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Fika; isn't it a fuss about nothing?

EVERYONE drinks coffee & cake!

Gamla Hälsingebock
post 24.Mar.2013, 11:16 PM
Post #16
Joined: 21.Dec.2006

Good heavens!...Are you suggesting that the once innocent fika is now an instrument of separation and division...eventually leading to jealousies about who and where one can sit amongst...possibly leading up to an all out food fight at lunch?

Who would have known? laugh.gif
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Skugglegend
post 24.Mar.2013, 11:16 PM
Post #17
Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 8.Jan.2013

Well working in London I miss the fika a lot, not only to get a break but also to have a chat and get to know people at work better. I find It very boring here, It´s all about work...I mean you spend so much time of your life at work I think It´s more healthy the Swedish way that you also care about to make the work a social place. Go to lunch together, fika, after work, kick off and other social activities.

Life is not all about work...
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Gamla Hälsingebock
post 24.Mar.2013, 11:24 PM
Post #18
Joined: 21.Dec.2006

Amen.
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Puffin
post 25.Mar.2013, 09:25 AM
Post #19
Location: Dalarna
Joined: 5.Apr.2006

QUOTE (Hamsterdam @ 24.Mar.2013, 10:20 AM) *
Surely all the Swedes have gone home by 3?

Most workplaces have a mandatory 45 or 42.5 hours in the office i.e. 8 working hours per day plus your unpaid lunch/breaks

9-5 is considered part time working by many companies
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skogsbo
post 25.Mar.2013, 10:00 AM
Post #20
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

lot of places are 730 - 4, or 8 - 4 though. Companies not shops that is. I thought 37.5hrs was now considered the norm, in the eyes of the EU that is. In the UK it's considered a minimum for salaried worker and unpaid overtime of 10hrs weekly is hardly rare.

Slowly Sweden is changing, many places have core hours or days, with some flex at either end. My sambo works a compressed work, ie almost 5 days squeezed into 4. But she also gets free breakfast / morning fika, 1 hour for lunch and 2 hours gym time (in work time) once a week. BUT, they still have team Fika !!
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ljtaylor88
post 25.Mar.2013, 12:47 PM
Post #21
Joined: 16.Mar.2012

Fika really helps break up the working day; I find that taking intermittent breaks from my desk to have a cuppa, or my lunch, coupled with a chat is much nicer than sitting at your desk all day long and moving only for toilet breaks. I also work in a room on my own in the office so without fika, I'd go a little mad wink.gif

I've also found that the whole concept of fika makes it easier to arrange a social meetup. Back home, I never really went out for a coffee with anyone, but here, I've done it more times than I care to remember and gotten to know people over it. And you don't end up having an argument with the member of your party who gets drunk after two pints :/

I was also going to say I've never taken commercial afternoon tea in the UK as it's ridiculously expensive, but sometimes Fika can run up quite a bill too!
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skogsbo
post 25.Mar.2013, 01:00 PM
Post #22
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

QUOTE (ljtaylor88 @ 25.Mar.2013, 12:47 PM) *
I've also found that the whole concept of fika makes it easier to arrange a social meetup. Back home, I never really went out for a coffee with anyone, but here, I've ... (show full quote)

I think that's only in old lady tearooms, like Bettys in Harrogate (or elsewhere). Which charge a fortune for what is nothing more than a tea, a few fairy cakes and splash of milk or cream.

Yeah, every group has a two pint wonder and an idiot, but as the saying goes; if you are out in a group or on a course and you can't work out who the group idiot is, then it's you !!
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Hisingen
post 25.Mar.2013, 05:25 PM
Post #23
Joined: 5.Jul.2012

