Finland Retains Title as World’s Happiest Country, Anchored in Unique Work Philosophy

Calista Alma
April 01, 2024

For seven consecutive years, Finland proudly holds the title of the world’s happiest country, as revealed by the latest World Happiness Report.

Miika Makitalo, CEO of HappyOrNot, attributes Finland’s happiness at work to two key factors: a profound trust in institutions and colleagues, coupled with a steadfast commitment to achieving a harmonious work-life balance.

HappyOrNot, headquartered in Finland, is renowned for its smiley-faced feedback buttons found in airports and various retail spaces globally. With 56 employees representing 15 different nationalities in Finland, as well as staff in the U.S. and the U.K., the company exemplifies diversity and innovation.

Makitalo emphasizes three phrases that encapsulate the Finnish mindset towards finding fulfillment in work:

No one is born a smith“: This maxim underscores the belief that proficiency is acquired through learning and experience, encouraging individuals to pursue their aspirations fearlessly.

Serious business matters are taken care of; otherwise, we’ll be like Mary’s chickens on the loose“: Derived from Finnish literature, this phrase champions a culture of flat hierarchies and personal accountability. Employees are empowered to address urgent tasks independently while fostering open communication and feedback.

“Forward” said the granny in the snow‘: Serving as a metaphor for resilience, this phrase encourages proactive problem-solving and forward momentum, even in the face of adversity. It embodies the Finnish ethos of embracing challenges with optimism and determination.

These phrases reflect a work culture characterized by continuous learning, autonomy, and a pragmatic approach to overcoming obstacles, making Finland a beacon of workplace happiness and productivity.

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