How expats can achieve a better work/life balance in Sweden?


Whether it’s due to the country’s promising career opportunities, or down to its generous approach to paid parental leave, it’s easy to see why Sweden is known for offering a great work/life balance and a high quality of life. This is further reflected in HSBC’s most recent Expat Explorer Survey which ranks Sweden first place for work/life balance.

Stockholm on the waterfront
Stockholm, Sweden

To help expats discover how living and working in Sweden can improve their work/life balance, this article takes a deep dive into what the country has to offer in terms of career opportunities, lifestyle and more.

Career opportunities

Home to a diverse range of industries, from telecommunications and automotive to agriculture and pharmaceuticals, Sweden has a lot to offer expats in terms of career opportunities.

To help expats find a job more easily, the Swedish Migration Agency and the Public Employment Agency regularly put together a list of occupations that are in high demand. Known as the labour shortage list, expats are able to sift through the list to see if there are any jobs available which require a particular set of skills. One thing to note though is that this list is only available in Swedish. If you’re already fluent in Swedish then great, if not, you may have to use some translation tools to decode it.

If you do happen to be skilled in any of the areas listed, you’ll have a better chance of being accepted for the job role. Plus, if you are offered a job that is in high demand, you can apply for a work permit from Sweden instead of having to return to your home country to apply.

English is the language of business and commerce in Sweden and even though many companies use English as their corporate language, it is ideal to learn Swedish too. Being able to speak conversational Swedish will help you better communicate with the local population and may even help you to secure a job, even if the job role requires you to be fluent in English.

With an abundance of career paths for expats to pursue and a clear way of finding out which jobs are in high demand, finding work as an expat is made simple.

Paid parental leave

If you’re relocating to Sweden with your family, then you’re in luck. As a very family-oriented country, parents living in Sweden are entitled to a generous 480 days of paid parental leave once a child is born or adopted. Of this, parents should expect to receive around 80% of their salary for 390 days, and a standard rate of SEK 180 per day for the remaining 90 days.

Bear in mind that parents are only eligible for this if they have been working legally in Sweden for at least 240 days and have contributed to the country’s tax system. Adding to this, employees in Sweden have the right to take at least 25 days of paid holiday each year.

With an emphasis on family time and free time, finding a good work/life balance is not just important in Sweden, but actively promoted through benefits such as these.

Employee health benefits

Workers rights are one of the cornerstones of the Swedish labour market, and as such, an environment where the health and safety of employees come first is essential. In addition to support from Labour unions, the Swedish Work Environment Authority (Arbetsmiljöverket) – a government agency, ensures employees’ wellbeing at work.

The Arbetsmiljöverket also emphasise that employees’ mental health is just as important as their physical health, which is why strong measures are put in place to ensure healthy working environments. This is another example of how Sweden support its people, and encourages a good work/life balance.

As well as ensuring employees are well looked after when it comes to their physical and mental health, the wider Swedish healthcare system is generally considered to be of a very high-quality too. Patients reflect on the high standard of care received, with 90% of people using primary care saying they were treated with respect and consideration by staff.

Even though the Swedish healthcare system is universal, there are some costs patients will incur, which is why expats working here sometimes opt for a private health insurance plan to ensure they don’t have to pay any out of pocket fees. Having the peace of mind that you would be covered if anything were to happen to you health-wise can make all the difference.

Space to breathe

Having space to breathe is an important part of finding a good balance between your work life and your everyday life. Thankfully, Sweden is known for its luscious green spaces and for promoting an outdoor lifestyle.

For example, Stockholm, Sweden’s blossoming capital, is packed with parks, forests, small islands and coastal walks, all minutes from the city centre. Surrounded by water and greenery, Stockholm offers expats a unique opportunity to live and work amid a mix of natural and urban landscapes.

Even though Sweden experiences long and dark winters, this doesn’t stop people from engaging in exciting outdoor activities – whether it’s skating, sledding or skiing. People in Sweden know how to work hard, but they also know how to enjoy their natural surroundings.

With an array of green spaces, plentiful career opportunities, and an emphasis on good health and wellbeing in the workplace, Sweden offers expats many ways to achieve a healthier balance between their work life and free time.

Creating a successful business in India

The India International Trade Fair in New Delhi
The India International Trade Fair in New Delhi

Are you looking to jump-start your business in India ? A hot tip for young entrepreneurs is to participate in the India International Trade Fair.

To learn more about this event, read this article !

