An interview with Lars Nordwall, COO of Neo Technology

“At Neo Technology’s offices in various countries we strive to offer our employees a work environment where they get time with family and friends, knowing that once in a while they may need to step up and push boundaries by working longer hours,” he says.

How did you find the culture in Silicon Valley overall after Sweden?

Across markets, working hard and delivering good results in business is critical. However, in Sweden, it’s less about pushing people to the limits and letting everyone know about it. Why would you need to work a 60-80 hour week, when you will earn the same for a 35-40 hour week? In some cultures like Silicon Valley, it has become quite common to show off about working long hours and having little time to relax, but this simply isn’t lagom.

Another characteristic is that Swedish associates aren’t afraid to approach chief execs and question how and why they do certain things. In more hierarchical cultures, this simply wouldn’t happen. The confidence that the Swedish gain early on in life certainly pays off. As a result, employees get a strong sense of job satisfaction, feeling valued and respected by their employer.

On the other hand, Silicon Valley is a hub for incredibly bright and driven people that makes it a unique location that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Life in the Valley is different than elsewhere. Lagom in Sweden is different to lagom in the Valley, but the work-life balance is something that is reaching the Valley with a storm.

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