Reason one: Honesty.
I will never forget how puzzled my dad was one day when I was trying to explain the way I get payed for my freelance work. “So you just report hours you worked and they fully trust you?” “They never ask if you really spent your time on the tasks?”,-he was wondering. I answered that yes, they do. But with their unconditional trust comes great responsibility. When you get a full trust from the beginning you actually want to exceed their expectations. So in the end it’s a win-win situation.
Reason two: They know how to do things.
You might miss some enthusiasm in the way people do things here but most of the time their pragmatic approach really pays back in the end. Every step is taken seriously and with careful planning so there are no nasty surprises later on. I like it and I think there are many companies who could learn from Finns.
Reason three: Zero stress work environment.
This one comes not because such thing as stress wouldn’t exist here. It certainly does but the difference is that people don’t use it as a tool to hurry and push others. It was a big surprise for me. People avoid by any means putting stress on colleagues shoulders. Might be that it’s especially characteristic to game industry but I strongly believe there are also many other companies like this in Finland.
Reason four: Sharing is caring.
Finland is country with only five million people. Nevertheless gaming industry is quite big here and majority of companies are based in Helsinki. One might think that professionals would close themselves in to protect their intellectual property but you would be very wrong. I’ve witnessed cases where companies help each other, share knowledge and support their “rivals”. Makes you think.
Reason five: People ask about you.
I was amazed how much I was asked about how I’m doing. To such an extent that I started wondering if they were spying on me? :) Luckily I was wrong. For the first time in my life I really felt that someone cared about my well-being, feelings and experiences living in a new country. Now I have got used to it and think about it as one of the gems of Finnish culture.
Reason six: More than just a job.
People pay huge taxes here. Everything is expensive compared to the rest of the world. Still, people here don’t seem too upset with this. I was told that by paying big taxes you help society in many different ways. Finns have small gap between poor and rich, quite amazing social security system which functions well. Oh, and did I mention that these guys trust their government completely? Crazy, right?! And beautiful at the same time nevertheless.
No place is perfect. Finland is no exception. It has it’s perks and I do miss many things from my home country Lithuania. But all in all I can say my stay in Finland has changed my understanding about things I took for granted for a long time. I used to think certain things could be done only one way and that there was no way they could be done differently somewhere else. I was wrong big time and feel very fortunate to have experienced it first hand and learned form this society. I hope this text gave a little taste of Finland beyond Santa Claus, reindeers and other cliches.