If you are an entrepreneur who wants to go global with your business, India is certainly one of the top countries to go to. Its position as the 6th biggest economic power in the world, offers a lot of opportunities to create a successful business. So if you want to start a business in India, a helpful step will be visiting the India International Trade Fair in New Delhi.

What is the India International Trade Fair (IITF)? A way to create a business in India

First of all, the IITF is a major trade fair which takes place every year in India. It is an event for the business community which began in 1980 and has continued to grow ever since.

Many industries are represented in the country such as textiles, food processing, software, pharmaceuticals, and various others. As a result, you will definitely find the field that suits you best. What better way to get accustomed with them but to visit the India International Trade Fair in New Delhi ? #IITF2019

This event is organized by the India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) and takes place at Pragati Maidan. This famous venue hosts the largest exhibitions and conventions in New Delhi. Therefore, it has enough room to welcome numerous B2C and B2B businesses.

This year the India International Trade Fair is hitting yet another step in developing India as a new destination for young entrepreneurs. The country will host companies from all over the world for 14 days, creating a great opportunity to network and start businesses.

Experience cultures from around the globe

As a result, last year, 3 millions visitors came from more than 50 countries.

Every year the IITF has a specific theme, partner country, focus country and focus state. For instance, last year, in 2018 :

  • Theme was “Entreprises from Rural India”
  • Partner country : The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • Focus country : The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
  • Focus state : Jharkhand (state of India)

In 2018, the India International Trade Fair has registered participation from countries all around the world.

Here the video about the IITF 2018

See different areas of interest and important figures

The fair allows many sectors to have their own space. Exhibitors showcase their products such as

  • Textiles
  • Processed food
  • Drugs
  • Telecommunication
  • Electronic Sector

Among the 3 millions visitors, you can meet various Senior Managers, Business Leaders, Government Departments and also Private sector players.

The next trade fair will be organized between the 14 and the 27 of November 2019.

There are a lot of trade shows about differents subjects in India. You could find about all of them on the following link : https://www.tradeindia.com/TradeShows/Country/IN/

Ideas of Trade Shows in India :

  • Food Expo
  • Energy Expo
  • Clean Tech Environment Expo
  • Future Energy Expo
  • Auto Expo
  • ..

Finally, this India International Trade Fair is not like any other. It is the largest among all trade fairs and welcomes people from more than 50 different nations. Therefore, a good guide could benefit you throughout your journey. To learn more about the specifics of doing business in India, find tips on this link : https://businessculture.org/indian-business-culture/

Take care world travelers !  


Paris vs London : Business and cultural differences

In 2018, for the first time in history, Paris became the most attractive European city, ahead of London, for businesses to invest in, according to a report of Ernst & Young. Each year, more and more workers leave the United Kingdom to work in France. For most of them, it is an opportunity to know more about French Culture, the business in France and especially in enterprises. Indeed, French Business Culture is really special and different from the UK one. How do jobs in Paris work for non-french people?

Team work in France

Work atmosphere in France

French executives need to relax out of their company in order to release all the tensions accumulated during their day. Indeed, in France, the more you are in a high level of a hierarchy, the more you work in a tense atmosphere. In the UK, it is the complete opposite, as the high levels of hierarchy are known as being relaxed at work. Sometimes English Humor is not appreciated as its own value by French people during negotiation, and now we understand why !

Working time

Working time

On average, French people spend less time at work when compared to British workers. When you work in France, you work around 35 hours/week maximum, whereas in the UK it is 37 hours minimum per week.

Don’t worry, if you work longer in France, you will be appreciated for your motivation!

Enterprise committee

In France, when a company has a lot of employees (more than 50), it needs to have a committee which represents the needs of these employees. The main goal of this committee is to be the link between workers and the direction of the company. It defends the interest and the needs of the employees and it ensures a good working atmosphere.

The Enterprise Committee (EC) really has to make the working environment more appreciable and enjoyable for workers. Contrary to the culture in France, the United Kingdom doesn’t have this kind of employees committee, it works most of the time with a trade-union.

Strikes

Strikes

How could we talk about business culture in France, without talking about strikes? In France, strike is almost a national sport. There is no week without that kind of event in France.

In the UK, there are only a few strikes each year. It can be surprising when you know that English people generally belong more to trade unions than French people.
Be ready for being surprised with this, just as all the non-french people working in Paris, or France generally.

Relationship with CEO

Relationships between a chief executive officer and his employees in the French Business are really different in both countries. In the United Kingdom, employees are more seen as colleagues. Indeed, they can easily approach their CEO and talk with them.

