Iceland has a low crime rate, with violent crimes practically non-existent. In fact, Icelandic police do not carry guns, and the country tops the latest Global Peace Index from Institute for Economics & Peace. Iceland’s commitment to green energy and the lack of polluting industries have left the water, soil and environment remarkably pristine. The clean air, pure water and a diet rich in fish have helped Icelanders reach an average life expectancy at birth of 83 years.
7. Sustainable, low carbon footprint
Iceland aims for carbon neutrality by 2040 and renewable energy accounts for 100 percent of Iceland’s electricity and house-heating needs. Icelandic companies are pioneering sustainable, circular methods for everything from food production to technology. As more companies worldwide prioritize sustainable operations, some working in computing and film production are also moving operations to Iceland to lower their carbon footprints.
Whether you’re a business owner looking to lower your company’s carbon footprint or an expert eager for a new adventure, you may consider factoring Iceland into your professional future. Learn more from Reykjavik Science City.