A thing that you will find very surprising when you come to work in a norwegian company (and I have now been in quite a few), is the blatant duality of how many norwegians go about their day on and off work.
Outside the office building, you will see norwegians walking quickly, hastily, to work or other places. You will see many of them jogging in fancy sport suits, riding bicycles, riding roller skis up a hill, and generally trying to exert themselves as much as possible. even inside most office builds, most norwegians would rather climb a four storied building up the stairs, than go in the elevator.
Once people sit in their chairs at work, though, it is as if a magical fairy sprinkled some slowing dust on many of them. Yes, there are a few that seem to still be trying to do things in a rather effective way, but majority seem content on doing very little to become effective. almost dismissive of much work ethics, almost blatantly not caring whether someone has to wait another day for that extra bit of service, almost uncaring in their behaviour. many norwegians I have witnessed at work situations, just don't give a fuck about being effective in their job.
Even norwegians themselves tell you:
If you want good service, ask a swede to do it
And they would be right. What swedes I have met at work situations, have been almost always tons more helpful and welcoming. Well, most all foreigners I meet here have that extra glitz in their eyes, or shall I say, that little glitz of sadness of unfulfilled productivity and "basically giving up" in their eyes from trying to do the right thing and hitting cold uncaring walls of "let's deal with that next week" from their managers.
Some norwegians are aware of this, and cannot stand it either. Some say it is the oil that has created this culture of "i will have a job anyway". some say it is the strong laws in favor of employees that contributed to this as well (it is pretty damn hard to fire someone here. and expensive).
And yet at home, this duality shows its face again. watch a norwegian around their home, and you will often see a person not afraid to climb ladders and fix the roof themselves, not shying away from raking leaves and shoveling snow at odd hours day and night, not caring how clean things are, they are just.not.clean.enough.
Some say "that is just good work-life balance. I say it is an extremely unbalanced balance. If at work on a friday, at three o'clock all the desks are empty, that is great, because family is bloody important. but how you choose to spend the seven hours you are at work - playing fantasy football, for example, is the imbalance.