A fast-emerging trend could soon have Canberra bashers taking a backward step.
Canberra is shaping up as the Australian capital for the perfect work-life balance.
Multiple studies have shown a large amount of people in the nation's capital were happy with the way their careers and home lives worked together.
The Australian Public Service Commission's 2014-15 State of the Service report tabled in parliament on Monday said 72 per cent were satisfied with their work-life balance and their ability to access flexible work arrangements.
And now a study by education company Seek Learning has named Canberra as the best place in the nation to harmonise an occupation with family and leisure time.
The results come after a sustained period in which large federal employers, such as the Department of Finance and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, have offered flexible working conditions such flexime, part-time work and working from home to staff depending on their role in the organisation.
Seek Learning's Defining Work-Life Balance report said 68 per cent of workers in the ACT were happy with their work-life balance, a better result than anywhere else in Australia.
Across the rest of the states, except regional Victoria, Seek said regional workers were more satisfied than their city cousins.
Sixty-two per cent of regional NSW workers were satisfied with their work-life balance compared to 59 per cent of workers in Sydney and results were similar in other states except for Victoria.
Sixty-three per cent of Melbourne workers were happy with their work-life balance compared to 57 per cent in regional Victoria.
The State of the Service report said flexible work arrangements were part of a vigorous focus on finding the best talent to work in Commonwealth departments and agencies.
The report said the public service's proposition to job candidates – and employees it wanted to retain – must be clear and compelling so the bureaucracy could attract the best and brightest workers.
"It is important to understand what attracts people to a public sector career and what factors cause people to leave," the report said.
"Not all employees leave their agency for work or career reasons.
"Those who leave for personal reasons were most likely to cite family responsibilities as important in shaping their decision.
"Age also plays a role, with employees aged under 35 years likely to report that their decision to leave was influenced by a wish to live elsewhere in Australia or overseas.
"Older employees were more likely to leave to travel or for recreation.
"Flexible working arrangements such as teleworking for younger employees and increased levels of part-time work for older employees may provide agencies with an opportunity to retain more of these individuals."
University of Queensland sociology lecturer Judy Rose said work-life balance could best be measured by the amount of time stress people experienced on a daily basis.
"It also relates to whether individuals perceive they have sufficient time to do what they need or want to do, including time for work, family, leisure, travel, study, volunteering or exercise," she wrote last month.
"For men, long work hours is the main predictor of time pressure, and for fathers having young children increases this time stress.
"For women, paid work, housework and childcare contributes to time pressure."