The Open Workplace Environment

Over the past week, Gerald and I have gone to a variety of different companies including from “all things internet” at Ziggy Creative Colony, Klarna, Ericcson and Saab (military and defense products). Each company has its own unique office environment but similarities can been seen throughout most companies. There are clear differences between startups and multinational corporations. For this blog, we are going to focus on startup companies workplace environments.

There are some similarities that can be observed over all the companies including color schemes, furniture and lighting. A majority of the companies have white walls with splashes of color of vibrant reds, oranges or greens. Modern furniture and lighting with clean lines can be seen throughout all the offices. There is a large space centrally located in the office where the employees can enjoy lunch or a fika. Fika is the term used for a coffee and pastry break in the Swedish culture. We have shared fika before each visit with the employees who plan on spending time with us and answering all of our questions.

One major difference the startups and the corporations is the general workspace for the employees. In startups, the workspace tends to be more open and inviting. Very few employers provide cubicles; rather they have long tables where the computers are located for employees to sit at. Many companies especially Ziggy and Klarna have computers next to each other where employees have the opportunity to collaborate easily with one another. One really cool feature at Klarna was that the desks were adjustable in height so that the employees could stand (which is better for your body) and still perform the work function. A number of companies don't have specific desks for their employees; employees can move around based on the type of work needed to be performed, where there are open desks and where they want to sit. This type of work environment works well for companies with a startup mentality and want to encourage creativity among employees.

Overall, it has been a wonderful experience so far meeting the variety of CEOs, vice presidents and directors who each gave us insight on the inner workings of their companies. Here's to a few more days of company visits. Tomorrow, we will be at Volvo all day and then Copenhagen on Wednesday.