The Finnish Design Shop Code of Conduct – A How-to on Nordic Happiness
Finnish Design Shop’s purpose is to share Nordic Happiness with friends of design across the world. We curate, sell and deliver the world’s largest selection of Nordic design pieces, which always meet the highest standards of quality and sustainability. We are passionate about our purpose and aim to live up to these standards in everything we do.
We want our employees to be proud to work with us and aim to foster wellbeing for everyone at Finnish Design Shop and the design community around us. This is where our Code of Conduct comes in.
The purpose of the Code is to clearly present our common set of ethical and legal principles and to provide guidance in our daily work and decision-making. Whether you work part-time or full-time, in the warehouse, the finance team, management, the customer service desk, at Franckly, in contract sales, or anywhere else at Finnish Design Shop, this Code of Conduct has been written for you.
This Code is built under three themes and 12 sub-topics that are your blueprint to flourishing at Finnish Design Shop. It outlines what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. It also provides practical help for putting these principles and our values into action. It details the channels for seeking help and reporting misconduct. It is your go-to guide for all of your daily decision-making, designed to help you in any situation where the right course of action might not always be obvious.
What should you do in case of violations of this Code?
Remember, if you encounter a situation that you believe is illegal, unethical or harmful for your co-workers, partners, customers or Finnish Design Shop as a company, you should speak up. You will find instructions for reporting at the end of this Code.
In situations where you are uncertain about what kind of behaviour is acceptable and what is not, please contact your supervisor or human resources.
Message from CEO
Finnish Design Shop’s mission is to bring pieces of Nordic happiness to the world, one package at a time. When taking a closer look at Nordic happiness, you can see that openness, equality and sustainability are at its core. For this reason, we feel that we have an even greater responsibility to promote these values in everything we do.
Conducting business ethically and respectfully is the only way for us to operate, and only by doing the right thing we can succeed. We all need to promote sustainability regardless of our role and job description.
Sustainability means daily actions and everyday activities. We have prepared this code of conduct to help everyone make good choices according to our values – even during the busiest times. Only together we can make the world a more sustainable and even happier place for all of us!
How we create an approachable workplace
We believe that a healthy and safe working environment is one in which everyone feels welcome. The feeling of belonging is created together with our colleagues in everyday encounters, which are founded on our mutually shared regard for Nordic equality, respectful behaviour and the urge to always protect human rights.
1. We treat one another with respect
Treat others with respect, fairness, and kindness, no matter what.
We know that our values, always open, license to do and joy, require mutual effort and thoughtful behaviour. At Finnish Design Shop, we treat everyone with respect. Everyone should embed respect in all their interactions with others, both inside and outside of Finnish Design Shop.
What we expect from each other:
- Greet everyone at the showroom, warehouses and office spaces.
- Respect differing viewpoints and be empathetic about diverse experiences.
- Gracefully accept constructive criticism and proactively ask for feedback.
- Practice open communication. Avoid creating silos by withholding information or practicing other exclusive behaviours.
- If you do feel you are the subject of what you perceive to be unfair treatment either by a Finnish Design Shop employee, line manager, customer or partner, politely inform them of this. If you are uncomfortable, or the person’s harmful behaviour continues afterwards, refer to the instructions for reporting at the end of this Code.
A teammate has sent you an inappropriate joke, which goes against the kind of behaviour you expect and wish for in the work community. You are unsure whether to bring up the matter with your teammate. What should you do?
2. We stand for equality, diversity and non-discrimination
Promote a discrimination-free workplace, where everyone is included and listened to.
Nordic equality covers all aspects of employment at Finnish Design Shop. We are committed to building a working community where individuals from different backgrounds and skills can thrive. Our goal is to become an organisation where everyone can be themselves.
There are many ways that we can all ensure that Finnish Design Shop is an equal and inclusive place to work.
What do we mean by our commitments?
We celebrate diversity in the workplace. This means that we accept, validate, and include people from all backgrounds with regards to gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, mental ability, physical ability, family status, political opinion, union affiliation, or any other personal characteristic.
We strive for equality for all. This means that we ensure equal opportunities and outcomes for all, regardless of any characteristic highlighted above. It also means that we go the extra mile to eliminate unfair disadvantages that people of certain backgrounds and characteristics may face.