In the UK, it is something common that the CEO and their employees enjoy time together for a golf or a tennis game for example. In the French business culture, the situation is completely different, employees are seen more as subordinates and they have to keep distance according to their position in the company.

Business Culture

Find out more about Business Culture in France or UK :

Trouver un logement à Londres: colocation, agence, … que faire ?

Comment trouver un logement a Londres ? Collocation appartement tous nos conseils

Vous envisagez de partir vivre à Londres? Une des premières étapes pour votre nouvelle aventure londonienne sera de trouver un logement. Et il n’est pas toujours évident de commencer ces recherches. Qu’allez vous choisir entre la colocation à Londres, les agences immobilières, les plateformes collaboratives? Quelles voies utiliser pour ces recherches? Quels sites web privilégier? Quels quartiers cibler ?

1. Les agences immobilières

agences immobilières londres

Les agences immobilières représentent de manière générale un moyen fiable de trouver un logement à Londres, même si elles représentent une solution onéreuse. Vous trouverez des annonces en provenance d’agences immobilières proposant des offres professionnelles. Si vous optez pour ces agences, nous vous conseillons de choisir des agences immobilières françaises qui vous aideront plus facilement et d’éviter les agences locales qui demandent bien souvent des garants résidant déjà dans le pays et des frais de dossier à l’inscription. Toutefois, des frais supplémentaires peuvent s’appliquer et les délais peuvent être un peu plus long, tout dépendra alors de votre budget et du temps dont vous disposez !

L’avantage des agences est qu’elles vous “protègent” des mauvaises surprises grâce aux contrats et à l’accompagnement qu’elles proposent. Toutefois, cet intermédiaire pour trouver un appartement ou une maison sera coûteux. De plus, les petites périodes sont peu traitées par les agences il faudra alors se tourner vers les plateformes collaboratives comme airbnb ou trouver d’autres solutions pour trouver un logement dans Londres.

2) Les sites d’annonces spécialisés dans la location de logement

sites annonces spécialises logement londres

Les sites d’annonces immobilières entre particuliers peuvent représenter une alternative intéressantes pour vivre à Londres. En effet, ces derniers permettent de s’adresser directement à des particuliers sans avoir d’intermédiaires comme les agences immobilières. Cela permet de simplifier les délais, les démarches et surtout les frais, même si l’offre pourra être moins professionnelle et claire.

Voici une liste des principaux sites que nous avons identifiés :

3) Les plateformes collaboratives:

plateformes collaboratives londres airbnb

Le marché des plateformes collaboratives est en plein essor depuis ces dernières années et a largement gagné en qualité et en fiabilité. Notamment grâce aux systèmes de notations et d’avis, ainsi que du fait de l’exigence croissante des clients qui vont se renseigner au maximum avant de choisir. Tout comme les sites de particuliers, les plateformes collaboratives sont un très bonne solution pour trouver un logement à Londres. Elles se démarquent grâce à leur flexibilité importante et à la croissance importante du nombre d’offres existantes.

Nous avons identifié deux sites de ce type pour vivre à Londres :

  • Airbnb, leader du marché, propose des logements à Londres pour des petites périodes mais également plus récemment des longues périodes (6 mois). Attention dans le calcul de votre nuit à bien vérifier le prix de la commission airbnb, les coûts de ménage ou d’autres frais additionnels.

Le choix sur airbnb est vaste mais les meilleurs logements qualité/prix partent en premier. L’avantage de la plateforme est qu’elle propose un système de notation. On peut alors se faire une idée de notions non abordées dans l’annonce par le propriétaire : l’appartement est-il bruyant ? Bien chauffé ? Les voisins sont-ils aimables ?

Site de Airbnb

  • SpotAHome est un site qui vous permettra de visualiser réellement votre futur logement. Les risques d’arnaques sont réduites à 0. En effet, les équipes de SpotAHome se rend dans le logements afin de prendre des photos eux même, et produisent eux-même une vidéo afin de vous montrer le logement envisagé.

Site de SpotAHome

4) Les réseaux sociaux

réseaux sociaux page groupe facebook logement londres

Les réseaux sociaux sont aujourd’hui des moyens rapides de trouver un logement pour tout type de budget que ce soit pour des séjours longs ou courts. N’hésitez pas à consulter certains groupes Facebook tels que :

Ces quelques groupes vous aideront à trouver un studio, un appartement ou encore une colocation. Cette dernière étant la solution la plus adaptée par les étudiants ayant un petit budget. L’avantage des réseaux sociaux est que vous pouvez directement prendre contact avec le propriétaire puisque les échanges se font principalement entre particuliers.

