Norway, known for its stunning fjords and quality of life, has long been an attractive destination for expats seeking new professional opportunities. In this article, we will explore what it’s like to work in Norway and delve into the unique aspects of Norwegian work culture.
Norwegian Work Culture: Flat Hierarchies and Trust
One of the defining aspects of Norwegian work culture is its flat hierarchies. This structure promotes open communication, collaboration, and a strong sense of trust among colleagues. The Law of Jante (Janteloven) influences this egalitarian approach, encouraging modesty and discouraging individual boasting.
Understanding and navigating this work culture is essential for a smooth professional experience in Norway. Check out the guide on how to work with Norwegians to get started.
Work-Life Balance: Embracing Downtime and Nature
Norwegians are known for their strong work-life balance, with flexible hours and a focus on spending time with family and friends. A notable aspect of Norwegian downtime is the concept of “Søndagsro” or Sunday quietness, which entails spending Sundays relaxing and unwinding.
Another essential element of Norwegian leisure time is the appreciation for nature. The tradition of hyttekos involves retreating to a cozy cabin in nature to relax, socialize, and enjoy outdoor activities.
Socializing in the Workplace: Building Relationships
While Norwegian colleagues may seem reserved initially, fostering connections outside of work is essential for building strong professional relationships. Social events, such as forspiel (pre-party) and nachspiel (afterparty), provide opportunities to bond with colleagues and deepen connections.
Another unique aspect of Norwegian social culture is dugnad, a community-driven spirit where people come together to complete tasks for the common good. Participating in dugnad events can help you become more integrated into the Norwegian community and work environment.
Communication and Language: Understanding Nuances
While English is widely spoken in Norway, learning Norwegian is helpful for fully integrating into the work environment. Explore how to flirt in Norwegian and learn what Norwegians say before drinking to better understand Norwegian social customs.
Additionally, be mindful of communication nuances. For example, Norwegians may not respond well to compliments, as it could be perceived as bragging or insincere. Instead, focus on establishing trust and showing respect through actions and sincerity.
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Working with Norwegians is the guide to work culture in Norway.
Living with Norwegians is the guide for moving to and surviving Norway.