It’s something we all could probably work on, I know I need to. Work-life balance. I’ll stand by the belief that employers can get more productivity out of workers in a smaller amount of time. Burned-out employees who lack motivation and aren’t taking care of their physical and mental health are not helping companies grow and thrive. On the contrary, employees who have healthy lives outside of the office show up energized and ready to take on the day. It can be hard, in the work-centered environment that we live in, to find the appropriate work-life balance. Especially if you are in a career where the more you work the more money you earn. So where are the best places to work if you want time to have your own life outside of work? After all, they say work to live don’t live to work. Well, our friends at CoworkingCafe ranked some of the largest U.S. cities by their capacity to foster a healthy work/life balance. These rankings are based on economic, cultural, and infrastructural factors, as well as their psychological influence. And two North Carolina cities ranked among the best, for a more positive work-life balance.

It’s not Charlotte, so if you’re reading this is the Queen City stressed out (as I am) don’t throw something across the room. I genuinely think it being dark when I wake up, and by the time I get home from work is making my days feel overwhelming only to work. Luckily the days are getting longer and daylight savings time will be here soon. To find the top cities in the country that offered the best foundations for a healthy work/life balance CoworkingCafe looked at 100 cities with at least 200,000 residents. They assigned each location scores based on mental health metrics, such as the amount of green space and recreational amenities; air quality; and, of course, work hours. Cities were also scored on income, affordability, remote working prevalence, commute times, and how many residents had health insurance. Then they combined and weighted these scores to create an overall work/life balance index. This index focuses heavily on mental health, as it should. Keep reading to see which two North Carolina cities offer the best work-life balance. Read the full CoworkingCafe study here.

  • 20. Pittsburgh, PA

    Pittsburgh

    Mental Health Score: 94

    Affordability Score: 18

    Remote Work Score: 79

    Commute Score: 56

    Overall Score: 64.4

  • 19. Richmond, VA

    Virginia

    Mental Health Score: 82

    Affordability Score: 37

    Remote Work Score: 64

    Commute Score: 81

    Overall Score: 64.8

  • 18. St. Petersburg, FL

    St Pete

    St. Petersburg, Florida, USA downtown city skyline at twilight on the bay.

    Mental Health Score: 62

    Affordability Score: 64

    Remote Work Score: 77

    Commute Score: 59

    Overall Score: 65.3

  • 17. Albuquerque, NM

    Albuquerque, NM

    Hot air balloons drifting over the Rio Grande river in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    Mental Health Score: 78

    Affordability Score: 69

    Remote Work Score: 47

    Commute Score: 75

    Overall Score: 68.8

  • 16. Virginia Beach, VA

    Virginia Beach

    Virginia Beach Boardwalk

    Mental Health Score: 61

    Affordability Score: 99

    Remote Work Score: 44

    Commute Score: 62

    Overall Score: 69.1

  • 15. Greensboro, NC

    Greensboro skyline

    Greensboro, North Carolina skyline from the west. (Photo: Raynor Garey/Getty Images)

    Mental Health Score: 91

    Affordability Score: 61

    Remote Work Score: 33

    Commute Score: 78

    Overall Score: 69.1

  • 14. Henderson, NV

    Nevada

    Mental Health Score: 59

    Affordability Score: 91

    Remote Work Score: 63

    Commute Score: 57

    Overall Score: 69.2

  • 13. Portland, OR

    Portland OR

    Portland, Oregon, USA downtown skyline with Mt. Hood at dawn.

    Mental Health Score: 87

    Affordability Score: 41

    Remote Work Score: 91

    Commute Score: 41

    Overall Score: 69.4

  • 12. Scottsdale, AZ

    Scottsdale

    View of Scottsdale, Arizona’s waterfront in downtown Scottsdale

    Mental Health Score: 37

    Affordability Score: 95

    Remote Work Score: 100

    Commute Score: 82

    Overall Score: 71.5

  • 11. Lexington, KY

    Lexington

    Aerial view of Jacobson Park Lake and Richmond Road in Lexington, Kentucky

    Mental Health Score: 84

    Affordability Score: 83

    Remote Work Score: 31

    Commute Score: 86

    Overall Score: 73.3

  • 10. Chesapeake, VA

    Virginia

    A roadside sign welcomes travelers along a rural road to the state of Virginia

    Mental Health Score: 83

    Affordability Score: 100

    Remote Work Score: 36

    Commute Score: 35

    Overall Score: 73.9

  • 9. Irvine, CA

    California

    Mental Health Score: 93

    Affordability Score: 53

    Remote Work Score: 93

    Commute Score: 45

    Overall Score: 76.2

  • 8. Omaha, NE

    Omaha

    Omaha downtown

    Mental Health Score: 77

    Affordability Score: 94

    Remote Work Score: 45

    Commute Score: 93

    Overall Score: 77.3

  • 7. Columbus, OH

    Ohio

    State of Ohio flags waving in front of the Statehouse in Columbus, OG.

    Mental Health Score: 81

    Affordability Score: 87

    Remote Work Score: 61

    Commute Score: 76

    Overall Score: 78.3

  • 6. St. Paul, MN

    St Paul

    St. Paul, Minnesota night skyline along the Mississippi River

    Mental Health Score: 99

    Affordability Score: 62

    Remote Work Score: 76

    Commute Score:58

    Overall Score: 79.2

  • 5. Des Moines, IA

    Iowa

    Iowa state of United States flag on flagpole textile cloth fabric waving on the top sunrise mist fog

    Mental Health Score: 92

    Affordability Score: 89

    Remote Work Score: 32

    Commute Score: 94

    Overall Score: 79.3

  • 4. Raleigh, NC

    raleigh

    Mental Health Score: 69

    Affordability Score: 97

    Remote Work Score: 88

    Commute Score: 54

    Overall Score: 79.7

  • 3. Lincoln, NE

    Nebraska

    Mental Health Score: 98

    Affordability Score: 92

    Remote Work Score: 20

    Commute Score: 97

    Overall Score: 80.5

  • 2. Madison, WI

    Madison

    Madison, Wisconsin, USA downtown skyline on Lake Monona in the daytime.

    Mental Health Score: 100

    Affordability Score: 70

    Remote Work Score: 69

    Commute Score: 91

    Overall Score: 83.9

  • 1. Minneapolis, MN

    Minneapolis

    Image of Minneapolis downtown skyline at sunset.

    Mental Health Score: 90

    Affordability Score: 84

    Remote Work Score: 85

    Commute Score: 67

    Overall Score: 84.9

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