Understanding work culture in Finland
No matter where you are from, the first time you arrive in Finland will be a culture shock. Finnish society is built on the idea of equality. Our work culture: informal and flexible, is different from others. It emphasizes independence, collaboration, and social interaction. It has a relaxed work-life balance that makes working in Finland very pleasant.
We value direct communication. You can say what's on your mind, even though it seems impolite. It would help if you took this as something other than an offense but as an opportunity to learn more about Finnish work culture.
People in Finland respect privacy--talking about others in public places or commenting on someone else's personal life unless they have been asked directly by them first.
An 8-hour workday is a typical workday, including a lunch break. And we are generally happy with this arrangement. We value leisure time and feel free from the need to work long hours.
Being on Time
The Finnish work culture is punctual, and it's essential to respect deadlines. It will be seen as disrespectful and unprofessional if you're not on time. If you're late for a meeting or appointment, let the person know beforehand so they can make other arrangements if needed.
In Finland, taking regular breaks and respecting your coworker's lunchtime is essential. You should also be aware of vacation time.
People tend not to work late into the night or early morning hours unless there is a particular reason.
In Finland, diversity is encouraged and respected.
There is a strong emphasis on equality in the workplace. Both men and women are given equal education opportunities, and both genders are expected to work equally long hours.
In Finland, self-initiated work is highly valued.
The initiative is crucial because it encourages creativity and productivity at work by giving employees more responsibility for their workloads.
If you come from a country where trust is not a given, it can be challenging to understand how Finns can build strong relationships. Trusting others is an essential part of Finnish culture, meaning we expect colleagues and superiors to honor privacy and confidentiality.
In Finland, there's also less emphasis on the hierarchy than in many other countries; this means that people working together often address one another by first name. It is easier to talk with your boss as a peer and vice versa.
You may have heard that Finns love coffee. We do, but it's not just because we enjoy the taste or the caffeine boost. It's also a way of life--a ritual that helps us connect with friends and coworkers and appreciate our surroundings. In Finland, coffee breaks are an essential part of everyday life at work and school; they give us time to relax and recharge after periods of intense focus on tasks at hand (like writing this article).