On top of this, inclusion is core to all our workplace interactions. This means that we are all responsible for making sure that nobody is excluded or made to feel unwelcome at work because of any of the characteristics mentioned above, or for any other reason.
Meanwhile, we do not tolerate harassment of any kind, under any circumstances. Harassment takes many forms, and describes any unwanted physical and verbal behaviour, or any indirect actions that can cause distress to another person or make them feel humiliated, threatened, or vulnerable.
We also do not tolerate discrimination in any form. This is the unfair or unequal treatment of any person or group based on those characteristics and backgrounds mentioned above. Discrimination is not only illegal, but it also goes against everything that Finnish Design Shop stands for.
What we expect from each other:
- Use inclusive language, always (for example gender-neutral, non-ableist, non-racist words).
- Make sure to include everyone in social outings, both during and after the workday. For example, do not knowingly exclude a colleague from an informal event that takes place after the workday.
- Challenge stereotypes and try to recognise any unconscious biases that may affect the way you interact with others.
- Refrain from making jokes that might be perceived by others to be inappropriate, discriminative or degrading (for example, sexist, racist, homophobic jokes).
- Avoid making decisions based on co-workers’ personal lives. Refrain from asking questions about personal relationships or family planning in any interview or development context.
- If you’re a line manager, strive for equal and non-discriminatory recruitment.
- Report any suspected or observed discrimination, exclusion, or harassment immediately.
- If someone does not realise that their words or actions are discriminatory or offensive, you can politely inform them of this. If you are uncomfortable or the person’s harmful behaviour continues afterwards, refer to the instructions for reporting at the end of this Code.
While recruiting a new employee, you are pondering the choice between two candidates: one female, one male (based on assumed gender). During an interview, the female candidate has hinted at plans to set up a family. Should you allow this to affect your decision-making?
3. We look after the health, safety, and wellbeing of people
Ensure that Finnish Design Shop is a safe place to work and shop.
Prioritising safety in our daily work protects those around us and makes Finnish Design Shop a better place to work and shop.
What we expect from each other:
- Be mindful of your own and others’ safety in all work-related tasks.
- Carefully read the Occupational Health & Safety Guide and complete all applicable safety trainings.
- Use the correct tools, protective gear, and ergonomic equipment for the task at hand.
- Quickly inform your line manager or occupational safety officer about any potential or actual health and safety risks (as well as any “near misses” that you might observe). In case of occupational accidents, refer to the Occupational Health and Safety Guide and inform your line manager and human resources.
During a work shift at the Finnish Design Shop warehouse, you notice that your teammate is not wearing appropriate safety footwear. What should you do?
4. We respect human rights
Respect and advance the human rights of others, everywhere.
We advance and protect human rights of all people and commit to take action to ensure rights are respected within Finnish Design Shop and throughout our value chain. Our work is guided by all applicable international and national human rights laws, treaties, and conventions such as those laid out by United Nations Principles on Business and Human Rights and the International Labour Organization.
What we expect from each other:
- You have the right to join and seek guidance from trade unions.
- If you’re a line manager, ensure and uphold labour rights, including freedom of association and the right to join a trade union, for co-workers.
- Everyone who works with Finnish Design Shop is entitled to their beliefs and to freedom of association. However, it is not permitted to engage in political activism or political campaigning during working hours.
- Demand that business partners respect the human rights of all who work for them and advance human rights within their own supply chain, as defined in the Code of Conduct for Business Partners.
- Contact human resources, management or an occupational safety officer if any questions or concerns arise about working conditions.
- Never allow forced or child labour anywhere in our supply chain. Report all proven or potential human rights violations according to the instructions for reporting at the end of this Code.
You face an issue with a supplier, who is withholding information on a factory that manufactures their products. They refer to confidentiality and a competitive business situation. How should you proceed?
How we take the lead in sustainable design
We are aware of the environmental impact of our own activities. We envision a world where design is part of the solution and work hard to do our fair share to increase appreciation for timeless aesthetics. Meanwhile, we minimise our negative impact in all areas of our operations. Taking the lead also means transparency, and upholding trust towards Finnish Design Shop and our employees.
5. We realise our purpose through high-quality design
Never compromise on quality. Always aim for the highest standards.
