Why are Scandinavians big

Our Scandinavian neighbors are happier than us, even at work. This is proven by the World Happiness Report, in which the Nordic countries consistently top the ranking. An eight-hour job makes up the majority of our day - and many Scandinavians know that they can only have a fully fulfilling life if the attitude towards the job is right. We can learn from them how compatibility might really work and how happiness can be taken into the office through the revolving door in the morning.

Happiness researcher and author Maike van den Boom has made it her mission to publicize this way of working in Germany in her current book "Eight Hours More Happiness". The 48-year-old looked in over 30 Scandinavian companies for the magic recipe that makes people - from construction workers to managing directors - so satisfied in their jobs in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.

Their result: In addition to political prerequisites, people's basic attitudes are also decisive. According to which 8 guiding principles our Nordic neighbors act and what we can learn from them, Maike van den Boom told us.

And before someone rightly yells out because many of these tips sound almost too good to be true: Maike van den Boom also tells quite honestly that our German strengths, such as being structured, working quickly and carefully, are worth a lot and not every Scandinavian has them . But what we can do we know best ourselves. So go ahead, let's see what the Scandinavians are good at.

Have fun while reading,




1. Pleasure first, then work.

This strict separation between professional and private, which we often find in Germany, is missing in Scandinavia. There people should be fine in both areas. That is why enormous consideration is given to private life. Are you exhausted and don't have time for sport? Do it during work hours. Are you divorced and have the kids every other week? No problem, then no important meetings will be held in these weeks.

The employees are also more flexible. If necessary, they sit down again in the evening and are not annoyed by an e-mail that reaches them while they are on vacation. In the north, a lot is regulated through dialogue and the basis for this is respect. One finds it nice to answer his e-mails on the sofa in his spare time, the other turns off his cell phone. Both are okay as long as everyone knows.


2. No distinction is made between mother and father.

The Scandinavian countries are among the most equal in the world. When it comes to parental leave, Sweden is a prime example. Both parents work full-time in most cases. It is very common for the man to stay at home with his family for six months after the child is born.

And if the romance of the parents is over and a divorce is imminent, then it is very clear that the children stay 50 percent of the time with their mother and 50 percent of the time with their father. Research has shown that this model is good not only for the kids, but also for the employer. Because mother and father step on the gas when they have no children - during the week in which they have children, it goes without saying that they can leave the office at 2 p.m. without a guilty conscience.


3. Everyone is equally important - from the cleaning lady to the manager.

Humanity is very important in Scandinavia. Every person is equally important, every task is valued. Can we operate if the cleaner has not cleaned the operating room? No. Is the hotel guest satisfied when the receptionist is sloppy? Of course not. A construction worker put it so nicely: “If only one of us does a bad job, then it falls back on the entire company.” So everyone gets the feeling, regardless of the hierarchy, that they are important for the big picture.


Work is a positive word in Scandinavia

4. It has to make sense to work.

The Scandinavians do not work in just any job to make money, they do exactly what interests and like them. Even at school they are encouraged to take responsibility for their lives, to ask questions and not just to babble on something. Why do something that you don't understand the meaning of? The Nordling doesn't do that. Work is a conscious process in which one considers the job, the colleagues, the values ​​of the company and the tasks to be meaningful and can embody them.


5. It depends how you work, not how much.

We need to distance ourselves from the idea that efficiency has something to do with time. You can work 12 hours and still have achieved nothing. Picking up the children from daycare at three is not just a waste of time, but can also give them a new perspective and fresh energy. Because if you bake pancakes with the children at 3 p.m., for example, or jog through the forest for 1.5 hours in between, then in most cases you have your head free again - also for work topics and the Scandinavians appreciate that. They communicate very clearly which daily rhythms they provide with fresh ideas and which structures make them unimaginative and drained.


Unemployment is just a transition phase, not a stigma like ours.


6. The only constant is change.

Unemployment is only a transition phase, not a stigma like ours, so Scandinavians have little fear of the future. You can trust yourself more and this freedom makes you happy. While we strive for stability, change is perfectly normal in the Nordic countries. The Danes change jobs very regularly. In Sweden they say: "Save the people, not the jobs". In other words, when people are made redundant, the state intercepts them. You will then be retrained (if necessary) and employed in a new job.


7. It's about the big picture.

In the north the WE is very important. The idea is that you can't win a soccer game on your own. A top performance can only be achieved when different forces are bundled.

And that's why the teamwork works so well. You don't have to prove yourself at the expense of others, stretch your elbows, kick down, or keep knowledge to yourself. It's about the big picture. There is also little envy. Or showing off. As a production employee at a truck manufacturer said: “We are humble here. If I'm good at something, I won't rub it under your nose. I'd rather help you become as good as me. ”And that's an incredible power.

As an exercise, you could plan to do three nice things on the job every day, such as helping a colleague who is visibly lost in a task or sharing knowledge that someone needs or just brewing a coffee for the colleague. Each individual influences cooperation and a good working atmosphere.


8. Scandinavian bosses only hire people who are smarter.

Scandinavian executives do not claim to know everything, nor do they see it as their job. On the contrary, they prefer to hire people who are smarter than them. The goal of a Scandinavian leader is that all the different people with their different personalities, interests and talents play together optimally. They roughly indicate the direction and trust in the motivation, knowledge and will of the employees.



* This story is not a paid collaboration, we just have to advertise it anyway because we are naming the book title and showing the book.