Coffee, Fika, Meetings and Small Talk: the Swedish Chamber's self-proclaimed experts take a serious look at why you need to have at least one Swedish person working for you! Don't miss number six - it is a good one! It could be the whole reason for this list. :)
1. Meeting, anyone?
Any time you suggest a meeting, the Swedes will jump at the idea. Swedes love meetings. It is unclear why this is but it is an established fact. So if you are tired of gathering sullen faces for the daily/weekly/monthly meeting, hire a Swede. They won’t even expect you to reach a decision, just chat about the need for one. Until at least the next meeting. Result.
Swedes LOVE a good meeting. Photo: Henrik Trygg/Imagebank Sweden
2. Swedes will introduce you to the “fika-culture”
Thought you had it covered with your elevenses? You KNOW what we are talking about - biscuits dunked in tea and ingested surreptitiously at your desk with flaky bits finding their way into your keyboard and sodden crumbs spreading all over that important memo from Marketing. With a Swede among you – totally different story. Mid-morning they will rise from their desks with a peal of laughter. Coffee will be put on, Cinnamon Buns will come out and before you know it, you’ll be CHATTING about the memo WITH Marketing in a jovial way instead of drafting that snooty response you were planning. This SHOULD happen twice a day – unless your Swede is going native.
3. Swedes make the best coffee
It’s true, they ARE the best at making coffee. If you didn’t have a coffee machine before, they will have been sure to petition management and set up a meeting to discuss the procurement of a coffee-making device. And coffee will now be served at least 4 times a day (morning-coffee, morning-fika coffee, after-lunch coffee and afternoon-fika coffee) Two for tea? No thank you!
Swedes make a MEAN cup of coffee. And that's a GOOD thing. Photo: Timothy Marsee/Flickr
4. They won’t complain about the rubbish May/June weather
Unless they have been here for a long time, they will accept the weather to be like this. In fact, it’s been pretty good by Stockholm standards. However, they may say this and thereby annoy you. But take it on the chin, you have no idea what they have been going through for years.
5. They won’t talk you ears off
Swedes are fairly comfortable with those silences that you find so painful. This could be due to the fact that Sweden is a big country with few inhabitants. Vast spaces + few people = a lot of silence. Hence, if you ask them a question and they answer with one word – don’t take it personally. They didn’t realize that you expected them to continue talking. In fact, they might not complain about the weather (see above) just because they don’t understand small talk. If you say ‘haven’t we had the most rubbish weather’, they might just say ‘no’. Deal with it.
Try finding someone to talk to. No? Told you! Photo: Håkan Dahlström