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Working in Norway: Don’t Say “Hello” in the Morning

Working in Norway: Don’t Say “Hello” in the Morning

I was recently on a website where foreign-born employees had been asked the following question: What is the most important unwritten rule in Norwegian workplace, which all work in Norway is based on?

Readers were invited to guess the answer.

The more serious suggestions:

  • Don’t intrude on another’s personal space, position or beliefs
  • Strive for work-life balance
  • Demonstrate equality (rank and titles are not particularly important)

The less serious:

  • Be punctual
  • Avoid conflict
  • Think about the group; don’t outperform others

The least serious:

  • Be as efficient as possible, take coffee breaks often, get out of the door by 3:30 PM
  • Eat lunch with the group; don’t go off and do your own thing
  • Don’t say “hello” in the morning

And the correct answer is? None of the above, but rather…

“Frihet under ansvar”, which translates into “with freedom comes responsibility”.

Does this rule rule all Norwegian workplaces? How about yours? If not, should it?

I’m also interested in the above suggestions, as they make me wonder why people gave these particular answers: Are there some other unwritten workplace rules here that we foreign-born workers should be talking about?

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