Norwegian Work Culture

Many foreign employees move to Norway in order to work here for either brief or lengthy periods of time. The countries they come from have their own unique cultural features which are often apparent in the workplace.

As a foreign employee in Norway, please take the time to learn about a certain number of unique features of the Norwegian workplace, so that you will find it easier to settle in as an employee in this country.

Equality

In Norway, we believe that everyone is equal, irrespective of factors such as their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or political views.

Almost as many women as men work in Norway. In addition, men and women have completed higher education in roughly equal numbers.

Workplace organization 

Norwegian workplaces normally have a hierarchical structure; nevertheless, great emphasis is placed on the belief that all employees are entitled to express their opinion, an idea that applies at all levels of the organization. For example, if an employee has an idea as to how tasks may be carried out, he/she is encouraged to state this idea. The same principle applies if he/she disagrees with their coworker or manager. However, once a final decision has been made, employees are expected to support it.

Your Norwegian employer expects you to work independently and take initiative. Don't wait for orders from your manager, and ask questions if you are uncertain about anything.

We have a culture of cooperating and supporting each other in the workplace. Coworkers are perceived as helpful resources, and not as competitors.

Social conventions

There is an informal tone among coworkers in Norway, and it is common to address each other using first names. This practice also applies to contact between managers and subordinates.

As an employee, you may expect to be treated with respect, irrespective of your position in the company or your level of education.

Punctuality, when attending meetings and other appointments, is emphasized. It is regarded as impolite to arrive late, and this may be perceived as a lack of respect for other people's time.

Workplace rules

Most companies have internal rules dealing with how you as an employee are expected to behave in different situations. It is important that you become familiar with these rules, so that you will know what is expected of you as an employee.

Examples of behaviors that may be regulated are ethics/corruption, how to represent the company when dealing with customers, consumption of alcohol in a work context, interaction with coworkers, demonstrating integrity during all customer transactions and making fair tenders when bidding for projects.

If you are uncertain how you are supposed to behave in any given situation, ask for advice. If there is a Tekna representative in your company, he or she can help you. You may also contact your manager or a coworker.

As a Tekna member, you may seek advice from Tekna's legal services division if you have any questions relating to the legal aspects of your employment contract.

Modified date: Thursday, October 4, 2018