5 Good Reasons to Work in Iceland

1. Work-life balance

A normal Icelandic workweek is 40 hours including lunchtime and coffee breaks, often with flexibility regarding the exact time you arrive and leave. The commute to work is also usually short, allowing you to spend more time at home with your family. You will have a long summer holiday with at least 24 paid vacation days each year as well as 17 public holidays.

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2. Family friendly workplace

Icelandic companies are family friendly and understand that you may have to come in a bit later or leave early for a parent-teacher conference. You also have sick leave both for yourself and children under the age of 13 (two days per month for yourself and one per month for your children). This allows both parents to stay home to take care of sick kids when need be. Read more.

3. Gender equality at work

Iceland has topped the list for gender equality since 2009 and the gender pay gap for the same job is only 4,5%. In 2017, the Equal Pay standard was put in place which forces larger workplaces to prove that they pay their employees the same wage for the same job without discriminating on the basis of sex. Paternal leave is also equally split in Iceland, allowing both parents to spend three months at home with their newborn, with an extra three months to split between them as they wish (9 months total) with 80% pay during that time (capped at ISK 520,000 per month). After which you can bring your child to a dayparent until the age of two when they will be guaranteed a place at a kindergarten.

More about Equality in Iceland.

More about Daycare & schooling.

4. Easygoing business environment

Icelandic businesses have a rather flat structure where you will probably be able to talk to the CEO of the company as equals. Everyone is addressed with their first name which makes thed business environment less formal than elsewhere, and networking is relatively easy since the population is so small that if you want to meet someone to discuss a new idea, you probably work with someone who knows him/her. Meetings are often short and succinct with an honest conversation taking place about what needs to happen next which can take a moment to get used to but ends up with more efficient meetings. Many meetings also take place in a casual atmosphere, over lunch or coffee.

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5. Strong Unions

Icelandic unions are strong and well respected. They negotiate for higher wages and better benefits for their members and are there for you if you need any help with your dealings with your employer. They also offer benefits such as renting a summerhouse through the union or refunding courses that may aid you in your professional development. Read more.