Be more Fika! Discover and embrace this easy, simple and popular Swedish philosophy which has so many benefits professionally and personally. This article will explore The art of Fika, what is Fika, how to be Fika and the benefits of Fika.
What is Fika? Fika Meaning – Fika Definition
Fika is not only a noun and a verb, it is a Swedish concept and state of mind. Fika is known as a coffee break but it is much more than that!
Fika is a moment to slow down, to appreciate the good things in life.
To unplug from the ever busy world we live in and embrace the slowness of life.
To meaningfully connect with someone over a coffee or tea. No phones, no mind chatter, no distractions.
This concept resonates with many cultures around the world.
To have a coffee or tea break. To take a moment for yourself. To get your mind off things. To hone in on the present moment. A breather as Australians would say.
Fika in Sweden – Is it just afternoon Fika? It is interesting to note that Fika is actually taken multiple times throughout the day in Sweden, “almost all employers in Sweden encourage their employees to enjoy fika twice a day when at work; 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the afternoon.” This emphasises the importance of more than one break in a working day which is easy to forget when you are caught up in the hustle and grind of work.
Next time you find yourself at work feeling stressed or when life is flying by – Fika.
The art of Fika – Coffee break
Five ways to be more Fika at work
- Take a break from what you are doing – it could be stepping out of the office to buy a fika coffee, making a tea in the kitchen, having a delicious snack at your desk without working – simply being there and savouring every bite.
- Leave your desk. Go for a walk around the block, embrace the nature that is around whether that is a local park or taking notice of tree lined streets. Go to a fika cafe, fika tea bar, fika coffee house, fika espresso bar- a place that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable.
- Pause for a moment in time. Take a few deliberate breaths. Focus your attention on your breath and how you are feeling.
- Fika doesn’t just have to be within a physical environment, try the art of Fika digitally! The digital environment means deliberate connection, use collaborative tools and create intimacy through honest communication.
- Bake a delicious treat and share it with colleagues! Taking inspiration from Sweden, try these sweet delights: Chokladbollar – Chocolate Balls, Kanelbullar – Cinnamon Buns or Rulltårta – Roll Cake.
The benefits of Fika
- Boost productivity with the brief break of Fika! Research has shown that brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task, as we lose focus and performance the longer we work on a task.
- A Fika break will refresh your focus, especially given it encourages the removal of distractions such as using your phone. Whilst we all logically know this, researchers from Rutgers University in 2019 found that it is best to avoid using cellphones as it leads to mental depletion and poorer performance. Not ideal for the workplace at all.
- Strengthen your connection with colleagues whilst conversation flows over a coffee. You may even find you are bonding over this daily ritual which everyone can participate in (forget hierarchy) simply enjoy your time together.
- Improve your mental health by taking a break. To do your best, you need to be at your best. Fika encourages self care to refuel and refresh which will reduce your stress levels.
- Get your creative juices flowing! A Swedish survey conducted noted that only 9% of ideas were brought up in a conventional work environment such as a meeting room. Given the calming nature of Fika, it isn’t surprising that it is a more conducive and pressure free place to brainstorm and bring up ideas.
Fika cafe locations around the world
Fika in the USA
Fika New York. Fika NYC – Konditori, a Swedish Fika Espresso Bar in New York. In fact Konditori means a traditional gathering place to enjoy warm drinks, delicious baked goods and treats – Very Fika! Fika Hattiesberg in Mississippi known for it’s cosy and relaxing atmosphere with delicious sandwiches.
Fika in Australia
Fika in Canada
Fika Cafe Toronto – Located in Kensington with beautiful house made food and coffee of course! It is known to be very instagrammable with it’s cool and airy interrior and artistic book wall feature. Also in Toronto, Moonbeam Coffee Company a cosy, homey spot for espresso drinks with an outside patio area too.
Fika in the UK
Fika in China
Fika in India
Fika in Pakistan
Fika Coffee Co. in Karachi, Pakistan known for their variety of coffee blends and cakes such as Tiramisu. They continuously search for the best and most innovative artisanal beverages in Pakistan.
Find out more about the art of Fika
Fika (my fav Swedish word) – Barbora Jedlovska
What Is Fika? An Introduction to the Swedish Coffee Break – Anna Brones, The Kitchn
Research used in this article on the Art of Fika
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Brief diversions vastly improve focus, researchers find.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110208131529.htm>.
Rutgers University. “Need a mental break? Avoid your cellphone: Using a cellphone during breaks led to mental depletion, poorer performance in a recent study.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 August 2019.