What I think of when I think of Finland is that it is a country of forests and lakes, Scandinavian design such as "Marimekko" which is popular with women, Moomin, sauna, education and welfare system. What kind of country is Finland that is not interested in?
The author had the experience of studying at a university in Finland in the 2000s and then working there. This book is a compact summary of the attractions of Finland that you can see and hear locally, and the background that makes it possible. Finland has the highest level of well-being for three consecutive years and has an overwhelmingly smaller population than Japan, but its GDP per capita is higher than that of Japan. Nevertheless, as the title says, almost everyone is leaving at 4 pm.
Since the national system and environment are different from those in Japan, it may be difficult to apply the Finnish practice directly to Japan, and the author acknowledges that part. However, the hope that there should be many parts that can be imitated comes through. The recapitulator was reluctant to know that he was obsessed with the idea that “overtime work is normal” and “work prioritizes hobbies”. The part that should change is probably this mentality.
In order to fulfill the true purpose of work style reform, a proper understanding of Finnish work styles and ideas may be the first step. I would like you to take this opportunity to re-examine the way you live and work.
Main points of this book
Finns, who think that “both work and private time are important” work efficiently during working hours and return home immediately when it is time to leave work.
What is attractive about Finnish work culture is "work-life balance" and "equal and open relationships in the workplace".
After work, it is time for hobbies, sports, and family, and there is a system for enjoying hobbies and an environment where students can devote themselves to sports.
"Sis", which means the ability to withstand difficulties and represents the Finnish national character, is receiving increasing attention.
Finland, the country with the highest degree of happiness for three consecutive years
A country where you can live like yourself
What I felt as the author was involved with Finland is that it is a country with a high degree of freedom in choice. In Finland, there are few factors that limit choices, rather than many choices.
When you have to make important choices at the turning point of your life, age, gender, family economics, etc. are not major constraints in Finland. Also, if you like and are motivated, you may choose multiple roads. For example, you may have both a degree in Humanities and a degree in Science, or you may value work and private equally. What makes this possible is the high quality of Finnish education and the institutions that support it. Finland has equal opportunity to make the choice to get to the best life for me.
Finland is a small country but ranks high in the economic, educational and industrial rankings. When you actually visit, you can see that people have a comfortable life without feeling anxious. For example, in summer, pick blueberries and enter the sauna at the cottage to enjoy the midnight sun. I work late into the night, and I don't feel tired all the time, and my life is high.
Of course, Finns also have many things to do such as work, study, and housework. However, they are well balanced and you can live a human life. Paid vacations given are fully consumed without sacrificing time off and sleep for work. The children are also given two and a half months of summer vacation, during which they do little homework.
[Required reading point] Work efficiently and comfortably
Not overtime is evidence of who can
From the perspective of foreigners, the best thing about Finnish work culture is that it has a "work-life balance". Finns do little overtime, work hard during working hours, and value their rest as much.
In Finland, many people work from 8 to 16 o'clock. I started to go home at the scheduled time, and at 16:30, there were almost no people in the office. The recognition that resting and working people's rights are shared at the national level. As a result, 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week are protected. This applies regardless of industry or company size.
Even if some people are still working, I can't seem to feel reluctant to leave the office at 15:00 or 16:00. Finns believe that "people are people, I am myself. It is natural to return after working a specified number of hours." According to one of the author's friends, "a person who can easily perform a difficult task and efficiently and efficiently return home".
Finnish style, how to take a break
In modern work, I often stay at the same posture for a long time. Therefore, even in Finland, effective ways of taking breaks are emphasized.
One of them is "Tau Koyunpa (exercise break)". People gather in a large space such as a company or university at a fixed time every day and do simple exercises. If you move your body for just 5 minutes, you will feel good. It has been proved to have good effects such as productivity being improved rather than sitting alone.
In addition, the culture of "Kahavi Tauko (coffee break)" has taken root. This break is legally required and includes 10 to 15 minutes of coffee breaks daily during working hours. At some workplaces, we decide when to take coffee breaks and encourage communication with colleagues. Everyone is relaxed during the break, so it's easy to talk about work or talk privately. In addition to deepening mutual understanding, new ideas often come from it.
No title, academic background, age
Many Finns cite "equal and open relationships in the workplace" as an attractive Finnish work culture. Organizations have various titles and responsibilities. However, rather than the difference, what the person did, and how much skill and knowledge they exerted, led to the value evaluation of the person. If there is an improvement from the point of view of subordinates, it is also an ordinary scene to give feedback or criticism to the boss.
Finnish organizations are open and flat. It also affects efficiency and corporate culture. Usually, the higher the height of the pyramid of an organization, the higher the hierarchy and the longer it takes to make decisions. In Finland, on the other hand, each person is given discretionary power with as few levels as possible. In addition, each work content and scope of responsibility are clarified, and the boss does not manage them in detail.
