STOP, FIKA TIME – cos the Swedish have it right…
STOP, FIKA TIME. A much-welcomed phrase being bellowed across the Manifest London office on Tuesday afternoon.
If this magical phrase means nothing to you, don’t worry, we hadn’t heard of it until recently following the opening of our Stockholm office where our lovely Swedish colleagues introduced us to the concept. But get ready, you’re about to be educated in the art of Fika and you’ll soon be loving it as much as us. Lucky things.
Fika, as it turns out, is pronounced ‘fee-ka’ and despite literally meaning “to have coffee”, it’s so much more than that. Rather than just downing a cup of joe, it’s a time to step away from technology, slow down and appreciate the good things in life – all with a plate of pastries by your side.
Apparently the magical little word can be used as both a noun and a verb, who wants to Fika and let’s have some Fika. It’s an important social event where employees can get together to have a natter about pretty much anything. Go offline, switch off, unplug… basically just bloody talk to each other.
It’s so central to Swedish life, just about everyone gets involved right up to management, and it’s even seen as rude to avoid. So, obviously we all get involved. Bonus – it’s part of our 2017 Manifest resolutions.
Yep, we’re more than happy to abandon our desks, ditch our phones and laptops and set up camp round the kitchen table, diving into a plate of pastries and chatter. Everything from the ridiculous Trump sitcom from across the pond to indulging in our ultimate travel lust lists, right through to the complex internal debate we feel over the Kylie lip kits to whether successfully eating an entire pack of bourbon biscuits can be deemed a ‘party trick’. There are no topics off the cards and to see your line manager launch into a heated debate over smooth or crunchy peanut butter* is surely what Fika is all about?!
Joking aside, taking the time to slow down, unplug and take stock of your day and those around you can only be a good thing, and is surely why it resonates with so many of us. Life has a habit of making you shout things like ‘where the hell did February go?!” (In fairness, where DID February go?? Like seriously!) and you can find yourself churning out the same old stuff. Not on our watch. We want to kick ass everyday, embracing new cultures and experiences so that ultimately we’re coming up with bigger, bolder and more beautiful ideas for our clients.
Now if that’s the power a coffee and a croissant can hold, we’re so on board. As if you need any more reason to give it a go…
*I think it’s pretty obvious that people who choose smooth peanut butter have given up on life – Tim Vooght