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How to FIKA at work like a true Swede?

Having a short conscious break at work is a scientifically proven way to increase efficiency and productivity for the rest of the day.

I am a bit angry and disappointed. FIKA, the Scandinavian concept for “having a coffee”, has become the latest Swedish sensation across lifestyle and minimalism blogs and communities. It has the potential to dethrone the Swedish word of 2017 for “just about the right amount” LAGOM (more about that here) and the concept of coziness HYGGE (to be fair — that’s Danish).

Why exactly am I angry and disappointed? It’s because fika is a… way of having a “coffee break”, usually mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon at work — a habit so strongly engraved in the work culture of Bulgarians, where I come from, that we just missed a huge opportunity to think of a cool word like “fika” and sell it to the whole world.

Having the coffee is where the similarities between the Swedish and the Bulgarian habit end. Colombians, Italians, and Americans — they all drink the coffee too, but it’s the Swedish “fika” that can be most beneficial to a C-Suite Minimalist in a pursuit of simplicity, increased productivity and efficiency. Here’s why.

Fika is a way to power down.

While drinking the coffee, no matter if you can afford to spend 3 or 30 minutes on it, you are not to stress over work, to complain to a fellow colleague about your grumpy boss, or to catch up on delayed tasks. Having the coffee in a fika way is supposed to provide a moment of mindful showdown from the busy schedule to power you up for the rest of the day.

Fika can be done alone as a moment of

Coffee meditation.

It can also be practised in good company of colleagues in order to get your head out of “that report”, “that meeting”, “that assignment” and socialise briefly in a friendly atmosphere. Socialising on social media is not fika at all. A friendly conversation with another human in flesh and blood on topics like upcoming weekend plans, new book or similar can also do the fika trick.

Fika has to be done in a

Fika room

not on your work desk. The reason is that to get the full benefits of it, one should rest not only his or her mind from the task sat hand, but also the body from the same-old-same-old posture in front of the computer. Fika room does not need to be even a room, but a calm place that makes you relax and enjoy the free moment.

Having even a short conscious break at work is a scientifically proven way to increase efficiency and productivity for the rest of the day. So happy fika!

* The author of this article first learned of FIKA from Jenny Mustard, a Swedish-born blogger and minimalist. Check her work at

** If you wish to use this article to share about fika, be kind to credit The C-Suite Minimalists.

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