Hygge, the Danish concept taking the UK by storm. Pronounced 'hue-gah', what's stopping it from being embraced within the work space? Typically known as something which cannot be defined, but rather a specific feeling. Derived from the Norwegian word for 'well-being', it is the epitome of cosiness and allows you to be fully present in the moment, comfortable and at ease.
Introducing it into the office has been proven to reap many benefits, such as lowering stress levels, improved self-compassion, increased practice of gratitude and increased feeling of optimism. All of which would give the office atmosphere a significant boost and make it somewhere employees will want to come to, and enjoy working there.
Three key aspects of hygge are:
Who doesn't love a tea break? Certainly, Brits do. Blend the great English tradition with what the Danish enjoy as fika - a relaxing coffee and cake break with friends. Cherishing times together has never been so important, especially after spending so much time in lockdown and simply enjoying being with other people is all part and parcel with the hygge way of living.
The office kitchen/canteen area can become an indispensable part of the office, perfect for casual conversation, laughing, sharing and getting to know your work colleagues and in this type of environment is when solid relationships are formed. By allocating enough seating, adequate storage and some visual privacy from the rest of the office - the employees can take a true break from the work they do.
Whilst resting can have negative connotations, being connected with someone that's not paying attention or isn't alert, it can also certainly have a positive affect on the atmosphere. The ability to recognise and enjoy the present requires the need to be able to take it slow, and not get caught up in the moment. By doing this, it will help keep productivity high but also in balance as managing energy levels is crucial for employee well-being, and having burn-outs will ultimately cost you in the long run.
By making a few changes in the office, you can add a few 'rest stop' enclaves, such as a secluded booth or a quiet nook with outdoor views - somewhere that your employees know they can go for a few minutes to have a well-deserved break to re-vitalise their energy. Additionally, offering flexible working and encouraging a healthy work-life balance will help keep your employees physically and mentally rested.
Seemingly, it seems that hygge isn't complete without the scent of some slowly melting wax and a soft glow from a candle. Unfortunately, the health and safety laws would like to prevent any small flames within the office space so a little more creativity is required. Opting for more ambient lamps, bulbs or even hanging pendants prevents the harsh clinical feel. Choosing this sort of lighting solution makes for a more serene atmosphere conducive to rest and recovery, whilst reducing eye strain.
Making the most of natural daylight by using windows, glass partitions, mirrors and a light colour palette will also help to create the ambient atmosphere that you want to hygge, in peace.