In our series of advising international talents (and international companies) seeking their way into the Swedish job market, we stumbled on an interesting question that many have not thought about before. So:
Is this an important question to ask during your job interview?
What does your internal lunch culture look like?
This may seem like a strange question, but especially in Sweden and the Swedish food culture, it can be a very important one. It tells you a lot about the company culture in general.
In many countries, it’s quite common to just a quick sandwich behind your computer (eg in The Netherlands) whilst quickly answering some emails in between. Maybe after this, there is room for a quick lunch walk and then it very often is business as usual again.
That is why this seemingly unimportant question can be of significant value because it tells you something about management and company culture.
Furthermore, the value of a good lunch break is numerous. It is a fact that the human body is not made to sit on a chair for the whole day. It needs to move. Therefore, a good lunch break is a must. Often the fact that you move also makes one tends to eat less and healthier.
At the same time, your brain is also thankful to be able to “switch off” for a while. It’s physically impossible to be fully focused for the whole day.
Leaving your working environment and going into fresh air also increases the chance of fresh new ideas. Hence fact that you probably also notice that you might be much more productive during the rest of the day.
Many companies in Sweden have their own in-house canteen, with a fully equipped kitchen and microwaves, so you can bring your own meal, a lunch box (matlåda).
Many companies even have subsidated lunch as a benefit to their employees.
Very often this way of social contact is quite underestimated. It is a very good opportunity in many cases to see your colleagues in a different environment and therefore you might even chance how you look upon certain colleagues.
An interesting additional fact is in Sweden, lunch is a great way to do business. You will find that most restaurants serve a 'daily lunch/ warm meal", Monday - Friday. "Dagens lunch". The cost of a 'Dagens lunch' vary from what you are eating and where you are eating. But a typical 'Dagens Lunch in downtown Stockholm is anything from 120-200 SEK.
In other words: A good lunch break is good for you, but also for your employer.
Having said this: we're out for lunch !!!
(Oh, by the way; good advise not to do a business call in Sweden between 12-13, then they are out for lunch!)