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The World’s 10 Best Cities to Call Home

The World’s 10 Best Cities to Call Home

Looking for a change of pace and want to upgrade the city you call home? Try any of these top ten most livable locals in the world and you won’t be disappointed! These rankings are from the Economist Intelligence Unit and are driven by data regarding a host of livability factors for 140 cities across the globe, so you can be sure these really are the 10 best cities around.

10. Auckland

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    New Zealand’s biggest city is also its most livable! With 32% of the country’s people packed into one place you’d think things would get claustrophobic, but not in Auckland. When the hustle and bustle gets to be too much, just take a stroll along the world famous harbor front and find out why Auckland is nicknamed the “City of Sails.”

    9. Perth

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      The world’s most isolated large city is also no slouch in the livability department. It may be more than 2,100 kilometers (1,300 miles) away from any other city with more than 100,000 people, but Perth knows how to party all on its own. With an average daily temperature in the comfortable mid-60s Fahrenheit (19° Celsius), Perth won’t sweat you out like most Australian locals, either. Just keep an eye out for sharks if you hit the beach.

      8. Helsinki

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        One of only two European cities to find its way into the top ten, Helsinki is where to live if you want to take advantage of everything winter has to offer. Being the northernmost city on the list you might expect bitter cold and blizzards in Finland’s capital, but the average temperature in the winter months only sits around 23° F (-5° C), thanks to the Baltic Sea. That makes Helsinki the perfect place to do some cross country skiing before heating back up in one of Finland’s famous saunas.

        7. Sydney

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          If cold really isn’t your thing, maybe Sydney is the place for you. The world’s seventh most livable city sits on what is arguably the world’s most beautiful natural harbor. Rent a boat and explore some of Sydney Harbor’s 317 kilometers (196 miles) of coastline before taking advantage of the nightlife in Australia’s most populous city.

          6. Adelaide

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            If you’re looking for a slightly slower pace while still enjoying many of the great benefits of Sydney, why not give Adelaide a try? With a little more than a quarter the population of its larger cousin, Adelaide hosts a terrific arts scene and a great food and wine culture. Explore the Art Gallery of South Australia before heading to either the Adelaide Festival of Arts or the renowned Fringe Festival.

            5. Calgary

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              Number five on the countdown is a winter wonderland to rival even Helsinki. If you can brave the coldest days in Calgary, the largest city on Canada’s prairies, your reward might come in the form of a warm chinook wind from the mountains raising the mercury to spring temperatures in the middle of winter. Use the summer months to check out the Calgary Stampede rodeo, or explore the Rocky Mountains a short drive west of the city center.

              4. Toronto

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                If you’re more into arts and music than cowboy culture, maybe Canada’s largest city would be a good fit. Toronto sits on the shores of Lake Ontario and boasts some of the best galleries, shopping, and music in the northern hemisphere. Don’t miss the great recreational opportunities on the islands that protect the city’s harbor, the only group of islands in the western section of Lake Ontario.

                3. Vancouver

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                  If Canada seems like your kind of place but parkas don’t flatter your figure, move to Vancouver! The crown jewel of the Pacific Northwest boasts dramatic mountains, incredible ocean views and a thriving arts scene. Vancouver is also Canada’s most environmentally minded city, with an extensive network of rooftop gardens and the beautiful Stanley Park, which allows residents to walk or bike along the city’s famous seawall for all 12 snow-free months of the year.

                  2. Vienna

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                    Europe’s most livable city may be famous as the setting for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but it is so much more than romantic monster stories. Austria’s capital and largest city has history in heaps, having been lived in continuously since 500 BC. Castles, cathedrals, museums, and wine will greet you when you arrive and make you want to stay forever.

                    1. Melbourne

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                      To find the world’s most livable city, however, we must head back to Australia to explore the streets of Melbourne. Boasting some of the country’s highest ratings for education, entertainment, healthcare, tourism, and sports, Melbourne has a lot to offer, no matter what you’re into. Take in a match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground or wander the halls of the Royal Exhibition Building, the world’s most livable city will keep you coming back for more.

                      Featured photo credit: Mariamichelle via pixabay.com

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                      Last Updated on September 28, 2020

                      The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                      The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                      At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

                      Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

                      One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

                      When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

                      So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

                      Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

                      This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

                      Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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                      When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

                      Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

                      One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

                      Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

                      An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

                      When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

                      Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

                      Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

                      We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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                      By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

                      Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

                      While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

                      I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

                      You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

                      Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

                      When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

                      Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

                      Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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                      Con #2: Less Human Interaction

                      One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

                      Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

                      Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

                      This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

                      While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

                      Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

                      Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

                      This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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                      For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

                      Con #4: Unique Distractions

                      Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

                      For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

                      To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

                      We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

                      More About Working From Home

                      Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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