I have work experience in Japan / America / Denmark.
This is what I was surprised at – compare to those 3 countries.
- Lunch. Basically, eating out is expensive in Denmark so it’s less common to go out to eat for lunch. When I was in Tokyo and Seattle, there were tons of food take out / lunch combo. I had never seen Lunch Catering service in Seattle actually. Some big companies has own cafeterias where employees can eat for cheap. But Catering, not that I know of.
Whereas Denmark, many companies hire catering companies to bring food everyday. I missed eating out.
- In Denmark lunch time is only 30mins.
I was shocked when I heard it… I thought I would go for a mini walk to refresh mind, or do some errands, look around stores etc etc …. Not in Denmark.Danish work place is very focused. You come into work, you work. Stuff something in your stomach so you won’t get hungry for hours. Back to work and go home.Heck my friend worked for Microsoft in Seattle goes to see a movie during the work hours (but he worked extra 2-3hrs later). This won’t almost never happen in Danish workplace .
- Early Start, Early End.
Another shocking was, many work places start early. Most are 8am – some are earlier like 7 or 7:30am!! When I was in Seattle I went to work at 10am… Danish people would be shocked to death.They come early, eat short lunch then leave work like 3 or 4 pm, it seems a typical work schedule…. which is very different than Seattle AND far from Tokyo work life.
- They don’t hang out after work.
Maybe singles may go out together after work, but it doesn’t seem very common?
- Focus on Work. Then go home.
yeah, so this is the mentality in Denmark. You come into work, you focus on working then go home.
In Seattle a lot of IT people usually step out to grab coffee at cafe near by. Sometimes they sat down to chat with co-workers for 30mins ~ 1 hour?
Grabbing a coffee break isn’t a culture here, which I miss very much…
So after experiencing 3 countries here is what I think.
Japan and America, I think in my opinion, super fun, exciting and you get awesome experience to work if you are singles. I mean, if you don’t have kids. You can design your work schedule, come in late, work late, take a break during the work. My work in Seattle was 100% best job I had in my life. I truly miss it, the company, co-workers and my lifestyle there sometimes.
Denmark, is good if you have a family with kids. Once you have kids – your life is focused on kids. I still think it’s a very busy life though, you have work, kids, life, family – however It is a kid-friendly country, by far from many other countries… I think.