What Scandinavians Can Teach Us About Work Culture

What Scandinavians Can Teach Us About Work Culture

Enjoying a happy life is primarily based on a happy home with roots extended to a happy workplace. A happier workplace can help you achieve your goals more satisfactorily. The Scandinavian work model emphasis employee’s happiness and satisfaction. Read more about what Scandinavians can teach us about work culture.

Well, this is not the case in many progressive countries like the UK & US. Scandinavian countries are outperforming these technological giants and keeping the lead for the past few years. Happier employees, healthier workplace, and thus higher productivity. Here is the list of the lesson we learn from Scandinavian culture to foster a workplace

What Scandinavians Can Teach Us About Work Culture
Aksel Sandemose. Photo: Wikipedia

The Concept of Janteloven
Janteloven (Law of Jante) was the term first introduced by Aksel Sandemose. The concept describes the equality of everyone. No one has any superiority over anyone else. One should embrace the values of others in the workplace.

In the Scandinavian model, employees are implicitly trusted by the outset. This trust results in an open working environment with lesser conflicts and more output. The Janteloven mentality defines the value of people working in your surrounding rather than putting yourself over the top. This is just en example of what Scandinavians can teach us about work culture

What Scandinavians Can Teach Us About Work Culture
Photo: Anna Shvets / Pexels

Celebrate Often With Everyone
The Scandinavian model works under a flat management architecture. Whenever there is any celebration, everyone is invited. When all the employees value each other, the atmosphere flourish. Everybody feels valued and happy with no priority play.

No matter you are in any position, your work gains recognition the same way your senior manager work does. This feeling of appreciation accompanies your self-confidence and boosts your outcome.

What Scandinavians Can Teach Us About Work Culture
Yet another remarkable aspect of the Scandinavian model is ‘Fika’

Yet another remarkable aspect of the Scandinavian model is ‘Fika’. It is a refreshment break in the mid-morning. You can enjoy a light breakfast, a hot cup of coffee, or some snacks. Having snack time with your coworkers maintains a friendly relationship.

Related: The Capital of Fika

The Scandinavian model provides flexibility to the employees by offering relaxation during working hours. Originated in Sweden, this concept has now slowly spread all around the world.

What Scandinavians Can Teach Us About Work Culture
From House of Generations in Aarhus, Denmark

Free Daycare Facility
The biggest concern of the working parents is the arrangement of a daycare facility for their child. The daycare dues and hiring a babysitter cost you a lot in the US. Sometimes instead of paying heavy dues, one of the parents ends up quitting their career.

Related: Why do People Want to Live in Scandinavia?

Well, if you live in Scandinavia, you do not need to worry about daycare anymore. The Scandinavian workplaces offer subsidized daycare facilities according to your income. A person with a lower income might not pay a single penny. Whereas the employees with higher income pay slightly higher but still very reasonable.

What Scandinavians Can Teach Us About Work Culture
Photo: Thisisengineering / Pexels

Flexible and Less Working Hours
The Scandinavian schedule is far more flexible than any other country whether the US or UK. Scandinavian people work 36 hours weekly compared to 38 hours in the US. The difference becomes noticeable when calculating an hour annually.

More prominently, the average yearly earning is $38,000 in Sweden while $31,000 in the US. The difference is striking and so is the outcome. Scandinavian people enjoy flexible working hours and working overtime is not valued at all.

What Scandinavians Can Teach Us About Work Culture
Medical ultrasound in Sweden. Photo: Sweden.se

Free Medical Care
Although many organizations offer a medical allowance to their employees in case of any health issue. In the case of the Scandinavian structure, the employees enjoy highly subsidized massages and routine checkups. Some companies offer these services free of cost, depending on the company’s profit margins.

The Scandinavian model is more focused on the employee’s wellbeing than any other country. That is why this model is more successful worldwide.

What Scandinavians Can Teach Us About Work Culture
Vacation in Scandinavia. Photo: Olivier Brugger / Unsplash

Enjoy Plenty of Vacations
Usually, 16 days of paid leave is allowed in organizations. Contrary to this, Swedish companies have far more flexible rules. In Sweden, a person can enjoy 5 weeks off annually exclusive of Christmas and Easter holidays.

The Scandinavian countries eagerly believe in the employee’s mental and physical health. The purpose of plentiful vacations is to gather energy, make themselves fresh, and recharge themselves.

What Scandinavians Can Teach Us About Work Culture
Photo: Fauxels / Pexels

No Boss, No Stress
It is believed in Scandinavia that when the employees are given autonomy, they are happier. Instead, everyone has the liberty to make decisions, lead their projects, and manage their working schedule.

As there is a flat management structure, employees in Scandinavia are their own boss. No boss, No hardcore deadlines, no work pressure, No stress. One can perform the task in a way he likes.

Less stress greatly helps with productivity. You will see many people sitting with a laptop and a set of vertical monitors, working like there is no tomorrow.

What Scandinavians Can Teach Us About Work Culture
Photo: Wikipedia

Subsidized Meals
With numerous perks enjoyed by employees in Scandinavia, another one comes up as a free meal. The employees in Sweden enjoy free healthy meals in their canteens. The companies are concerned about the health of their employees. Therefore, they provide quality food for the employees.

Although this costs the company slightly in the short-term but in the long-term healthier employees perform healthily.

Related: 7 Norwegian Startups to Watch out for in 2020

What Scandinavians Can Teach Us About Work Culture
Photo: August de Richelieu / Pexels

Encouraging Entrepreneurs
The Scandinavian culture is the healthiest culture that flourishes the company’s atmosphere. Such rich atmospheres are the root to grow successful businesses. Starting a new business is always a risky step with many fears going around.

While in Scandinavia, you are provided with finance, education, and social support to encourage you to a startup. That’s why you see a lot of entrepreneurs working successfully in these Scandinavian countries.

What Scandinavians Can Teach Us About Work Culture
Shawn Mack

What Scandinavians Can Teach Us About Work Culture, written exclusively for Daily Scandinavian by Shawn Mack. Shawn is a content writer who offers ghostwriting, copy-writing, and blogging services. His educational background in business and technical field has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics.

Feauture image (on top) by Fauxels/Pexels

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Journalist, PR and marketing consultant Tor Kjolberg has several degrees in marketing management. He started out as a marketing manager in Scandinavian companies and his last engagement before going solo was as director in one of Norway’s largest corporations. Tor realized early on that writing engaging stories was more efficient and far cheaper than paying for ads. He wrote hundreds of articles on products and services offered by the companies he worked for. Thus, he was attuned to the fact that storytelling was his passion.