Hygge (pronounced ‘hue-gah’) is the Danish philosophy that is taking the UK by storm. There is no literal translation but it is described as a state of mind that embraces ‘cosiness’ and comfort. Hygge can include anything from enjoying food, celebrating friendships or enjoying a cosy evening in.
Why is this relevant to the world of office design? Given that the average working week in the UK is now 43.6 hours and paired with the fact that British offices have a reputation as being cold and ugly, it’s not surprising that employees can often feel uncomfortable, uninspired and unable to concentrate to the extent that a third of British workers dislike their work environment.
Scandinavian countries often dominate the rankings in World happiness Reports, so why wouldn’t we look at their working environment as an example of how to inspire the UK’s workforce? Instilling the hygge concept into our workspaces could be the natural solution to delivering some cosiness to our cold, sterile offices, and could help improve employee engagement.
So how can we inject some hygge into our personal space? Here’s some tips on how to embrace hygge in the workplace.
1.Make your desk your own
Hygge is all about enjoying the environment around you, and transforming personal spaces into little sanctuaries which allow us to sink into them at any moment. Bringing in photos or a favourite mug is a great way to add personality to a workspace.
2.Bring the outdoors in with you
Adding greenery to the workplace adds value that goes beyond aesthetics. By re-connecting with nature, employees’ personal health and their wellbeing is improved, and their productivity increases.
3.Take a break
Making a conscious effort to stop work for a moment, even if it’s just to make a cup of tea in your special mug, is crucial to a hyggelig workplace. Keep a stash of your favourite teabags in your drawer, and make sure you use them.
4.Don’t sit in one place
You don’t have to stay chained to your desk all day long; be creative with your work space, so that you move around for different activities. For example read a long report in a comfy chair or sofa rather than sitting at your desk.
5.Make the most of your lunchtimesDon’t spend your lunchbreak sat at your desk; wrap up warm and head outdoors to pick up some food, run some errands, go for a walk, or simply grab a book and find a quiet spot to read.
6.Make an office playlist
Listening to music keeps things from feeling too soulless or quiet; whether it’s having everyone in the office agree on a radio station, or popping on your headphones and tuning into something soothing, music is key to a good hyggelig environment.