How to Hygge in the Workplace
Hygge. You’ve probably heard of it but what does it actually mean? Hygge - pronounced “hoo-ga” - is a Danish word that means feeling cosy, content, and comfortable. It's a mood that makes us feel warm and appreciative of the little things in life, and can be discovered anywhere; from watching the rain fall from inside our house, to lighting candles and sharing a meal with the ones we love. In this post we’re going to explore the concept of Hygge, its origins, and how you can embrace the Hygge attitude to life - particularly in the workplace.
The word Hygge derives from 16th Century Norwegian term ‘hugga’ which translates as ‘to comfort’ and relates to the English word ‘hug’. Back then it was simply associated with the idea of wellbeing, but nowadays Hygge is well-known as a Danish concept that has developed over time and become a way of life.
People all over the world have fallen in love with Hygge, and have begun to embrace the Danish cultural focus on relaxation, indulgence, and gratitude, and rightly so - it’s such a wonderfully positive outlook to have, and explains why Denmark always features at the top of the world’s happiest countries lists.
The Hygge Season
Hygge season, otherwise known as Christmas, is a time of the year when we're most in tune with the emotions evoked by Hygge; cosying up by the fire with a hot chocolate, a blanket, and a good book. The cold naturally forces us into a cosier mood, and as winter is the darkest period of the year it’s even more important to focus on finding things that comfort us. In Denmark, they line the streets with lights, serve lots of mulled wine, wrap up in thick scarves, and snuggle up in blankets... which, tbh, sounds like heaven.
Despite the importance of Hygge season, what’s so special about the concept of Hygge is that it can be experienced at any time and anywhere. It’s all about concentrating on the good things happening around you day to day, and embracing the things that make you feel cosy and content inside.
In fact, Danes are big on summer themed Hygge too; they dedicate the summer months to spending time with family and friends at picnics, barbecues, festivals, and bike rides. If you’re planning on taking a trip, you can even book onto a Happiness and Hygge Tour in Copenhagen. Sign us up!
Hygge In The Workplace
While it might seem difficult, it’s easier to bring Hygge and work together than you might think; there are so many ways you can introduce Hygge to the 9-5 - especially with the rise of home-working (and wearing comfy clothes all day!)
Personally, we love beginning our morning with a cup of hot tea or coffee, after listening to a happiness or workplace focused meditation on Calm. Here are some ideas we came up with to get your Hygge going:
Organise a coffee hang out with one of your colleagues
Have lunch with your team at a food market, so everyone can choose their faves
Try making your workspace a place that makes you feel warm and happy, rather than one that makes you feel stressed. Light a few candles, pop a plant on your desk, listen to music you love or a podcast that makes you smile
Share some photos in your work group chat, whether it's of your favourite holiday, your pets, or what you’re having for lunch. Sharing things that make you feel Hygge is sure to help others get in the Hygge mood too!
We’d love to hear your ideas, let us know your favourite Hygge moments by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org