How to be a Professional Norwegian Employee

For anyone doing business with Norway, there is a different professional style. The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranks Norway 9th out of 189 countries for 2016 and the values discovered in the general culture overlap into the business relationship, whereby Norwegians respect honesty and sincerity.

Norwegians only do business with those they believe, and transparency is crucial to make this relationship. You must be open to discussing all phases of yourself, your partners and your business with a potential client.

Essential industries in Norway include oil and gas, fish farming, industrial fishing, mineral processing, hydroelectric power, shipping, and shipbuilding.

10 Tips for Doing Business with Norway

  1.    Business hours

Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 4 pm.

  1.    Business language

Norwegian, but English is spoken throughout with a high degree of fluency. Even when you need an Norwegian to English translation, you can do it without any problem as many have made a business out of it.

  1.    Dress

Business determines business dress. The finance and sales areas are more formal and often need a suit, while technical staff can have a more casual dress code.

  1.    Gifts

Several organizations have a policy restricting their employees from receiving gifts. If an expat wants to give a gift, it is better to request them out for dinner instead.

  1.    Gender Equality

Fully equal; women doing business in Norway will receive the same treatment as men.

  1.    Greeting

Most Norwegians use first names in a business setting, after the first introduction. Males and females shake hands as equals, and in no particular order, but on a daily basis usually just greet without shaking hands.

  1.    Business culture in Norway

Business culture in Norway tends to be relaxed and informal, and sometimes a bit unstructured. Coffee breaks are regular and socializing and having fun at work is supported, as it is believed that pleasant employees will be more productive. Norwegians have a healthy balance between work and rest, and most people leave the office at 4 pm.

  1.    Social Equality

The key to famously doing business in Norway understands the concept of social equality, a belief in the fundamental equality of people. Everybody feels like they can associate directly with everybody else in this Scandinavian country, and, in line with this principle, Norwegians tend to place straightforward contact with the person who can make things moving.

  1.    Decision making

The chain of command is often quite flat, and decision-making models are based on agreement and understanding. Decisions may take a long time because of this, as many ideas need to be taken into account. Expats are required to engage in the conversations and need to bear in mind that decision-making may be a slow process in Norway. Norwegians are usually not afraid of disagreeing with a leader, another likely result of its equal society, in combination with strong job security and an extensive social welfare system.

  1.  Business Meetings

Business meetings in Norway will start on time, and will ordinarily address points of business instantly, with only a few minutes of quick small talk before, which is typically done before everybody is in place. Meetings generally are managed informally, and often without any note-taking or minute-keeping.

Dos and don’ts of business in Norway

  •    Be on time for business meetings and private appointments
  •    Advise of delays of more than five minutes
  •    Get down to the company after only a few minutes of small talk
  •   Be honest and frank
  •    Dress well when going out in the evening if it is a planned appearance
  •    Flag any possible obstacles as soon as possible
  •    Don’t say yes if ordered to do something that cannot be performed on
  •    Don’t stand too close; personal space should be respected