The Danish concept of hygge has taken the world by storm recently and is still gaining popularity in the UK and throughout the US. This lifestyle originating from Denmark emphasizes coziness and comfort above everything else, providing an air of familiarity and a feeling of home along the way. The Danes have been religiously practicing hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) for years, and since Denmark is continuously ranked among the happiest countries in the world, we can probably learn a thing or two from them about this subject.
But what is hygge exactly? Although the term is quite difficult to define, Meik Wiking, the founder of the world’s first Happiness Research Institute and author of The Little Book of Hygge, proclaims that the concept is synonymous with relaxation and a feel-good atmosphere rather than an abundance of costly material objects. It is a combination of being present and grateful, treating yourself to things which make you happy, getting comfortable and sharing the experience with others. There’s no sure-fire recipe for successful hygge; the only thing you need to remember is to use things which personally bring you joy.
But while it’s pretty simple to cozy up by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate to enjoy your favorite book in the comfort of your own home as scented candles burn in the background, you might think that this atmosphere would be harder to achieve at the office. However, there are quite a few tricks you can pull to make your office space more hygge-like, things which might even help spark your creativity and boost productivity.
Check out 8 ways in which you can introduce the concept of hygge into your office:
1. Get comfortable
Just because your workplace has something of a dress code, that doesn’t mean you should sit in uncomfortable high heels at your desk all day long. Give yourself permission to feel relaxed and at ease during those long office hours, whether that means changing your heels to flats or slippers or even going barefoot and bringing along a blanket for additional warmth.
2. Personalize your office space
You can easily channel some hygge vibes at the office by customizing your workspace to fit your personal taste and style. It doesn’t matter whether you have a private office to yourself or merely one desk among many, make sure your space looks and feels like it’s yours! Decorate it with beloved memorabilia, put out a framed photo of your family, and color-coordinate everything – do the things which speak to you most.
3. Keep the warm drinks flowing
If you’re a lover of hot, comforting drinks, then you’ll definitely feel right at home with this traditional hygge practice. Indulge in your favorite type of warm beverage, whether that’s coffee, tea or even a nice cup of cocoa with a few marshmallows floating in it. Bring your provisions to the office, along with your favorite mug, and prepare your preferred warm drink on-site.
4. Bring your own comfort food
Since we’re tackling the topic of drinks in the office, be sure that you can do the same thing with food as well. Perhaps you cooked your favorite dish for the previous day’s dinner—why not take the leftovers with you to the office and warm them up there? This way you can enjoy a tasty home-cooked meal instead of opting for pricey takeout food again. And lest we forget, in the spirit of hygge, don’t hesitate to treat yourself to your favorite sweets every now and then!
5. Get green
Besides redecorating, another hygge-approved thing which can generate good vibes—and which has quite a few health benefits—is adding some potted plants to your office space. They not only look good, but they also purify air, reduce stress levels and many of them are quite easy to maintain. For inspiration, check out our list of 10 plants that will freshen up your office.
6. Create a feel-good playlist
Listening to good music can help you have a cheerful state of mind and improve your workflow. The hygge philosophy encourages listening to relaxing or upbeat music to help you tackle difficult tasks and make it through your workday. Make sure you purchase some quality headphones to lock out the office chatter and enjoy your favorite chill songs to their best effect.
7. Take a break
When the time comes for you to have your lunch break, make sure you truly give yourself a break in every sense of the word. Sit with the delicious food you have made (maybe outside if the weather allows) and be present in that moment. Switch off your Internet connection to avoid any interruptions, and try to disconnect your brain from your to-do list in order to enjoy your lunch properly—in a hygge-approved manner!
8. Spread the word
Another key factor of the hygge mentality is sharing things with others while building and strengthening relationships. Get your coworkers involved in a joint potluck or encourage teamwork with some creative activities you can all do together. This is a great way to let off steam and has the additional benefit that you get to know the people you work with a bit better.