On our trip to Sweden this past month, we came across the concept of Fika, which is considered something of a social institution in that Scandinavian country. Americans might think of it as a coffee break but it is much more to the Swedes.
In a country that is considered to have a low stress level and high productivity level, some experts suggest that Fika may be part of that equation. The Fika (it is both a noun and verb) is not about multi-tasking while slurping down your cappuccino, but is instead a time to pause, reflect, and enjoy the moment with colleagues and friends. Usually paired with some tasty pastry, the Fika becomes something of a special but regular moment during the workday. In fact, it’s not unusual for senior leaders to join in to Fika with their employees.
Explanations for why Fika contributes to workplace effectiveness is that by taking an intense focus off of work for even a few minutes employees are provided an opportunity to reboot their attention to the tasks at hand. Additionally, of course, the collegiality and social informality allows people to get to know each other on a personal basis making work projects more effective. Its hard to not play well in the sandbox when you know about people’s lives.
Just imagine how much your colleagues will appreciate your bringing some fresh and tasty pastry’s, along with a hot cup of coffee into their workspace and asking them to Fika with you. Just think about how that little moment of time will bond you with your colleagues forever…and that is the stuff of resilience.
© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2017