Finns are not ostentatious and this is reflected in the dress code adopted in mainstream business circles in Finland.
A wide variety of styles and levels of formality can be observed but everything is typified by a desire to be seen as unpretentious.
Men tend to wear sports jackets and trousers in offices and these are often in muted or pastel colours. Women will often wear trousers and again will be smart without being too flashy.
Casual wear such as jeans and T-shirts can be found in many of the more hi-tech industries.
Be aware of the climatic changes in Finland. Take lots of layers of warm clothes in the winter – its cold outside, but sometimes very hot in the office. Hats, scarves, gloves and rubber-soled shoes are advisable in the winter months.
Written and Produced by Keith Warburton
Finland punches above its weight and has done for decades. For a country with a tiny population, geographically remote and with an inclement climate the fact that Finland is considered a world leader in a number of areas is a remarkable achievement and a testament to the resilience and determination of its people.
Maybe Finland’s success is down to its world famous ‘sissu’ (read the country profile to find out what that actually is) or maybe it’s just down to the fact that Finland has been able to develop an education system that is globally envied and endlessly studied. Whatever the reason, Finland is in many ways remarkable. If you are looking for a market with an affluent, sophisticated consumer base which is technologically advanced and open to new ideas, then the idea of doing business in Finland should appeal to you.
Yet Finland is in many ways an enigma. Nordic but not Scandinavian; with a seemingly endless border with Russia but definitely not Slavic. Even the Finnish language has no similarities with its near neighbours. For these reasons Finland is often referred to as a cultural ‘lone wolf’.
Doing business in Finland can bring enormous benefits but Finns are notoriously circumspect. A better knowledge of Finnish business culture can help you overcome any initial reticence you might encounter and enable you to develop deep and long-lasting relationships. Finns are interested in people who are interested in Finland – so show an interest in all things Finnish and you will reap the rewards.
This country profile provides an overview of some of the key aspects of Finnish business culture in a concise, easy to follow-format. The document includes information on: