Arbejdsglæde? There really is no equivalent word in English, but the Nordic languages all contain some derivative of one word: arbejdsglæde (pronounced “ah-bites-gleh-the"). It means “happiness at work.”

So, if you want to be really happy at work, you might want to move to one of the Nordic countries, like Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, all of which are in the top 10 of new rankings from global research and consulting firm Universum.

Universum’s Global Workforce Happiness Index uses a scoring system that tracks three factors:

  • Employee satisfaction
  • An employee’s willingness to recommend a current employer
  • An employee’s likelihood to switch jobs in the near future (2-4 years)

Here is the top 10 list when it comes to worker satisfaction:

  1. Denmark
  2. Norway
  3. Costa Rica
  4. Sweden
  5. Austria
  6. Netherlands
  7. Finland
  8. Belgium
  9. Hungary
  10. Czech Republic

Some other notable countries and how they ranked: China (27th), the United Kingdom (32nd) and the United States (36th).

What does this mean for global mobility? Maybe nothing…or maybe that assignees who head to the countries on top of this list stand a better chance of feeling fulfilled in their work, which might make it more likely that the overall assignment is successful.

You also might see more “hand raisers” seeking out opportunities in these desirable areas—and your program would need a strategy for dealing with these requests.

Conversely, companies that are located in countries lower in the rankings may have to take a deeper look at strategies for attracting and retaining top talent. What can these companies do to standout in markets where employee satisfaction is lower?

Read on for more about the rankings and the methodology.