Seems that things have changed a lot since I worked in an office. Back in the mid 50's at Perkins Diesel, the tea/coffee wagon came round the D/O both mornings and afternoons, and at lunchtime we all trooped off to the canteen in a gang. Later, in the 60's I was in a Volvo D/O, and there we brewed our own coffee morning and afternoon, and again - at lunchtime - we all trooped to the 'Bar á Maten' as it was called. Depending on the work load, we either sat round and drank our coffee, or took it back to our drawing board to continue drawing and drinking..
Later, in another form of transport, the fika was taken less collectively, and lunch was up to the individual.
I haven''t been afflicted by the traditional fika since about '85, and have only read comments here about it, and about coffee and lunch breaks - or lack thereof - in the UK, and can only feel sorry for those who do actually miss out on those breaks, breaks which gave you a chance to natter a bit with those you work with, and can even get the subject away from work. No matter what you do, those breaks are essential. Both for your well-being and for your social connections with those around you.
But depending on your calling, the traditional Swedish fika can be both a help and a hindrance, as many will testify.
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deaninsweden
post 27.Mar.2013, 10:22 AM
Post #24
Location: Norrköping
Joined: 6.Mar.2010

Speaking to friends who work in offices back in the UK they would love the idea of a mass coffee break but bosses simply wouldn't allow it for lack of production.
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Divan
post 27.Mar.2013, 12:58 PM
Post #25
Joined: 23.Jan.2012

Fika serves a definite purpose in Sweden. Not only does it enable you to tap into the office grapevine,it also allows colleagues to build relationships at work that they otherwise would not be able to in the course of daily work life. With the Swedish reserve, it is not often possible for you to be able to talk to your colleagues in a relaxed manner for fear of intruding on their privacy:-)

If a time is set aside where it is socially acceptable to relax and talk to others,it makes it easier to make new friends or find out more about your team members. Without fika, the Swedish work place will be even more isolated a place and no one would really talk to one another much,LOL.

Another thing about fika is that most Swedes have a sweet tooth and if cakes or buns are provided, together with the ever popular coffee, people even the quiet reserved ones would be willing to be a part of the action! That is my theory!
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GamergirlJen
post 27.Mar.2013, 01:14 PM
Post #26
Joined: 27.Mar.2013

As someone about to emigrate to Sweden, the idea of office Fika is appealing. I am a strong believer in the benefits of sharing food together being beneficial to social interactions and the idea of doing so at work is something I look forward to.

I type this as I am sat here drinking tea and eating chocolate with my cousin, maybe that is why I am so keen on it :-P
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Hisingen
post 27.Mar.2013, 07:03 PM
Post #27
Joined: 5.Jul.2012

QUOTE (Divan @ 27.Mar.2013, 12:58 PM) *
Fika serves a definite purpose in Sweden. Not only does it enable you to tap into the office grapevine,it also allows colleagues to build relationships at work that they other ... (show full quote)

You have summed up both Fika and the Swedish 'work character' pretty well, and as one who has enjoyed it in the past, I applaud your views and recommend your reply to all readers. Unbiased and factual, and damned good advice regarding partaking in it - for reasons stated. In fact I honestly believe that Swedes also would view your comments with pleasure.

biggrin.gif x 3
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intrepidfox
post 27.Mar.2013, 08:44 PM
Post #28
Location: Gothenburg
Joined: 18.Jul.2012

QUOTE (Hisingen @ 25.Mar.2013, 05:25 PM) *
the tea/coffee wagon came round the D/O both mornings and afternoons,

Even in the late 70´s we had the tea and cake trolley at the GLC in London
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beefbroff
post 29.Mar.2013, 07:45 AM
Post #29
Joined: 11.Nov.2011

Fika is about sitting around a table, drinking strong black coffee from a plastic cup that has a thump holder and sitting in awkward silence with everybody making the odd MMMMMM or AWWWWWWW noise to fill in the silence gaps.
I've never experienced this phenomenon anywhere else.
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Hisingen
post 29.Mar.2013, 10:59 AM
Post #30
Joined: 5.Jul.2012

And I never experienced it here either. In my office - a drawing office - we had our own coffee pot, and brewed the coffee in turns, and for the Swedes it also served as their 'breakfast' time, since most never had what you might call any form of breakfast before leaving home in the morning, so it was coffee and sandwiches at around nine thirty, ten. But I can assure you that the fika break was never taken in silence or anything like it - even with a mouthfull of sandwich ! ! !
I miss those breaks, I really do. Now, when I can have fika all day long but with only the mrs at this time of year it isn't the same. biggrin.gif
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