Stockholm happens to be the most scenic city in Sweden. Crime is very low and literacy is very high.
I spoke this week at a finance conference at the Stockholm Business School. I had 5 days to explore to find 7 fun things aside from my work as a researching speaker at the conference.
My wife is caring for her aging mother and could not attend. Hence I considered my explorations research for a time when I will return to Sweden with her for fun in the Nordic summer sun.
Sweden is widely known as a country for romantic interludes. New workplace regulations make Stockholm the best place in the world to rekindle your marriage or find your soul mate.
Here is an alternative to the endless treadmill of “chasing the American dream.”
Over a decade ago Swedish managers at the Toyota center in Gothenburg (Göteborg) made a bold experiment in organizational behavior. They cut the workday from 8 to 6 hours.
But they retained the same pay.
And ten hours a week less across thousands of employees was a dramatic cut in worker’s time-in-motion. Conventional business analysts believed that performance would drop.
Something surprising happened.
Somehow productivity and profitability of operations increased. This has been attributed to deeper contentment in the workplace leading to more focused work. And more efficient use of time has been shown to foster higher productivity despite a shorter workday.
A recent article in the Harvard Business Review concludes that working overtime is counterproductive. In response the entire country of Sweden has decided to work fewer hours but with more focus.
What Would You Do…
With 10 Hours a Week more for Fun …
There are many reasons people become workaholics. Culture plays a big role.
The United States cultural focus is on individual achievement. Benefits don’t roll very far below the typical individualistic American CEO and his or her top cronies.
Warren Buffett has denounced the self-entitled behavior at the top of most Fortune 500 firms as far more hyena-like than cooperative.
The cultural heritage of the “self-made man” or “self-made woman” has been elevated to a central American figure since frontier times. This myth of United States society was popularized by the American author Horatio Alger.
The Fortune 500 corporate king-of-the-hill, zero-sum culture demands competition for scarce resources.
Swedish culture is the polar opposite. Sweden is driven by an ancient code that evolved from millennia of surviving Arctic winters. The law of Jante emphasizes humility in working with the population around you. In not seeking to be special the Swede who embodies the Jante culture optimizes team integration. The Swedish Shield of Jante is a unified culture that promotes thoughtful sharing of scarce resources for the best of all involved.
This has helped Sweden withstand the recent worldwide recession triggered by the United States subprime mortgage crisis.
Opportunity abounds for professionals willing to relocate. Stockholm is now the major center for startups outside of Silicon Valley.
Is it Time to Move Your High Potential Career to Scandinavia?
Here are the top romantic interludes to do in the city after you rev up your resume, LinkedIn profile, gather feedback videos, interview, and land your new career in Europe.
Have ever dreamed of chucking it all for the relocation of your career to a 6-hour workday in sensational Stockholm (even if the urge just hit you now for the first time)? Here are the 7 most romantic interludes to to escape into (with 10 more hours a week off)…
The 7 Most Romantic Interludes of Stockholm
Romantic Interludes #7: Ostermalm Saluhall
Back in the 1980s Copenhagen’s train station had an amazing seafood buffet. I have found such culinary delight unavailable in the Americas to this day. This was my first experience with amazing Scandinavian food. My favorite romantic food place in Stockholm is the Ostermalm Saluhall since it easily parallels the amazing Oceanic cuisine across the sea in Denmark. This is a covered food market making it perfect for a slow rainy day with a loved one.
Romantic Interludes #6: Stockholm Archipelago
Sweden is flatter than neighboring Norway. The Scandinavian terrain has formed through the erosion of countless glaciers. Glacial rebound has formed a series of amazing archipelagos. Take a look at Utö, Gålö, Arholma, Grinda and Huvudskär for a variety of uniquely romantic Nordic experiences. Activities range from hiking, canoeing, kayaking, camping, fishing, boating, to fine dining.
Romantic Interludes #5: Stockholm Canals
The Göta Canal is 118 miles long with 58 locks. The conceptualization of the canal began in 1798. It took 22 years for 58,000 soldiers to dig and build during 7,000,000 effective days of work. The M/S Juno begin service in 1874. Sweden still offers a 4-day romantic interlude cruise on the canal from Gothenburg (Göteborg) back to Stockholm. If your thing is cruising put this one at the top of your bucket list.
Romantic Interludes #4: Stockholm Old Town
Gamla Stan is the Old Town district of Stockholm. Here’s a reminder of just how clean Scandinavian countries are. You can drink the water from the old German fountain near the Nobel Museum. Have lunch at the ancient restaurant of Den Gyldene Freden (Österlånggatan 51). Don’t miss the tiny square Brända Tomten (Burned Lot). Make sure you enter Riddarholmen Church of the Royals if you can.
Romantic Interludes #3: Skansen Open Air Museum
Swedish history has impacted the world through vibrant story telling. In 1891 the Skansen open-air museum was built. You can walk through typical village scenes that have evolved over five centuries throughout Sweden. If you loved the Norway part of Epcot at Walt Disney World prepare to take your Scandinavian experience to a whole new level.
Romantic Interludes #2: Drottningholm Palace
The Drottningholm Palace is home to the Swedish Royal House of Bernadotte. King John II of Sweden built the property for his queen, Catherine Jagellon in 1580. The grounds are filled with well-kept gardens. King Charles XIV of Sweden abandoned the property in 1818 to distance his family from the preceding dynasty. The property was restored in modern times. The royal family took residence in 1981 and graciously allows the public to visit for romantic interludes.
Romantic Interludes #1: Kungliga Djurgården
The Djurgården is the number one romantic interlude our list because it allows you to visit the Vasa Museum, Junibaken, and the Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde. All three attractions are indoors making them perfect for rainy days with your family or significant other. You can see the only existing seventeenth century warship in the entire world at the Vasa Museum. Then you can stroll through a Swedish mansion that is now a museum in the Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde. Finally you can steep your kids in the lore of Astrid Lindgren in the fictional home of Pippi Longstocking inside the Junibaken.
In conclusion, you don’t have to work in Sweden if you have enough money inside tax sheltered retirement accounts.
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