Greencastle No. 2 on list of best places for work-life balance

Friday, October 9, 2015

Uh-oh, the secret is out ... Greencastle is a great place to live and work.

Of course, most of us knew that much, what with an All-America City award in hand, quarterfinalist status in the America's Best Communities competition, and listing in the "100 Best Small Towns in America."

And now there is a new website poll to further prove the point.

The website this week listed Greencastle as No. 2 on the list of best Indiana cities to achieve a work-life balance.

Jasper topped the rankings in an online story posted by writer Chris Kolmar.

Zippia is an organization whose goal is to help people find their "best" employment fit.

The story it circulated on the Internet notes, "When it comes down to it, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is really all about maintaining an appropriate level of happiness. Because that's the goal of the end day, finding the right level of work that still allows you to enjoy life. Some people actually enjoy sacrificing a bit of their personal life in pursuit of their career. And some would prefer to get out on the town on Friday nights.

"These places in Indiana have an objectively strong work-life balance. They are places where people have jobs, can live comfortably, and then enjoy things like family and friends."

The writer analyzed data from the most recent American Community Survey from the Census Department to identify which of the 66 largest cities in Indiana "have mastered the art of not bringing work home with them and living a balanced lifestyle."The writer analyzed data from the most recent American Community Survey from the Census Department to identify which of the 66 largest cities in Indiana "have mastered the art of not bringing work home with them and living a balanced lifestyle."

That resulted in a set of 10 places in the Hoosier State that have the best work-life balance:

1. Jasper

2. Greencastle

3. Princeton

4. Washington

5. Seymour

6. Columbus

7. Carmel

8. Warsaw

9. Valparaiso

10. Angola

Jasper ranks as the best place for work-life balance in Indiana, the story noted, "due to scoring well across the board. Some might even call it balanced."

It scored particularly well when it came to the front half of the balance -- work. Jasper (Dubois County) ranks as having the third-lowest unemployment rate and fourth lowest poverty rate in Indiana.

Of No. 2 Greencastle, Kolmar specifically notes, "The second-best place for work-life balance in Indiana goes to Greencastle as Greencastle combines top 20 percent finishes in commute time and things to do per capita with a sixth-place finish for unemployment rate to achieve their lofty status."

There are certain characteristics that all people that have achieved work-life balance share -- happiness and satisfaction, the writer stated. "They get to spend an adequate amount of time on the job above and then spend the rest of the time doing things that make them happy.

With that in mind, Kolmar identified this set of criteria from the American Community Survey:

-- Commute time (shorter is better).

-- Hours worked per week (shorter is better).

-- Size of household (higher is better).

-- Unemployment rate (lower is better).

-- Poverty rate (lower is better).

-- Things to do per capita (higher is better).

"Basically, if you don't waste time getting to and from work, work less and have a family, you're on the road to work-life balance," Kolmar reasoned.

"It's also important that a place offers things to do and that people that want to work can actually work," he added. "For that reason, we included the raw count of things to do for a city based on Yelp data, the unemployment rate, and people living above the poverty line."

Each place was then ranked from one to 66 for each criteria, with one being the best in any given category.

Finally, the average rank across was taken of all criteria, with Jasper -- the place posting the lowest overall score -- earning the title "Place with the Best Work-Life Balance in Indiana."

"Many of the cities on the list have relatively small populations, at least compared to the places at the bottom," Kolmar assessed. "I think this small-town environment allows people to identify what really brings them happiness and then pursue it appropriately."

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    -- Posted by Queen53 on Fri, Oct 9, 2015, at 4:03 PM
  • I second that notion, Queen53. This is all a statistics-spinning, "feel good" story.

    Commute distance? Really? Where are they getting their info? Most people I know work in Plainfield/Indy, NOT here. If you want to make over $9 an hour, that is...

    Heck, a good chunk of the factory jobs here (the primary employment in Greencastle, lets be realistic) seem to be mostly Brazil-ites, so that skews it as well...

    But good on ya for trying!

    -- Posted by stranded67 on Fri, Oct 9, 2015, at 4:10 PM
  • I totally agree with both of you. These stats are misconstrued way out of proportion. Not too many people drive from indy or avon to greencastle. Nice tey as they say. I really cant believe we beat out Columbus........just another political ploy for the upcoming election

    -- Posted by canttakeitanymore on Sat, Oct 10, 2015, at 9:30 AM
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