10 most obvious signs of trust in the Nordics

Copenhagen, Denmark. Sipping your coffee at a Joe and the Juice. This one is probably the trendiest coffee shop chain in Denmark at the moment. You are sitting there alone just before going to a business meeting. Your laptop is open on the table to get some work done. Your mobile phone is also on the table. Oh! You need to go to the toilet. No problem! Get up and go!

“What about your belongings?” one would ask. Can you really leave them unattended and not worry about them? Yup. No worries. There is trust. You can feel safe that when you get back they will be as you left them. Hard to believe this can happen? It does! Why? Repeat after us: it’s because of trust. One of the most fundamental Nordic values that reaaaaally make your life so much easier.

Read on for the Top-10 signs of trust in the Nordics.

From trivial everyday things to more important societal issues, trust is all around them. They even claim that the robust Nordic economies owe their growth to trust, to a certain degree. In any case, life gets so much easier and stress-free if you can trust your peers or even strangers.

Here are the Top-10 signs of trust in the Nordics. Why not try to embrace some of them?

1. Unlocked doors. In Finland, they have these Abloy keylocks on the flat or house doors. You can leave the house without keys because you will be able to just open the door from the outside when you come back. Only if you push the button at the lock, you will need keys. So the norm is to leave doors unlocked. And in case you did not know the correct way to open a door, trust the Finns!

2. Wallet lost & found. No worries if you lose your wallet. Chances are that someone or the police will contact you to give it back to you. Intact. All insides still there. There was even an experiment some years ago. They dropped wallets with money on the street and measured how many of them would be returned. The Nordics won.

3. Privacy rules #not. Privacy is respected. But when it comes to your social security number or bank account details, people share them in an instant. They trust others, that they will not scam them.

4. Queue culture. People in the Nordics love queuing. No one is going to take your place in the queue even if you leave for a minute to go to the toilet. It is considered major wrongdoing. Queues are sacred.

5. High taxes. People happily pay up to 40% or more of their annual income in taxes. They trust the authorities and the state, that they will spend them wisely to the benefit of everybody.

6. Independent work. Bosses have trust in their employees, that the job will be done, within deadlines and that if they work at home, they will indeed work. If you need help, you must ask.

7. Rules respected. Nordic societies are meritocratic. Everyone has opportunities to prove their smarts and advance. Everybody respects the rules and people have trust in one another that everybody is playing by the rule.

8. Promises kept. You trust other people that they will deliver on the promises they have made. The same goes with you too. Never ever promise when you cannot deliver. Others expect you to keep your promise, otherwise, you are frowned upon.

9. Unattended items. No worries if you need to leave things unattended to do something else. This includes babies in carriages. No one is going to steal them. People have trust and crime rates are low. People also trust others, that they will keep an eye for your stuff too.

10. Cabin sharing. Most Nordic people have a cabin in the nature. If someone wants to use it while they are away, the owners will happily tell you where the keys are and let you use anything as you wish (provided you clean up at the end).

Trust is not easily established. But when it is, the need for control goes away. Building trust with others is a step by step process but worth it.

After all, as the Swedes say “There are only two things you can’t trust: a baby’s bottom and April’s weather”.