Hygge: the Danish Secret to Winter and Workplace Contentment

Embracing Hygge at Work

“ People who are happier at work are more productive- they are more engaged, more creative, have better concentration”. 

Nic Marks, Well Being Expert

Today it hailed in Phoenix and the weather is chilling us to the bone. Okay, maybe not to the bone, but it is cold.

To combat the cold, we have taken to the Scandinavian method of coziness and contentment in the office by embracing our inner hygge.

What is hygge (Hoo-Gah)? Hygge is a Danish concept that is the art of creating coziness and well being in your home or office with your colleagues, friends, and family. You feel an instant warmth and well being when you walk into the room.

Hygge at Work: Tip # 1- Light a Candle or Light a Fire

The Danes have realized that if you light your rooms in the right way and create a cozy atmosphere, then winter becomes bearable (even pleasurable!). 

A candle creates Hygge as it makes the atmosphere more intimate and cozy. The candlelight is not too bright and brings a feeling of comfort. The Danes do not light scented candles, but in our office, we do. The smell of pinecones floats into the air, bringing us closer to nature and peace.

If you have a home office, adding an electric fireplace will keep you both aesthetically pleased and toasty warm at the same time.

Hygge at Work: Tip #2- Drink Warm Beverages

You drink beverages throughout the day, why not add rich elements like loose-leaf tea, homemade hot cocoa mix with marshmallows, or coffee.

Skip the plain water and give your taste buds a treat with simple beverages that make them warm and happy.  Keep an electric tea kettle to make hot tea in minutes.

Even try keeping grandma’s teacup and saucer on your desk. It will remind you of simpler times and warm memories.

Hygge at Work: Tip #3 – Add Hygge by Bringing in Natural Elements

Bring nature indoors with a terrarium, succulents, driftwood, and a bowl of shells or pebbles.

As a bonus for hygge-ness, you can place little reminders on your desk like a stone from your lake cabin or a pinecone from your last trip to Flagstaff.

Hygge at Work: Tip # 4 – Add Blankets, Throws and Panchos.

Temperatures in the office vary depending on who has the control. Sometimes you’re too cold, and sometimes you’re too warm. Be prepared with items such a blanket, throw, or pancho for when you feel a chill. 

Wearing fuzzy socks, if allowed, not only adds to hygge but when the feet are warm, the rest of the body warms up.

Hygge at Work: Tip # 5 – Have Soup for Lunch.

Bring homemade leftover soup or go to your local Vietnamese restaurant and have warm delicious Pho. There is nothing that says warmth like a beef stew or chicken noodle soup.

Add bread and a warm beverage to make it a truly hugge lunch. We decided to take our throws and an electric candle to our local Pho restaurant, and we couldn’t have been cozier.

Why Making these Small Changes in your Office are Important

Hygge is about creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the simple things in life.

By making these small changes to your life, everyone can practice this art– wherever you are.

Perhaps Hygge is the reason why Denmark is regularly voted one of the happiest countries in the world. With these tips, your office could be the happiest in the States.