I’ve been working in a Finnish company for the past 7 months as a trainee. The time I spent there is not exactly long, but long enough for me to have some humble opinions about how it is like for a foreigner to work in a Finnish company. This blog post is entirely based on my personal perspective. Here is what I have learned about working in a Finnish company:
Finnish company’s benefits are incredible. Even though I haven’t worked in a real company anywhere else, I am absolutely amazed by how much an employee gains from working in a Finnish company. I am not sure if all companies in Finland are the same, but at least at the one I’ve been at, I got tons of benefits:
- Devices: I got an iPhone 11 pro from the company as my work phone. Actually, they gave me a list of phones that I could choose from, one week before my first day at work. When I told my supervisor that my Windows computer is too slow and I would like an iMac, I got the newest model after 2 weeks!
- Lunch benefit: 25% of my lunch’s price is paid by the employer (however it has to be < 10.7 euros). Oh, the company has a chef as well, which means I can have lunch right inside the company without having to go anywhere.
- Health care: I get private health care which I have used very often. They have an app that offers digital healthcare advice, which I can consult before I decide to make an appointment to see a real doctor. All for free.
- Travel insurance: Yes I get that too.
- Well-being and recreational benefit: Each year, an employee gets 400 euros to spend on well-being related activities (gym, movie tickets, museums, theater, dance classes…)
- Massages: I can have massages at the office for 0.5 – 1 hour because a masseuse comes to the office every 2 weeks.
- Other activities: The company organizes Yoga classes, Christmas party, Teams building party, Finnish classes for international employees… They always collect feedback about these activities and listen to the employees’ wishes. I even got a device that measured my heartbeat for 3 days consecutively. After that, a professional called me to give me explanations about my heartbeat report and gave me advice on how I could improve my health based on the report.
- Cakes: This one is special to me so it deserves a whole bullet point. We have cakes every Friday at the company where everyone can sit down, enjoy the cake with tea/coffee, and talk with other colleagues.
The work-life balance
I have to work 37.5 hours/week, which is 7.5 hours per day. I can choose when I go to work, as long as it is before 10am because they have a flexible working hour policy.
Each year I have 4-week paid holiday.
Because I am working in the IT sector, I have a chance to work remotely if I wish to. I didn’t really do it though, until the pandemic happened. The reason was because I liked working at the office where I had a table that I could adjust its height, and a good chair that helped a lot with ergonomy.
I think Finns really put emphasis on having a good work-life balance. Time off is respected, and everyone takes vacations seriously.
The people and the culture
Everyone in the company has been super nice to me since day one. The first month when I was there, I was the only non-Finnish person in the team. Everyone in my team made an effort to communicate in English, both in the chat room and in meetings. I really appreciated it because it made me feel like I was not left out. Now when there are a few more international people in the company, every email sent from the company’s management team has 2 parts: one in Finnish and the other one in English <3
Even though I am just a little (and not so important) trainee, I still feel valued and respected by my team. I got all the benefits as a real full-time employee would get. I am included in all activities offered by the company.
The Finns are really humble. Even though they are genuinely skilled and smart not only in their jobs but also in other aspects, they still don’t (or never) talk about it. I am surprised every time I learn about my colleagues’ hobbies and accomplishments.
In a Finnish company, people trust you to finish the task by yourself, with no micromanagement. My team leader never bugs me about a task. They also trust your honesty. You mark the working hours totally by yourself.
Sometimes I cannot understand their jokes 🙁 It’s either because I don’t have a sense of humor, or Finns have a different sense of humor compared to my Asian one. I am leaning more towards the first reason :p
It’s cold and dark in Finland. In the winter sometimes I don’t see the sun at all for the whole day, because when I get to the office at 9am it’s still dark outside, when I go home at 5pm it’s already dark outside.
Despite the few minus points, I certainly believe that working in a Finnish company is definitely worth trying. The people are great, the company’s culture is great (depends on which company you are talking about), the working policy is great, and it’s a good way to know how Finnish companies function. I honestly cannot ask for anything more.
How about your experience of working in a Finnish company? Or any company that is different from your own culture? Comment below and let me know 🙂