IN­TRO­DUC­ING FIKA

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Feature -

While fika is a con­stant in all parts of Swedish so­ci­ety, its im­por­tance in the work­ing world can­not be over­stated. More than just a cof­fee break, fika is an in­sti­tu­tion in it­self. In the con­text of work, it serves a num­ber of very lagom func­tions. If there’s a prac­tice in place that makes a proper 10am break ac­cept­able, surely that can only be a good thing? If, in ad­di­tion, it means that peo­ple don’t just take their eyes off their screen for 15 min­utes or more but also end up chat­ting to each other, catch­ing up about in­dus­try news or the chal­lenges of the af­ter­noon’s client pitch, it can take both the of­fice cul­ture and the com­pany out­put to the next level. Note the dif­fer­ences between fika and elevenses. More than just top­ping up your cof­fee, fika is about an ex­change, a con­nec­tion; about un­plug­ging from the task at hand and be­ing present with your col­leagues in true lagom style.

The fika startup

Get­ting your work­place to adopt a proper fika cul­ture might be a chal­lenge, but start small and you’ll be able to reap many of the ben­e­fits. Ask your desk neigh­bour along for your morn­ing trip to the kitchen or cof­fee ma­chine, or of­fer to make them tea. The next time you need a face-to-face chat with a col­league, sug­gest meet­ing in the staff room or can­teen. If you feel am­bi­tious, vol­un­teer to get a Fri­day fika rou­tine hap­pen­ing. I can’t see too many peo­ple kick­ing up a storm over be­ing fed cin­na­mon buns.

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