The Czech capital Prague offers the highest quality of life of any city in Emerging Europe. The city is ranked 69th (of 231 cities worldwide) in a new survey published on March 20 by the human resource consultancy Mercer. Vienna, for the 9th year in a row, tops the rankings.
“With increasing globalisation and changing demographic of the workforce – attracting and retaining the right talent is set to be one of the key challenges for businesses over the next five years,” said Ilya Bonic, senior partner and President of Mercer’s career business. “An increasingly diverse workforce is both more mobile and digital with highly diverging requirements and aspirations in terms of career, lifestyle and ultimately where and how they want to work. Companies need to consider these factors in their value proposition to both their local and their expatriate employees.”
Juan Huitz is an American banker who has lived in Prague for more than six years.
“Prague has a lot to offer,” he tells Emerging Europe, “especially if you to leave the centre and explore. The countryside around the city is lovely and great for biking. Prague is affordable, and it has a rich history as well as being relativity close to many other cities. The airport isn’t a major international hub but it connects well. Learning Czech isn’t for everyone and you can easily get by without, but as one would expect it helps. After a long bike ride along the river, sipping on what may be the best beer on the world bought cheaply to boot, it’s hard to think of a better place to be.”
Other emerging European cities included in the top 100 are Ljubljana (75th), Budapest (76th), Bratislava (80th), Vilnius (81th), Warsaw (82th), Tallinn (87th), Riga (90th), Zagreb (98th) and Wroclaw (100th).
At the other end of the scale are Baku (196th), Minsk (188th) and Tbilisi (187th).
Mercer’s survey is one of the world’s most comprehensive and is conducted annually to enable multinational companies and other organisations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments.
“How successful an international assignment is hinges on the personal and professional well-being of the individual expatriate and the welfare of their families,” said Slagin Parakatil, principal at Mercer and global product owner for its Quality of Living research. “As well as a significant hinder to a city’s, business and talent attractiveness, poor quality of living can considerably impact on an expatriate’s lifestyle. Younger generations, millennials in particular, often have high expectations in terms of lifestyle, leisure and entertainment opportunities. Companies sending expatriates abroad need to get the full picture of conditions on the ground in order to compensate their employees appropriately for any decrease in living standards.”