Finnish Work Styles

"Working with Finns means that one has to be punctual, be very good at time management. It means that working hard is a must but also an individual should be careful and thorough." - Mirka Kristiina Rahman, a lecturer at LUT & Saimaa University of Applied Sciences.

However, for those who come to Finland for the first time the speed of work seems to be very slow and it takes so much time until someone gets something in business. In fact, Finnish working society on the whole is very well organized: document flow is smooth and effective, employees comply with company’s rules.

Finns always do what they have promised, so it’s necessary to gain and keep trust!” – Kristiina Rahman continues her explations.

But what usually Finns tell about themselves when you meet up? The answer is nothing.

“How does the fish describe water? It cannot.  It is the only thing it knows. We are all products of our own aquariums.”- says Kristiina Rahman.

As the Finnish saying goes: ”Speech is silver but silence is gold.” The best wayto know Finnish professional workstyle is to join them at work, whatever it is.

But basic rules to follow is to do what is well-known and appreciated in the world: to be on time on every appointment, handshake people, keep eye contact, speak clearly to be understood, be neutral and polite. Finns do not like too aggressive people. Finally, smile! =) And use some Finnish.”

You need to be active since Finns are quite calm and rarely take initiative. They appreciate those who behave actively and at the same time very polite respecting the professional attitude.” - Lea Hirvonen, development manager of career guidance.

And few words about professional distance: generally, there is no hierarchy among people in Finland, some hierarchical issues are only for convenience. Finland is a country of fairness and equality.