In my experience of Sweden, I have come to love the work life balance. Moreover, the life aspect of it. No matter how hard they work life will never become second priority to the swedes. You can see it in their day to day activities and the small things they do to keep themselves happy and positive. The Swedish even have a word that beautifully sums up this great concept. The word is called “Livsnjutare. It is more of a describing word for “someone who enjoys life”.
From my experience, there are 5 distinct practical things I’ve learned to incorporate into my life from this concept
5 ways to add some Livsnjutare to your life
Take breaks often
Yes making sure to take a “Fika” break (coffee & something sweet) is very important. It a great time to catch up with colleagues, brainstorm ideas and catch up with the day activities.
Start on time, work hard and finish on time
Sweden had introduced a 6 hr work day. Coming from London, this may seem crazy, but there have been tests into this and it’s scientifically proven that people work more efficiently with shorter hours than working longer hours. If you have to do over time it will be fully compensated.
Socials and family time
When you are not at work it is important to have a social life outside of the workplace to help you unwind or with downtime. Whether it’s friends, family, sports or activities, it helps. For non-native speaking expats, this can feel like an uphill struggle from my experience, as swedes are not known for initially being the most social unless you’re introduced. My advice is to join into work socials as much as possible and to join up to after work activities and groups. The best way to start making friends.
Take holiday more
Holidays are very important to the Swedish and especially midsummer. The Swedish love to make the most of the summer because they get so little of it. It makes sense when you think about the philosophy behind Livsnjutare and living in the moment. Oh and don’t be surprised if people are unreachable on their holidays. To a Londoner, this can be annoying because we’re so used to people being reachable regardless, but the swedes take holidays very serious.
Enjoy the outdoors
Sometimes being surrounded by nothing but concrete can hinder your creative juice and become a little uninspiring for one of a better word. The swedes love nature, outdoors activities and keeping fit. Staying in touch with nature allows oneself to stay grounded from my experience. In ways than just the physical sense of the word.
So there you have 5 ways to add some “Livsnjutare” into your life. For more tips and advice that I’ve learned from the swedes check out my other blog posts.