For many years now, Sweden has lead the way in terms of providing a modern, forward thinking work environment for its citizens. In Sweden, it is no unusual to work a 6 hour day. Many businesses in Sweden have adopted this working pattern. The aim is to get things done in a shorter amount of time and to ensure people to enjoy their private lives more. The overall results show that staff are far more productive, even though they are working less hours. People usually work from 08:30 - 11:30, break for a full hour for Lunch (Fika) and then work for a further 3 hours until heading home.
Atmospheres in Swedish work places are open and collaborative as their work environments are no based on Hierarchy. If you work at a Swedish company, the chances are you know the CEO personally. You call them by their first name and nor are you afraid to share your ideas with them.
Holidays are also plentiful in Sweden. By law, business must give employees 5 weeks holiday per year, with most businesses giving 6. Although usually staff do not take extended periods of time off at once. Giving them more opportunities to recharge and enjoy their lives while in work. Lunch breaks are treated with high importance and are encouraged to be taken for a full hour. Having time to come away from your work to socialise and recharge.
Since the COVID19 epidemic, many business around the world have had to adapt to allow a more flexible working pattern for their employees. Working from home, flexible working hours and remote based full time positions are now becoming more common across all business sectors. If COVID has shown businesses anything about their employees, it's that much more can be done remotely than we would have ever imagined. So it's no surprise that we are seeing such a large shift in approach by business around the world to accomodate a more modern working environment.
Here at Omnis, we have always been big believers in flexibility for our employees. We were lucky that during the pandemic, we could still operate and although it was not without challenges, our team were able to complete their jobs remotely. Since lockdown has lifted, we have continued to allow staff to work from home when they desire to, but that is only one piece of the puzzle.
Mental health can be impacted greatly by your working environment. We feel that it is incredibly important to have the tools to maintain a positive mental state when at work. Exercise can be a huge part of maintaining a health mind as well as a healthy body and we want to encourage that as much as possible. We provide staff with a free gym membership and allow them to attend sessions at a time that suits them. This gives the team the freedom to exercise and clear their head if needed, whenever they need it.
We are also a dog friendly office. Our four legged friends are part of our family and we understand that working full time can have an impact on your daily routine and responsibilities when it comes to your pets. We allow our team to bring their dogs in to work whenever they want to. It can be a great morale booster and when things are busy in the office, taking a few minutes away from the screen to be with your dog can help to keep you relaxed and focused. Sometimes dogs can be a distraction in the office we are aware of that, but we believe the benefits far out way the drawbacks.
Remote working has proven to be incredibly useful to our business. We implemented an instant messaging system as well as video conferencing, to allow our team to always be connected without having to send emails and wait hours for responses. It keeps the engine running and little tasks can still be dealt with efficiently even if someone is working from home. We have seen a huge benefit since implementing the messaging feature and it has become invaluable to the way we work.
All in all, we can clearly see that the future of office working is bright. It will continue to evolve and we are hopeful that it will allow people to be more efficient at work, but to also enjoy their work more. After all, who doesn't want to enjoy what they do?
Have you implemented anything similar to the things talked about in this article? Let us know in the comments below and how it has affected your business. We'd love to hear from you.