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Working in Norway For Members

High wages and a good atmosphere: The verdict on working for a Norwegian firm

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
High wages and a good atmosphere: The verdict on working for a Norwegian firm
Here's what readers of The Local had to say about the working for a Norwegian employer. Pictured are a group of workers around a laptop. Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

High wages and an excellent work-life balance could be expected when working for a Norwegian firm, The Local's readers have said. However, not everything about Norwegian companies was so great.

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We asked readers in Norway for their thoughts on working for Norwegian companies and whether it lived up to expectations – seeing as firms in Norway are known for high wages, a good work-life balance and a flat hierarchical structure.

According to our readers (thanks to those who responded to the survey), the reality of life at a Norwegian firm could mostly live up to the lofty expectations that many hear about.

"So far, I have seen only positives, great people with a 'get things done' attitude, willing to go the extra mile most of the time, (and a) inclusive and relaxed workplace," Mihai from Romania said when asked about the positives of working for a Norwegian company.

"The relaxed attitude about work, things are getting done without people being micro-managed. Also, there is a really relaxed attitude when it comes to working hours. I can start almost any time of my choosing as long as the work gets done," he added when asked about what surprised him about working with a Norwegian company.

Shawn, a South African living in Oslo, listed employee security, competitive salary and trust in foreign workers as some of the best things about working for a Norwegian company.

However, he still experienced some culture shock when adapting to a Norwegian firm.

"Lunch culture (mapakke) surprised me, and occasionally how lazy people are towards making an extra effort," he said when asked what was different about working for a Norwegian company.

One of the most common positive differences mentioned by readers was the work-life balance in Norway. Izzy, from the Philippines, was one of those who noticed a big difference in attitudes when it came to work.

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"It was less stressful than working in my home country. I was shocked how work-life balance is greatly emphasised at our work," she said.

However, she still said that in terms of enjoyment, working in Norway was about the same as other countries she had worked in.

"Getting a higher salary is a positive thing. I do have difficulties socialising though, and sometimes I can't catch up with some company news since a lot of it is in Norwegian," she said when listing the pros and cons of a Norwegian company.

Another reader shared that they felt the information on working for a Norwegian business didn't quite line up with the reality of the situation.

"The internet said there's less hierarchy in Norway, but I find that to not really be the case. Salaries are lower than expected, especially now with the weak krone compared to the euro," the software developer said.

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He added that the way holiday pay and salary payments in the country worked during the summer tripped up many.

There were also readers who found other negatives with Norwegian employers. Some shared that they felt there weren't enough incentives for good performance and that some colleagues and companies lacked drive.

Others said that it seemed hard to get someone to take a chance on a foreigner or that it could be a lonely experience being a migrant worker in a Norwegian office.

Work training seemed to divide readers. One, an architect, argued that the quality of training wasn't good enough and that the companies they had experience with had poor facilities and organisation.

Meanwhile, Deborah in Karmøy said that she was impressed with the organisation she worked for and that the level of courses and external study offered was impressive.

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Comments (1)

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Constantí 2023/10/16 11:30
Very nice article. I would be nice to know what Shawn said about "mapakke" and people not willing to go the extra mile.

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