With a quick search of Alta Vista it doesn’t take long to find an approving hipster blog post about the almighty Fika break. If this is to be the new trendy work bandwagon then we’ve bought tickets and are now well and truly along for the ride which feels a little strange for us, as we aren’t just fickle followers of fashion, we don’t do ‘trendy’ for the sake of being trendy, however something in Fika felt right.
For the unenlightened out there, Fika is the genius Nordic concept “to have coffee” which is more often than not, accompanied by some form of sweet baked goodie.
Taking a fika break is nothing out of the ordinary for our Nordic brothers and sisters but for us obedient Brits, taking a more intelligent approach to our time in work, realising that downtime is as important as busy time for optimum productivity, is taking its time to get through.
And as we all know, the working day is a long slog. That post-carb stint between luncheon and home time can be an arduous battle against the dreaded heavy-eyelid-wandering-mind and one reason we have embraced fika is to help combat this inescapable drop in productivity and concentration. Mentally revitalising us when we need it most and thus allowing us to push on until the end-of-day hooter sounds and our masters tell us we can “go home for a bit”.
When it comes to work stress, there can be nothing more demoralising for the soul than getting caught up in the downward spiral of a problem. Think Michael Douglas, Falling Down. Fika has unwittingly added some light relief in this department with its laid-back format away from the desk. We now use it as an informal but powerful problem solving forum.
Another consequence of these short gatherings is that we have somehow become closer as a group. All of a sudden we know a little more about each other, we chat about mundane things, personal experiences, stories, science (the moon landings, flat earth) and of course the usual work stuff which feels somewhat easier to digest over a coffee.
Touch wood, we’ve actually become somewhat of an empathetic bunch, more open to work colleagues feelings and personal situations for in the digital workplace its so easy to just Slack or email a colleague where a face to face would be so much more friendly and efficient.
So far, our experience of Fika has been hugely positive, enhancing the working atmosphere here at KMP and thus our output by at least 83%. That there is a made up number, but you get the point.
We feel good.