As a country, Denmark ranks in the absolute top in terms of flexibility and work-life balance
Many employees in Denmark benefit from a great degree of flexibility, and they have the freedom of distributing their workload according to their individual needs, as long as deadlines are met and tasks are solved.
The work-life balance principle is something Danish companies take pride in, as it reduces stress among employees, motivates them to perform at their best and fosters innovation.
Proactivity and productiveness are expected from employees - no matter their title or function.
Danes are usually informal, open and laid-back
Danes are usually informal, open and laid-back at work, and they highly appreciate humour and irony, which are typical elements of a Danish workplace setting.
Communication is clear and straightforward among colleagues and managers alike, creating a casual atmosphere where everybody is addressed by their first name and titles are rarely used.
The work hierarchy is flat as Danes value equality and openness
A predominant characteristic of Danish workplace culture is the flat hierarchical structure.
Danes take pride in their egalitarian mindset which is in fact representative of the entire Danish society. This is why titles are rarely used at work and everybody is considered equal and treated with the same respect, no matter their position in the organisation.
In fact, equality is such a big part of Danish workplace culture that everybody, whether student assistant or manager, is encouraged to voice their ideas and get involved in decision-making processes and professional dialogues.
The open plan structure with glass walls and doors, as well as the open-door culture that most Danish companies practice, also promotes the idea of equality, openness and a flat hierarchy.
Danes value socialising
In Denmark, being social with colleagues at different occasions and events is considered a sign of integration, appreciation and thriving.
The majority of Danes are fluent in English and an increasing number of large Danish companies have made English their corporate language. Despite this, social encounters, small-talk and lunch conversations are still carried out in Danish, and many companies will actually require Danish skills when hiring.
Internationals are therefore strongly encouraged to study Danish, as it significantly helps and speeds up the process of integrating into Danish society as well as into any Danish workplace.
4 quick tips on Danish work culture
✅ Be on time; never late nor too early.
✅ Join your colleagues for lunch. Most socialising and networking takes place here.
✅ Learn Danish! It shows commitment and the will to integrate into Danish society and the workplace.
✅ State your opinion and contribute your viewpoint to a conversation. Your colleagues and managers will appreciate it.