Nordic Ambassadors Luncheon: – Work life balance is not a zero-sum game

GREAT INSIGHT: Nordic Ambassadors from the left Mr Niclas Kvarnström, Ms Anita Nergaard, Mr Dorte Bech Vizard, Mr Antti Vänskä together with Deputy Secretary Ms Jacqueline Poh and Professor Henrik Bresman

Work life balance provides for success, both for companies and their employees – and for joint Nordic events!

A high-ranking Singaporean official, four brilliant Nordic business cases and four highly competent ambassadors guided by a professor in organizational behaviour. Not to mention a service level beyond imagination. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing, according the 90 PAX crowd attending the Nordic Ambassadors Luncheon on Work Life Balance at the Four Seasons Hotel 2 October.

The joint organizers Swedcham, FBC, DABS and NBAS got great feedback from the participants that were excited by the open mindedness, competence and ease showed by Jacqueline Poh, Deputy Minister from Prime Minister’s office (‘call me Jackie’). She had studied the Nordic practice on work life balance and is inspired to implement some of the measures here in Singapore. As the Swedish ambassador to Singapore, H.E Nicklas Kvarnström, pointed out: Singapore only seeks inspiration from the best. That means that the Nordic countries are very good in the field of work life balance.

And there was a lot to learn at this Luncheon. Gustav Heiberg from Norsk Hydro accentuated the importance of leadership, leading by example, for good work life balance. Vasishtha Tandan from Maersk showed an extensive and systematic work life balance&wellbeing- program implemented in the company. Robert Radway revealed that Handelsbankens policy is to tie work life balance to the banks strategic objectives, while Minna Rouru from KONE pointed out the importance of work-life balance being embedded in the company’s philosophy.

On a higher, political level, professor Henrik Bresman brought out the competence and wisdom of Jackie and the four excellences, ambassadors Nicklas Kvarnström from Sweden, Dorthe Bech Vizard from Denmark, Antti Vänskä from Finland and Anita Nergaard from Norway. Factors as nature, culture, regulations, trust, and sisou were brought forward to explain how the Nordic countries have reached the present level of work life balance.

There was many takeaways for the guests, and one of the most significant ones is that work life balance is not charity or a zero sum-game. A good work life balance program creates more value for the company through more productive and content employees.

A big thanks to the above-mentioned contributors for making the Nordic Ambassadors Luncheon such a successful event. And also, thanks to our sponsors, Nordea, Salling Search, Flokk and the VIP sponsors Astra Zeneca and Lofoten Arctic Water. The latter represented by the lovely mother-son couple Mable & Sam, who with their handout of tastefully designed bottles with Nordic water, symbolized the dynamic relations between Singapore and the Nordics.

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