‘Moderation’ isn’t exactly a popular word with regards to school and work. Going for ‘good enough’ is mostly frowned upon in the Western world. That is until you hear about the Swedish life philosophy ‘lagom’. Here is what we can all learn from the Swedish way of living.
What We Can Learn From the Swedish Philosophy ‘Lagom’
‘Lagom’ can be translated as “not too little, not too much, just right”. This single word describes the general Swedish life philosophy: everyone should have enough and not too much. This is also reflected in the often used expression: “Lagom är bäst’” which means ‘just enough is the best’.
If you have ever stepped foot in an Ikea or H&M you have already met this Swedish philosophy. These multi-billion dollar companies made a living of off creating affordable, functional and decent looking products.
‘Lagom’ In The Workplace
The ‘lagom’ mentality can be found anywhere in the Swedish culture, include the workplace. One example is the 6-hour work day. Although not officially introduced, Sweden has studied the option to switch to working only 6 hours a day. The trial concluded that a 6-hour work day leads to healthier and more productive workers.
Another great example is ‘fika’. ‘Fika’ is the act of meeting up for a coffee (or tea) and having a chat. In Sweden it is essential to make time for ‘fika’ as least once a day. It’s a nice break from work or a moment to meet up with friends or family. It is about slowing down, taking a step back and focusing on the good things in life. Taking a break at work is not normal all over the world. Let alone taking a coffee break twice a day. But in some Swedish companies it’s even a mandatory break. And they are on to something: study shows that the best and most creative ideas happen when you are relaxed.
Plus, taking the time for destressing will boost your productivity and lower chronic stress. It is a win-win situation, benefiting both the employee and the employer.
Will you introduce a little ‘lagom’ into your life?