Timeless design is sustainable in essence because it is designed to last for decades, if not centuries, of use. Our success and the trust that customers place in our brand rests on our ability to offer the highest-possible quality in all the products we offer. However, the design community must pursue even greater sustainability, and we aspire to be at the forefront of that change.
Finnish Design Shop makes sure all brands and products meet our Product Sustainability Framework standards that convey quality, climate, human rights, and environmental aspects. We advance circularity by lengthening the life cycle of our products through Franckly, our marketplace for pre-owned design.
What we expect from each other:
- Never discard returned items that are unused and functional. Give pre-owned products a second life through Franckly.
- If you work in marketing or communications, remember that we only advocate for quality design and thoughtful purchase decisions.
- Support carrying our high standards throughout our supply chain, especially if you work in procurement. These are outlined in the Code of Conduct for Business Partners.
As an employee at the returns department of the Finnish Design Shop warehouse, you encounter a returned product with a small dent. What is the correct way to handle an item that can no longer be sold as new?
6. We protect the climate and environment
Minimise waste and maximise sustainability.
What we expect from each other:
- Familiarise yourself with Finnish Design Shop’s sustainability strategy and company- wide actions: for example, offering environmentally friendly delivery options, minimising emissions towards carbon neutrality, and offsetting our carbon footprint by protecting forests.
- Favour public transport or carpooling over a private car ride when possible. Choose train over air travel when possible.
- Recycle, repair, reuse, and repurpose materials and products – from packaging materials to pens, papers, and coffee cups, wherever possible.
- Reduce waste in all areas of work.
- If you work in packaging, always follow the existing packaging instructions to minimize environment impact.
- Manage and dispose of hazardous and non-hazardous waste generated from operations as required by applicable laws and regulations, as instructed by Finnish Design Shop.
- Suggest new areas for improvement. Line managers and persons responsible for sustainability matters are eager to hear any ideas or suggestions for improvement.
We support actors and partners that share our values and commit to conducting business sustainably. The Product Sustainability Framework is our blueprint for this work. It is the criteria that support the brands we represent towards greater transparency and sustainability.
Your work involves a lot of commuting between the Turku and Helsinki offices, as well as other occasional work trips. How should you take environmental issues into account when planning the trips?
7. We value transparency and respect our brand
Uphold trust in our brand through honesty.
What we expect from each other:
- Always be 100% honest in all marketing and communications. Never knowingly make untrue claims about our company or the brands and products we offer. Do not publish statements, images or suggestions that can be considered offensive to any segment of the population, including minorities e.g. by race, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability.
- Do not gather information through illegal or dishonest means.
- Consider carefully if it is appropriate to publish your own views about Finnish Design Shop or the design industry on social media. In situations where you are uncertain about what kind of views are acceptable, please contact your line manager.
- Remember that you are a representative of Finnish Design Shop, especially when you are traveling for work or attending a work-related event or on social media.
Your team at work has been given the task to design a thank you card for the suppliers and partners of Finnish Design Shop. The group comes up with the idea to enquire whether a young freelance designer would be willing to design the card for free, in exchange for visibility on our marketing channels. Would this be okay?
How we act with honesty and integrity
Doing business in an ethical and respectful way is the right, and only, approach for us. Whether we are developing our product selection and services, collaborating with our partners, or contributing to the design community, we never compromise on honesty and integrity.
8. We always comply with laws and regulations
Follow all applicable laws and regulations in everything you do.
At Finnish Design Shop everyone must act according to the highest standards of ethical behaviour, and always comply with applicable international and national laws, rules and regulations. These apply to, for example, but are not limited to:
- Employee rights
- Workplace safety
- Product safety
- Immaterial rights
- Fair competition
- Data protection and security
- Export controls
We never knowingly act or advise anyone to act against any local laws or regulations. However, legal compliance is only the starting point for us. We always strive to go beyond the bare minimum and set up best practices in all areas we operate in.
In the unlikely event that the Code conflicts with the law, the law should be followed. If the Code goes beyond the standards set out in law, then follow the Code.
You are responsible for a field of work in which the legislation will soon be revised. As a specialist in your area of expertise, how do you prepare for the changes ahead?
