What are the do's and don’ts when working in Denmark?
These do's and don’ts are of course general guidelines, so do ask in your workplace to find out how things are at your exact workplace.
- Take time to socialise with your colleagues over coffee or lunch.
- Be friendly and polite to your colleagues and your manager. The Danes are typically a little afraid of conflict, so conflicts in the workplace are often handled quietly rather than ending up in an argument.
- Spend time on “hygge” and having a good time together. The Danes like it to be enjoyable and fun to go to work. “Hygge” means enjoying each other’s company, having a cosy time.
- Be on time.
- Everybody is addressed with the informal “du” (you).
- Everybody is expected to participate/contribute to discussions and debates.
- Take part in social activities at work and be part of the team.
- Show initiative and independent thinking and don’t sit down and wait for tasks.
- Learn Danish.
- You do not have to wear particularly formal clothing when you go to work in Denmark (unless you work in a more formal workplace). It might be a good idea to enquire about the dress code of the workplace, but generally the Danes dress less formal for work than people in most other countries.
- Casual Friday is almost non-existent, so you do not wear more relaxed clothes on Fridays than the rest of the week.
- Do not smoke too much. Smoking is not allowed indoor in Danish workplaces, and some places you cannot just take a cigarette break when you feel like it. Ask what the rules are if you are a smoker.
- Do not use formal language. In Denmark, we do not use titles like “sir” and the language in the workplace is often less formal than in the rest of the world. The Danes use first names and say du when they address each other both in general and in the workplace.
Read more about Danish workplace culture at How is the Danish workplace culture?