Working in Denmark

Workplace Culture

  • Danish workplaces are characterized by an absence of the highly hierarchical structure found in many other countries.
  • Danes are some of Europe’s most efficient workers – but they do not just live to work. Maintaining a good balance between time on the job and personal life is important to them, and employers respect this. 
  • While the Danes are hard workers, they prefer to do their jobs within Denmark’s 37 hour official work week. Staying extra hours is discouraged, and most employees leave at around 4pm to pick up their children and begin preparing the evening meal.
  • Danish working culture is characterised by open and informal dialogue between employees and management. Teamwork plays an important role in many workplaces, and mutual respect is a key term. Manners between colleagues are informal and relaxed, and humour plays an important role in everyday life.
  • Asking ones colleagues for advice is not seen as a sign of weakness. The ability to cooperate is regarded highly, and people help each other across status and professional categories.
  • The line of command between the boss and the employees is short, and in principle everyone – regardless of education, position or social status – is regarded as equal.
  • This is reasonable as much responsibility and influence is given to the employees which is highly valued – higher than, e.g., salary and employment security.

Management culture

  • You will have to work hard and you will have to deal with many new and challenging circumstances along the way, especially at the beginning. It won’t all be easy and there may well be some things that you may not like. Be prepared for it to be tough, that is all part of the adventure and this is what will make it feel all the more worthwhile long after you have returned home.