5) La colocation

Colocation Londres

Au vu du prix du logement à Londres, la colocation reste la solution la moins onéreuse. Pour trouver une colocation à Londres, plusieurs sites existent pour trouver le logement idéal.

Ils vous permettront de trouver facilement une colocation à Londres selon vos besoins.

Voici les sites que nous avons retenus. Ils permettent de choisir la fourchette de prix, la zone ainsi que le type de chambre qui vous intéresse:

Le plus important lors du choix de votre colocation, ça restera le nombre de personnes avec qui vous voulez vivre. Il faudra être capable de partager des espaces en commun en respectant vos colocataires et en acceptant leurs habitudes tant qu’elles ne dérogent pas des règles. Il faudra être clair sur les frais qu’il y aura à payer (taxes, chauffage, internet, etc).

Néanmoins, hormis ces points qui peuvent en rebuter quelques uns, la vie en colocation fait partie de la vie Londonienne. Cela vous permettra de vous sentir moins seuls, de vous amuser et même de faire progresser votre anglais !

En conclusion, vous avez désormais à votre disposition toutes les options possibles pour trouver le logement idéal à Londres dans les meilleures conditions. Bon courage dans vos recherches !

Si vous êtes à la recherche de plus d’informations, nous vous conseillons notre article dédié au Royaume-Uni.

8 tips for finding accommodation in India

Accommodation is one of the core factors that defines your experience in India. Several factors need to be taken into account. If you are following western media, you might have heard scary stories but, here are 8 tips to help you find your perfect accommodation in India.

Indian street image

1) Know local Indian abbreviation

First, you need to understand local abbreviation in order to precise your research. The term “BHK” which represent Bedroom +  Hall + Kitchen. For example, if you have 1 BHK, it corresponds to a flat with 1 bedroom, a hall and a kitchen, 2 BHK for two bedrooms.

2) Pay your rent

  • Avoid Cash, credit card and direct deposit to local bank account. There are difficulties to register paiements and direct deposit can generate additional fees according to your own bank.
  • Choose one of the following payment methods :
    • Certified Check. A certified check is issued by a bank. It will state that the tenant’s bank account has the necessary funds available at the time the check is written. Therefore, this form of payment is more secure than a personal check, but not as secure as a cashier’s check.
    • Cashier’s Check. There is a larger fee associated with a cashier’s check and they are only issued by a bank where you actually have a bank account. The bank will withdraw the funds from the tenant’s bank account. Then, it will serve as guarantor of the amount that the cashier’s check is for. Since the bank guarantees this amount, you do not have to worry about a tenant withdrawing funds from their personal account before you try to cash the check.
    • Online. Online payments that do not require you to provide any of your personal banking information to a tenant are a good option. Actually, it is quick and the funds usually transfer immediately or within a day or two. Quick paiement and little effort. Furthermore, there are many online rental payment sites such as ERentPayment, RentMatic, and RentMerchant.

3) Several ways to find an accommodation in India

As in United States or in Europe, you have few ways to find accommodation as an expatriate in India. Of course it’s easier in big cities, but you can easily find accommodation in India through real estates agencies. Moreover, you can find an accommodation on social medias as Facebook groups or in some forums of expatriates.

4) Share your flat with someone

As an expatriate in India, you will want to meet and discover other people ! You can rent a room in a flat which is an easy option to meet friends. Indeed, it’s easier to find a room and it can be an affordable and simple option to start your life of expatriate in India.

women in india

5) Check electricity and water

You have to be careful of is the quality of your accomodation supplies. You must verify plumbing and electricity system because the power is often cut during summer in India.

6) Be careful in case of full-furnished accommodation

According to the law about registration, it is mandatory to register your rent contract if it lasts less than 11 months. However, in some India’s States, this registration is mandatory whatever the contract’s duration. In order to avoid any conflicts with your landlord, it is recommended to write every terms of your rent contract. Finally, your landlord must sign it and you must communicate regularly with him.

contract for accommodation in India

7) Be careful of fraud

In order to avoid frauds, you have to know the deposit is negotiable. Don’t be surprised if the landlord announces a high deposit. It might want to take advantage of you and set you up because you’re a stranger.

8) Rent, don’t buy

Renting an accommodation in India is easier than buying. Indeed, the buying process as a stranger is very complicated. If you want to be a landlord, it is mandatory to :

  • possess a resident’s permit
  • find an experimented and trustworthy lawyer to avoid fraud

If you would like to learn more about Indian business and culture, check out our other articles :