Working the Lagom way, first and foremost, means having a good work-life balance. Recognizing that the rest of your team is comprised of human beings, not machines. Human beings have complex lives and relationships, and although work is important, challenging, rewarding and even fun, it isn’t and shouldn’t be everything that makes up one’s life. When I first started working, I put in long hours every week, just like all the other newly examined graduate eager to make a good impression.
But things have changed. I’ve become smarter and more experienced. I realize now that not everything has to be done today, and tomorrow is in fact another day. Just the other week, I was in a meeting where I ‘complained’ about how busy my week had been because I had worked 56 hours. And from the looks on faces around me, I realized how lucky we are here at Sköna. For us, that’s an anomaly and something we try hard to avoid. When I realize people are in the office after 6pm, I worry that something is amiss and I try to analyze what is going on and what steps we need to take to avoid this. For us, working long hours is not an honorable badge.
The truth, in my opinion, is that we work in a creative field. As such, our job is to have new ideas, to be fresh, to think in new ways and to try new things. How are we supposed to have those new ideas when we’re always looking at the same four walls?
What else does working Lagom mean? If work-life balance is at the core of it, having a team that looks out for you is what enables it. Like truly creating a family atmosphere to make sure that whatever supplies we have are enough for the whole team, whatever that supply may be. It’s a way of implementing democracy in the workplace, to always consider justice and equality. We don’t have a written policy for this, but every day I see this attitude in action. In the way that colleagues notice that someone else might have too much on their plate, and step in to ask if they can help or the way that people celebrate other people’s successes, complimenting one another on good ideas or work well done. We’re competitive against forces from the outside, but inside our Sköna walls, we’re supportive all the way.
So what can you do if you notice your team is working around the clock? A good way to start is to tone down the hunger. We’ve been in business for 14 years and I couldn’t be prouder of the company we’ve built and who we are today. But we’re no unicorn. We’re not experiencing 80% year-over-year growth. But why do you have to feel the need to? Why can’t you be happy with what you’ve got and not constantly think of what’s next, how to improve what you’re doing, how to grow it and make it bigger. By always chasing, you’re never satisfied and always finding fault in where you’re at. And perhaps that’s the secret to Lagom, it’s not about world domination but about doing honest, good work and building strong relationships. Both inside your organization and also with your clients and your vendors.