The hierarchical relationship within the organization does not depend on years of service, age, or gender. The length of years worked is not so important because there are many job changes in Finland. They are evaluated by their ability and achievement without seniority. Therefore, it is not uncommon to have a boss in his 20s and a subordinate in his 50s.
In recent years, women are increasingly taking on responsible positions, and female presidents and prime ministers have already been born. In the current Finnish cabinet, there are more women ministers and women's leaders, which is a natural acceptance.
That nature is close to us
How do Finns spend their time after returning home? Looking around, there are so many things to do, such as housework, hobbies, sports, socializing with friends, and studying.
Among them, many people play sports in their leisure time in order to maintain well-being (being physically, mentally, and socially in good condition). According to statistics, the time Finns play sports on weekdays is one of the best in the world. This is probably because there is plenty of space around us that allows us to go home on time and is suitable for a walk. People's lifestyles are changing, but many people spend their weekends at home or go far away in forests, lakes, cottages, and so on.
In addition, the outdoors is also popular on weekends. Finland has a customary law called the right to enjoy nature. Everyone is allowed access to the land and the blessings of nature without damaging the owner of the land. Familiar forests and paths are filled with wild strawberries and blueberries, and mushrooms grow in autumn. It's not so easy to collect by yourself, and it's a pain to remove trash and insects before eating. You can buy it at the market or supermarket, but you still go out because you can feel the joy of being blessed in nature.
Many Finnish people also enjoy hunting. There are detailed rules for hunting, and you need permission and training to handle guns, but sometimes you can catch wild birds and elk and enjoy Jibier cuisine. Hunting sometimes appears in the place of exchanges between companies, and it seems that some companies offer hunting entertainment other than golf entertainment. Besides, skating and ice fishing are done on the ice of a frozen lake in winter. In this way, Finland has a wealth of environments where you can enjoy the outdoors without spending money.
The charm of the Finnish sauna
Sauna is an essential element in talking about Finnish lifestyle and culture. It is said that the number of saunas is 2 to 3 million with respect to the population of 5.5 million. Each room in the apartment has a small sauna in the bathroom. Even without it, there are often shared saunas in the basement or rooftop. Finns enjoy the sauna once or twice a week. It is not uncommon to have saunas on campus or at work. This is not only a place to relax, but a place to interact with your peers.
The sauna at the embassy is also famous for being used as a place for entertaining and hospitality. Sauna has a magical magic. A person in any position takes off his position or title and exists as an individual. That is why we can enjoy the space with the sauna together in an equal relationship.
Finnish simple way of thinking
Finnish "Sis" attracts more attention
In January 2017, the article "Goodbye Hugge, Hello Sith: New Nordic Trends" was published in the British daily newspaper Times.
Originally in Danish, Hugge means "comfortable time and space". Happiness has become a buzzword in Europe and the United States as a keyword of the Nordic lifestyle, which is one of the world's top classes. Many Hugge instruction books have been published in Japan.
However, in the future, "SISU", which represents Finland's national character, will attract attention as a global trend. Sith is a Finnish language that has the implications of endurance, the ability to work hard without giving up, and the indomitable spirit.
At the time the article was published, Britain was in a difficult phase, such as leaving the EU. There, it seems that Sith was perceived as a necessary spirituality for them. In addition, other media in the UK such as BBC and CNN also covered Sith. When Finland reached the UN's No. 1 happiness ranking, what was the secret of that happiness, and increased attention to Sith?
What was included in Sith?
The answer that often comes back to Finns when asked "what is Sith?" is the analogy that Sith breaks through even the gray rocks. He has a strong feeling that he will not give up immediately if he or she has difficulties in work or life.
Sith is overwhelmingly less frequently used than Japan's “do your best”. In Finland, Sith is a nuance of inner feelings, probably because "being action rather than wording" is preferred.
In addition, the sense of Sith varies somewhat among Finnish people. Some people find Sis close to them, such as when they get through difficult situations at work.
On the other hand, some people do not want to use the word Sith easily. As an example of Sith, life in a severe climate in Finland will be introduced. However, some people deny that this is not Sith. This is because there is an idea that "Sis has difficulties and problems that seem impossible, and Sis makes it possible, so we must not use it with such easy things."
The only thing they have in common is that Sith is not forced by anyone. The strong determination and feeling that "I want to do it" is the essence of Sith.
Recommendation of reading
Finns say they are eager to learn. It is not uncommon to find a degree in a completely different field, saying that it is better to have more pieces, not to mention fields related to work. Without time, money, and comfort, it will be difficult to keep learning new things. This situation may be a story of the Finnish way of life.
This book also describes the communication styles that are valued in Finland, and the working conditions in which 30% of people who work from home and 80% of their fathers take childcare leave. For more information, please read this book. From the richness secrets of the Finnish people, you should be able to find many things you can incorporate into your daily life.