Fika is Swedish for coffee break. Or at least I have to take it on good authority that it is. My Swedish is not good.
But attributing the term coffee break to the word fika seems to do little justice to what it really tries to convey, what it really is.
I guess that the introduction of coffee shops into many cultures the world over in recent years has done something to turn the simple act of having a coffee into a pleasant, social experience that many of us purposely seek out rather than stumble across, but in Swedish workplaces, it seems they’ve long been switched on to the idea of the coffee break as a daily (usually twice-daily) ritual.
The real value in fika lies in connection and reconnection – the opportunity on at least a couple of occasions in the working day to take a moment to interact with your colleagues – one, some, or all of them, even if only briefly. An opportunity to move away from the glare of the computer screen and the overflowing inbox. To pause, and to share some quality time with others.
This seems a most agreeable custom.
What time is it?