9. We promote fair competition
Compete fiercely but fairly.
What we expect from each other:
- Never fix prices with our competitors. Price fixing is illegal and might lead to considerable harm and financial consequences for Finnish Design Shop.
- Don’t share pricing, customers, market share or any other business secrets externally or with competitors.
- Don’t set sales prices with suppliers. Our suppliers can provide us with recommended retail prices for their products, but it is Finnish Design Shop’s responsibility to set the final price our customers pay.
- If a company or individual suggests any of the above, notify management.
- In case you are uncertain what business-related information can be shared externally, talk to management.
- In case you receive sensitive information that was not intended to you, delete the information safely and talk to your line manager.
While at an industry event, you meet a competitor’s representative, whom you are familiar with. During a private conversation, they ask whether you’ve picked up on the dwindling profit margin of a certain product provided by a shared supplier. They continue by suggesting that neither of the companies would sell the product below a certain price point. What should you do?
10. We do not accept conflicts of interest, bribery, or corruption
Operate based on honesty and integrity.
We do not accept conflicts of interest, bribery, or corruption in any form. These are contradictory to our objective of never compromising ethical and responsible business.
A conflict of interest refers to a situation where an employee’s personal interests, or interests related to family, friendships, or financial or social factors, could compromise their decisions and actions at work.
Bribery refers to the offering, giving, soliciting, or receiving of any item of value as a means of influencing the actions of an individual.
Corruption refers to the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It disrupts competitive markets, misallocates resources, and can lead to violations of human rights. We have zero tolerance towards corruption in any form.
What we expect from each other:
- Do not let the above interests impact any work-related decisions.
- Remove yourself from any situation where a conflict of interest arises. Notify your line manager if this occurs.
- Never work for a competitor while you work for Finnish Design Shop.
- Do not take part in a competition or prize draw organised by Finnish Design Shop. Family members of employees are also prohibited from taking part in such competitions or prize draws.
- If you are a manager, do not hire two relatives in a position where they would work as manager and employee. Remember not to hire an employee who is your relative.
- Never offer, give, ask for, accept or receive any form of bribe.
- Only give or receive gifts of minor monetary value.
- Make clear that any gifts given or received do not carry with them obligations of any kind.
- Contact management whenever a case of suspected bribery emerges.
You work in B2B sales and have a client that is a public entity. The client’s representative is very friendly and suggests that Finnish Design Shop could act as an advertising sponsor for their child’s visual arts association’s publication. What should you do?
I refuse to accept the suggestion. Work collaboration is not a sufficient argument for acting as a sponsor. There should always be clear business objectives for sponsoring. On top of that, donating money for such purposes may raise concerns for bribing an official.
The Finnish Design Shop executive board makes the decisions about the annual charity partners and financial donations. The marketing team can make decisions about possible product donations and collaborations on a case-by-case basis, ensuring that the donations support the Finnish Design Shop brand.
As a company, we don’t participate in political or religious acts. We don’t make donations to political parties or practice religious activities at the workplace or during working hours.
11. We act confidentially
Protect sensitive business information.
Business information is a valuable asset, and it is in our interest to protect it. Acting confidentially with business information will support Finnish Design Shop and our partners.
All non-public business information is confidential. Confidential information that should be handled with extreme care includes:
- Financial information
- Personnel information
- Customer information
- Supplier information
- Information related to business development and upcoming projects.
We all have access to confidential information in our work, which means it is all of our responsibilities to protect it. When discussing confidential information, remember to consider where you are – for example, restaurants at the workplace are public spaces. Remember to use screen protectors on your laptop in public spaces.
While out and about on your free time, you meet an acquaintance, who works for a competitor. They ask you how Finnish Design Shop’s sales have developed as of late. Should you share the information?
12. We take care of data protection and information security
Safeguard privacy for all.
Data protection and information security are essential for ensuring the safety and privacy of colleagues, customers, partners, and other stakeholders.
We protect data in compliance with applicable legislation.
What we expect from each other:
- Personal data can only be collected, stored, and processed for authorised purposes under applicable legislation.
- Be mindful of your social media usage and never post anything that could reveal private information about Finnish Design Shop or its customers, partners, or suppliers.
- Never share anyone else’s personal data with third parties or partners.
