General Information:Capital: Stockholm
Political system: constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy with the prime minister and prime minister.
Population: 10.3 mil
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Official language: Swedish
EU single emergency number: 112
Rescue service: 112
Cultural differences and advice from Intercultural Communication Coach:
The official name of Sweden is Konungariket Sverige, which means Kingdom of Sweden. Sweden functions as a constitutional monarchy, headed by King Carl XVI Gustaf with his wife Silvia since 1973.
Sweden is known for its high standard of living, socially oriented policy, and emphasis on equality in terms of gender, nationality or religion. The Swedes spend their free time mainly playing sports and their life philosophy is closely connected with the protection of and life in nature. In summer, a large number of the Swedes spend their free time in nature and this stay is best if it is without modern technology.
The Swedes do not belong to the cultures that make new friendships with unknown people on their own initiative. They rather expect the initiative from the other side. However, after overcoming the initial getting-to-know-each-other phase, they build long-term and strong friendships.
Punctuality is expected in both private and professional life. Many shops close quite early at weekends and time is reserved for family and relaxation. Swedish people are lovers of coffee and tap water. Bottled water is just another way how insensitively people approach nature. The Swedes stand in queues exemplarily wherever people wait for something. You will not be served at any office without taking a number.
The Swedish business culture is one of the cultures where the equal relations between team members and leaders in co-operation are emphasized. Like a film director, the leader helps the team in its direction and the direction is determined by the team members. During the business meetings, there is an active discussion, which is not led by the team leader but by experts in current issues. The Swedes also belong to the cultures that prefer a direct style of communication. However, what is difficult for cultures with the same communication style are the moments of silence that they use to rethink strategy and what to do next. In business or private life, Swedish people pay great attention to environmental protection. They also expect this from their business partners and put emphasis on it in business relations.
Recommendations for Co-operation with Colleagues from Sweden:
The Swedes welcome every opportunity to solve projects and problems individually, to make their own decisions and take responsibility.
Team members are expected to take the initiative and exchange information actively.
Observance of the agreed dates and agenda of a meeting is an expression of respect. Mutual support when working on a project is part of teamwork.
There are strong boundaries between work and private life. The summer months are the period when the working life slows down and the Swedes spend a lot of free time in nature.