Here at the Templafy office in Copenhagen, we’re proud to have over 20 different nationalities represented in our team. We love the diverse background this brings us, and believe it aids our international approach. Templafy promotes an inclusive culture, but we are aware that a team with many international members will undoubtedly face some cultural differences. We interviewed a few members of our team to find out how working in central Copenhagen compares to working in their native countries.
Title: Implementation Consultant
Native Country: Moldova
Key workplace differences: Freedom and flexibility are the two things I enjoy a lot about working in Denmark! The biggest differences are that hierarchy is almost invisible in Denmark, there’s more freedom in terms of tasks and a less strict time schedule. I also enjoy the option to work from home (which I almost never do, but it’s nice to have the possibility).
It’s great when you get an idea or a new skill, and you can go to your boss and openly discuss how you can implement it in the company, and you will be listened to and very often even get the chance to make it work. Also, in general, you can speak pretty openly about all kinds of things with all your colleagues, no matter what position they occupy. That’s almost impossible in Moldova.
Title: Communications Assistant
Native Country: U.S.
Key workplace differences: There are three main differences that I’ve noticed between working in Copenhagen and working in the U.S. Firstly, it’s very different that top management sits with everyone in an open plan office, instead of having their own separate office spaces. I love the idea of a flat working structure. We also all eat lunch together every day here, where in my last job we only ever did that on special occasions. Also, we have Friday bar in the office once a month which really promotes a good work life balance, and it’s nice to be social with colleagues, which isn’t something I had experienced before.
Title: Digital Marketing Specialist
Native Country: Finland
Key workplace difference: The amount of cake was surprising. There is at least one weekly “cake day”, but on top of that, people bring cake to the office all the time for various reasons. I have yet to crack the code for when I am required to bring cake, but I do know that you have to bring it on your birthday. It is important to remember that people here take cake day very seriously – once this catering company served pears with chocolate mousse instead of cake, and they were basically fired after that.
Title: Front End Developer
Native Country: Italy
Key workplace differences: In Italy most of places have a longer lunch break – it is common to go home to have lunch, or take a long lunch in the city and then go back to work. While this is nice, it also makes the working day longer, so you cannot go home at 15.00 or 16.00 like most people with kids (have to) do. What I like about working in Copenhagen, at Templafy, is that my working day is flexible in time and space. I can easily manage my family and work schedule every day.
It is stereotypical, but for me, being able to go to work by bike is nice and healthy.
I also really like the flat structure we have and how easy it is to talk with everyone. The Friday meetings we have are great because they mean we know what’s going on in different areas across the company, although they are always too much about money and sales in my opinion!
Title: Head of Content and Brand
Native Country: New Zealand
Key workplace differences: The main differences between working in New Zealand and Copenhagen are that here we eat lunch together, there’s 5 weeks holiday as opposed to 4, no one says please because it’s not part of the Danish language, and people often leave at 4pm! Also, Christmas parties and summer parties are such a big thing in Denmark.
Native Country: The U.K.
Key workplace differences: Cycling to work past lakes and a castle is a welcome change from being sat on the London Underground’s Piccadilly Line!
The working system is really different in Copenhagen in comparison to my past workplaces. I’m used to not being able to make changes to long established workflows, and having any suggestions for improvement spending weeks going through senior management, to then be disagreed with for reasons that are never fully explained. At Templafy, you can easily make suggestions, and have frank discussions about whether they may work, with no air of superiority from people in the top positions. It’s nice to be able to sit and chat with everyone at lunch and Friday bars, regardless of how long they’ve been with the company, or how senior the position they hold.