Hygge in the Workplace – What it is and why you need to get on board!
You’d be forgiven for having never heard of Hygge, especially since it has its origins in the Scandinavian countries of the world.
A quick Google on the meaning of hygge produces the following:
a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality (friendliness, warmth) that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).
“Hyggeligt” is the adjectival form.
Hygge is more than happiness, it’s more than comfort, and it’s a concept that, in and of itself, is difficult to encompass. But Hygge is a huge element in the Scandinavian way of life. This is important on account of Denmark (in particular) being listed consistently as one of the happiest nations in the world.
Hygge is hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day. And a lively yet cosy dinner with friends, surrounded by tealight candles, finished off with chocolate cake and wine. It’s reading a book in a window seat, covered in a soft blanket, while it’s snowing outside. It’s a sense of cosiness, camaraderie and homeliness. The Danes attribute their happiness and contentedness to a national dedication to cultivating hygge at every level of life.
Happy people are more productive, less stressed, and well… happier! So, introducing hygge into your workplace can have a positive impact on your work, your life, and your mental health.
Here are a few tips that might make you feel a little cosier and happier while you work.
A Hygge Drinks Station
What better way to create a cosy space than with a beautiful tray, filled with everything you like to drink. Try herbal teas, craft coffees, and decadent syrups. Even when heading into summer, this idea still works! Just replace your hot drinks with refreshing cold juices, herbal infusions, or if you’re lucky enough, a water jug filled with edible flowers, fruit, and herbs straight from the garden! Think mint, rose petals, and strawberries. Hydration has been scientifically linked to productivity, so pretty up your space, drink more water, and work harder!
The benefits of indoor plants have been touted the world over in office spaces and there’s no reason why you can’t incorporate this into your at home-work space. No room for a ficus? No problem. Mini terrariums, baby succulents, and fresh flowers work just as well. Plants purify the air, add greenery (which is a great colour to look at to assist with eye strain), and give you a general feel of cosiness and personalisation. You could also display that seashell you got on your last beach vacation, your favourite crystal, or piece of driftwood. It’s homey, personalised, and good for your environment. This is a great tip no matter the weather, so you can incorporate Hygge whether it’s rain, hail, or shine.
Cosiness at the desk
The Danish nation buys and uses more candles than any other nation in the world. Candles provide ambient light, a sense of wellbeing, and a beautiful, cosy feeling right on your desk. Scented candles in your favourite colours and shapes can be used to make your desk feel more like your own personal space. Turn it into somewhere you enjoy being, and make it the foundation of your productive, efficient, and motivated workday.
Cosy, not cluttered
You can create a cosy, hyggeligt space on your desk without making it look like you’ve established a small jungle that’s lined with Dusk candles. There’s a balance to hygge that indicates that your space should feel inviting, comfortable, and uplifting. Clutter is not uplifting and is a known source of stress. Clean your desk of all filing, kids toys, empty coffee cups, superfluous stationery (I could go on) at least once per day so that you feel great while you work. Replace the clutter with meaningful objects such as plants, candles, and photos of your family. Make your office space work for you.
One of the best ways to be more hyggeligt is with great lighting. Natural light is not only great to work by, but it’s great for you in general. Open the windows and doors, position your desk strategically, and feel more yourself in the morning sunlight. If sunlight isn’t an option, or it’s too hot or distracting (as is common during a Queensland summer when it’s 30 Degrees at 8 in the morning), make use of desk lamps to enlighten your space. Or, if you prefer to work at night, fairy lights can make your office cosy and uplifting. Candles also help slightly with lighting, but don’t rely on them to see – just use them to make you feel great!
So from the country that has its own Happiness Institute, you can create a space that is productive, personal, and comfortable. Even in the warmer climates and months, hygge is a concept that can make you feel happier, less stressed, and more efficient. Think outside the box when working from home and bring a little Scandi serenity to your day. It would also be a great principle to integrate into your morning routine to make your day run more smoothly!
Written by Kristen Boucher