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Work/Life Balance in Madison

Work hard, play hard.

Street view with capitol in distance

No. 2 on the charts, No. 1 in our hearts.

Table of Contents

A new market study listed Madison as the No. 2 city for work/life balance in the country. Topics factored into this study include mental health, affordability, commute, and remote work prevalence.

We broke it down by category and added a few local resources and tidbits that we think contribute to our No. 2 position.

Mental health

Coworking Cafe based 80% of a city’s mental health score on the average time spent working each week (37 hours for us) paired with the number of outdoor spaces and recreational activities available.

  • Parks galore | With 200+ parks taking up roughly 6,000 acres of land within the City’s Park Division, there is no shortage of outdoor activities.
  • Resources | From Veteran programs to youth services, the City has compiled a list of mental health resources for locals.


Median household incomes were compared to the cost of living to determine affordability scores. This, along with our remote work score, is seemingly what gave No. 1, Minneapolis, the edge over us.

  • Top market | listed Madison suburb, DeForest, as one of the best markets for first-time home buyers in the coming year.

Remote work

Our lowest score arose in this section, but who needs to work remotely when the best jobs in the state are right down the street?

  • UW Madison | The university staffs around 20,000 employees and contributes around $30 billion a year to Wisconsin’s economy.
  • Epic Systems | Listed as one of Forbe’s largest private companies, Epic staffs around 10,000 employees and brings in close to $4 billion a year in revenue.


Madison’s commute score was surprisingly high with an average travel time of 20 minutes for commuters. Perhaps our compact layout contributed to this score because it sure wasn’t our one-way streets and never-ending construction.

  • Ride Guide | Conquer public transit with ease by using this in-depth resource.
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