- Use personal devices in a way that keeps all data safe.
- Never use the same passwords or password management tool accounts across work-related and private accounts and devices.
- Never use the same password for more than one account.
More detailed instructions are outlined in the Finnish Design Shop data protection and information security guide.
You are working at or visiting the Finnish Design Shop warehouse. You get an idea to share your workday with your followers on social media. You take a picture where there are packages ready to be sent to the customers, and think about posting it on your Instagram story. Would this be okay?
No. There can be personal customer information visible on the packages. It is absolutely prohibited to share this information outside the company in any messages or posts. On top of that, our operations can be regarded as a business secret, that should be handled confidentially.
I consider carefully about what kind of pictures can be posted on social media. In principle, pictures from our public showroom can be shared, as long as they are in good taste and respect the privacy of those that appear in the pictures. I remember that each Finnish Design Shop employee represents the company also in their personal social media channels.
You are travelling by train from Helsinki to Turku. You decide to make good use of the time spent on the train by completing a few work tasks. You suddenly get a call from a business partner. What should you do?
I either ask the partner if I could call them back later or make my way to a private telephone booth to take the call. I take into account that while working in a public place I have to be extra careful with information security. I also keep in mind that the people around me may include individuals related to work, including competitors, suppliers or customers.
I never discuss confidential, non-public matters in a public place, such as on the train or in a cafe, elevator, fair or seminar. If I absolutely must take a call in a public place, I make sure that the discussion cannot be overheard by other people. What’s more, I use a screen protector sheet on my laptop, and never leave my work computer or phone unattended.
This Code of Conduct is publicly available on Finnish Design Shop’s website. It has been shared with everyone in the organisation upon launching and will be included in the onboarding process for all new team members. Everyone working at Finnish Design Shop will be informed when there are changes or updates to this Code.
Everyone is responsible for familiarising themselves with this Code, following it, asking questions if any arise, and reporting any violations that may occur. All managers are responsible for ensuring that their team members are aware of and understand their responsibilities under the Code. This code equally applies to external partners and other people working under Finnish Design Shop’s direction. We expect that our business partners, such as the brands that we represent and service providers, act according to similar principles, as defined in a separate Code of Conduct for Business Partners.
It is each person’s responsibility to ensure that they operate in accordance with this Code of Conduct in all daily work and decision-making.
What happens if you don’t follow this Code of Conduct
We at Finnish Design Shop are committed to ethical and responsible business and want to base our actions on honesty and integrity. A failure to follow our Code erodes the confidence we have built within our organisation and with our stakeholders, and may also put ourselves, our colleagues, partners and our business at risk.
Any violation of the Code is thoroughly investigated according to the defined process and further measures and possible disciplinary action are evaluated based on the gravity of the situation. Possible disciplinary action can be warning, or in serious violations, termination of employment.
If you’re unsure about the right course of action, simply ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it ethical and/or legal?
- Is it consistent with this Code of Conduct and our values?
- Could it have a negative impact on our brand and reputation?
- Does this make my colleagues feel good about working at Finnish Design Shop?
- Would you feel comfortable if this decision ended up as a news headline?
- Would you be proud to share this decision with friends and family?
If you encounter a situation where you have concerns, you should speak up. At Finnish Design Shop we foster an open culture where people feel comfortable to discuss dilemmas, different views and, in good faith, raise concerns.
All concerns are thoroughly investigated, and further measures and possible disciplinary action are evaluated based on the gravity of the situation. You must cooperate fully in internal investigations of alleged misconduct. We will never take retaliatory action against an individual who reports their concerns in good faith.
Just like the carefully curated products we ship to design enthusiasts worldwide, we want our actions to spark lasting happiness. By committing to this Code, all of us at Finnish Design Shop strive to complete our day-to-day work with respect for the planet and its people.
If you feel something is not quite right, this is what you should do:
- It’s always best to address a situation or issue in a plain, straightforward manner directly with the person involved.
- If you feel uncomfortable addressing the situation directly, you are encouraged to first reach out to your line manager or to management.
- In case you need to escalate your concern, you may also reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Finnish Design Shop will establish an anonymous whistleblowing channel soon after this Code is published. You may report your concerns through this channel if you prefer.