When I started working at Garantell as a Belgian city girl, I was introduced to a lot of new habits and routines on the work floor. Swedish style. Yes, some are more peculiar than others. One of these habits is eating breakfast together with all the Garantell employees. Every day, at 9 o’clock on the dot, a bunch of sandwiches, eggs and yoghurt is waiting for us, joined by the fresh smell of a cup of coffee. The latter seems a detail, but it is serious business this coffee: Swedes are famous for their coffee drinking. As a food lover, I surely appreciate the fact of getting a paid breakfast, but the most important fact about this company breakfast is not the food, but the talk.
Sitting together, across departments and hierarchy, actually breaks down barriers between people. Now you are probably wondering if while I chew my bread I get entertained on topics like rear mesh, point load, machine guard norms? No, one actually finds out what people have been up to in their weekend. It is however not only small talk. One is introduced to the irritations and happiness others encounter at their workplace. Besides stimulating communication, it creates cross-pollination. People for instance tell stories about when the company just started up and how they developed it. Or which problems they encounter. By mingling various perspectives, new things are born. Furthermore, it is kind of practical to know how eeny, meeny, miny, moe goes in Swedish … yes I learned it all in the breakfast room.
It is actually a place where magic happens. It’s always refreshing, because if something (an idea, a solution …) comes out of it we can take it up at a later moment. And yes, there are days I like to stick to my herd - which is quite ok in the corona-world – but there is always somebody of another department ending up at the table. If not, our CEO Mikael gently encourages us to mingle.
My customers know by now that I am not reachable at 9 o’clock. When they talk to me afterwards they always ask if my sandwich tasted well. They get a detailed explanation of what I ate, but also what we talked about. Because this is more than food, I am getting inspired! It is food for thought, literally!
Jealous? Whenever you are in the neighborhood of Garantell in the morning, you are also welcome to join us! Your coffee and sandwiches are waiting for you!