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Working Culture in Norway

31/10/2014
Working Culture in NorwayWhen working in Norway it is important to recognise and appreciate the culture and its differences. The following points mentioned have been provided by Norwegian nationals working in our Stavanger office, are not intended to stereotype Norway or its residents, but instead help to deliver an understanding of the business culture and etiquettes in the region.

Norwegians often work short days; 7:30am - 3:30pm is common. Rush hour in Norway is usually between 3 and 4 pm, as at 3:30pm workers tend to stop what they are doing and head home, no matter how busy they are! Norwegians are renowned for prioritising family life, and although work life is important, a healthy work/life balance is vital. Norwegian lifestyle tends to focus on family values, sports and outdoor life. Residents have a close relation to nature, and many families have “hytter” (cabins) close to the coast or in the mountains.

The Norwegian business culture is based on Scandinavian work values. One of the main values is the focus on equality, and as a result, you will see little hierarchy within the workplace. There will be no organograms in the office – Norway is known for flat structures and informal communication. Both the society and the workplace are based on trust. As a manager, you are not expected to give orders, but instead act as a coach and a motivator. Involving people in your decisions and encouraging others to grow and progress is important for your own professional development. A flat structure of employees and an informal attitude towards communication in the workplace is a key tool for managers to achieve results and encourage co-workers. Norwegians prefer to do business with those they trust; therefore relationships develop slowly and depend upon communication being straightforward and factual.

Norwegians have no difficulty disagreeing with people or speaking their minds within a business context, as honesty and constructive criticism is appreciated in the workplace. They are scrupulous about honesty in communication, often to the point of pointing out negatives in their own work in greater detail than the positives.

Overall, Norway boasts a significantly professional yet causal and relaxed attitude to work, and great emphasis is placed on the importance of balancing family life with working hours. The Fircroft office was established in Stavenger in 2012 and continues to grow due to the booming oil and gas trade in the region and the consistent need for experienced personnel.

To view our latest jobs in Norway, take a look here.

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