Why Finland leads the world in flexible work

Maddy Savage:

Miika Härkönen was fed up with the long, dark winters in the Finnish capital Helsinki, so he asked his manager if he could work remotely from Spain for six months.

Since his wife had just had a baby and was on parental leave, the idea was to “work from home” from a rental apartment in Malaga, doing his regular job as a senior team manager for an IT company while also maximising time with his family.

His boss was open to the idea after Härkönen wrote down a list of his main tasks – which included managing 20 employees – and his solutions for completing them from his makeshift office.

“It worked brilliantly actually, even a bit better than I thought,” beams Härkönen, who’s now back in the Helsinki office and sits at a stereotypically Scandinavian white desk, with a sheepskin draped over his chair.