A recent study conducted by E2 Research sheds light on the experiences of foreign workers in Finland's labour market. According to the study, employees with a foreign background view the Finnish work culture positively in terms of low hierarchies, approachable supervisors and managers, work-life balance, and trust between employer and employee. However, foreign workers still face challenges at the beginning of their career, including difficulty navigating residence permit procedures, lack of information about working life, and language barriers.

The study involved 25 qualitative interviews conducted in five languages with foreigners working in manual and service occupations in the service sector, social and health care, construction, and agriculture. The data provides insight into people's experiences of Finland. The project was part of Building Finland's Future - Inclusion and Collaboration in Work Life.

One of the challenges faced by foreign workers is the difficulty of finding a job that matches their skills. The lack of language proficiency is also a barrier for many. Furthermore, some had to pay so-called key money to an 'agent' to secure their first job, indicating a lack of transparency in the hiring process. Despite these difficulties, most interviewees were able to improve their position in the labour market gradually.

The study also found that obtaining a permanent residence permit increased the enjoyment of living in Finland as it reduced uncertainty about the future. Nevertheless, racism and Finns' prejudices against immigrants were significant negative experiences for many. Some interviewees feel that customers and managers assess the contribution of foreign employees more critically than that of Finnish employees. Proficiency in Finnish is also considered crucial, helping immigrants to make friends and understand Finnish society.

Many interviewees appreciate the high level of education available to children in Finland and view the country as a good place for their children's future. Having their families join them in Finland promotes immigrants' successful integration, as does their spouse's and children's enjoyment of life in Finland.

The study reveals that people often have little advance knowledge of Finland before moving there. They rely on websites, social media, and acquaintances living in Finland for information. The study highlights the factors that influenced their decision to move to Finland, such as high-quality education, clean nature, and democracy.

In conclusion, the study shows that Finland's work culture is viewed positively by foreign employees. However, challenges persist, particularly at the beginning of their career. It is essential to address these issues and work towards creating an inclusive work culture to ensure that Finland continues to attract foreign talent to its labour market. As Senior Researcher, Doctor of Political Sciences Rolle Alho from E2 research points out, it is essential to identify the strengths and weaknesses of Finland's working culture to create a better future for all.