Friday, August 10, 2012

Empty Offices in the Swedish Summer

Time? 3:40pm
Last email arrived?  1:37pm

Over two hours ago! In Space, no one can hear you scream.

Help, I’m trapped in a Swedish office and 75% of my co-workers have left on vacation!

Empty desks where I work...

Wow, it sure is empty here. I ride the empty subway cars to work and then I work 8 hours in a nearly empty office. Even though there are roughly 25 people here at any given time, I can’t see them without heading down a long hallway because my desk happens to be at the other end of the hall from those who are not on vacation at this time.

I’ve never experienced anything like this. The vacation time is substantially shorter in the US and I’ve never worked anywhere in which the whole office emptied out. (I was lucky if I got 2 weeks in the US, here I get 5 weeks, although one of those weeks is in compensation for not receiving overtime.)

No one in any of the conference rooms...

I tried to prepare myself for it. I knew I was taking my vacation unnaturally early (mid-June to mid-July) on account of family coming to visit but I didn’t quite realize how strange it would feel when I returned to an empty office.

It’s great for my personal productivity because there are a lot fewer distractions and “fires to put out” but it sure is lonely...

Will the last one out of Sweden please turn off the lights?


  1. Yes Kristin I can only imagine how strange it is because you and I come from a culture that doesn't have vacations like this. Well glad you get 5 weeks off and now back to work you go!! :o)

    1. Thanks, Monica. Happy "Here comes autumn!" ...Well, maybe that is premature... :)

    2. Ha,ha about the Autumn part here we are going into a 90-95F couple of days!! So I am waiting for Autumn as well I can't stand it that hot. I swear we are getting your California heat and I guess I will have to move to Alaska to get my Washington heat!! :o)

  2. Hmmm..... You should get 5 weeks anyway. This is what you are legally entitled to. If you get compensation for notnhaving overtime, they should add another week.

    1. Thanks, Nina. It's good to have people looking out for me. :) I guess I got it wrong...I do have 5 weeks plusan extra week for compensation BUT this does not happen till I have earned it, which is to say, worked for one year. Before that, I received 20 days on credit. Confused? Me, too. But I guess it all works out. Thanks for commenting.

    2. Ah, that explains it. Yep, lots of companies gives you a number of days on credit. If you work for 5 years you dont even have to pay them back in some companies, nice. Enjoy your vacation!