Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Work mentality in Sweden

For a small population Sweden has a very high density of international companies. There are many advantages to locating an international company in Sweden or scandinavia in gernal:
  • Everyone speaks english
  • the standard of living is very high
  • you are very close to the rest of Europe
  • Sweden is viewed positively throughout the world
  • Child care, medical benefits, sick pay, all entice potential employees
Another thing that I have noticed in my year or so working here is that the stress level at the workplace here in Sweden is almost non-existant. (at least compared to Canada where i used to work)

Swedes like to take fika breaks throughout the day. At all hours spontanious fika breaks will break out in any part of the office. In my current office environment they have chosen to use the 'open office' concept so this does make things a little louder during these times but it also makes it so that others can participate when a fika break is happening near them.

With all these fika breaks you would logically assume that the productivity here in Sweden is lower or sub par to what you would find in other countries but to the contrary, having worked here myself i find myself able to get more accomplished with the clear head and lack of stress that results from these meetings. Also, these informal fika meetings are also a good time to share what is happening in ones' projects and therefore removing the need to have so many formalized meetings to share information.

At least where i work: they dont block facebook or youtube. Your welcome to browse the web during the day and studies have shown this actually boosts productivity -if not satiating our perpetual lack of long term concentration developed over years of television and nintendo.

There is also a great freedom of where work is performed here in Sweden, need to work from home on the third wednesday of the month becuase childcare is not available, no problem. Need to leave a bit early on fridays to catch that plane to Stockholm, not an issue. Need to show up a bit late on Mondays as your still a little bakis from the weekend, sure!

The swedish word of the day is: 'arbetsnarkoman' which means workaholic (havent seen one of those here yet by the way)

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