The Danish lifestyle is centred around happiness, and this flows through every aspect of their life, including their workplaces. Central to this philosophy is the word “Hygge” pronounced hoo-gah, which translates to cosiness that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.
Hygge is about being truly happy, living in the moment and appreciating everything in life. Enhanced by quality time, peacefulness, and an environment that is calm and filled with connections, everything in life that makes us feel cosy and cherished is considered Hygge.
So, why not bring this concept to the modern office? Hygge means cosiness, so the design of the physical space needs to reflect and foster this essence of comfort and well-being. A focus of today’s workplace is keeping, retaining and attracting top talent. It’s all about what companies can offer and provide to keep team members motivated and engaged to want to come to work. A Hygge design philosophy focus on the holistic well-being of team members and how to support them emotionally and physically. For example, home is where people feel the most at ease, so why not create an atmosphere where it blurs the lines between work and home, which can be known to help increase productivity and creativity.
Hygge isn’t just about creating the physical space, it can occur in many ways within business culture.
So what are the top 3 physical design aspects to create a hygge environment?
1) Comfortable working environments away from workstations to blur the lines between home and office. E.g. lounge area, café style breakout
2) Intimate meeting spaces creating a feeling of cosiness. E.g. booths, phone booths, meeting rooms
3) Experience driven spaces driving contentment, well-being and connection. E.g. Yoga/meditation rooms, Games room, think tank, garden rooftop
These physical designed spaces can help shape employee behaviour which in time becomes the organisational culture, leading to increased employee satisfaction, productivity and profitability.
To build a culture around Hygge, here are our top 3 ways to change the lifestyle in the workspace.
1) Organise a potluck lunch once a week.
Food is the most organic way to bring people together, especially sharing and learning about different cultures and traditions. It’s a great way to get everyone out of their desks and to socialise and take a break together.
2) Provide and promote space.
Promote a culture that enables team members to utilise the various spaces in the office. For example, some workplaces have lounge areas in the office that aren’t used because it may be frowned upon or seen as lazy to take a break. However, if we encourage a culture, led by example from the top down, that it’s ok to work away from your desk, or take a moment away in these spaces, and acknowledge that the best creativity doesn’t always cultivate in a desk environment.
3) Encourage personality.
Hygge allows team members to bring in elements of their lives into the workspace, adding to the feeling of peace, comfort, cosiness and being cherished. Bringing in items from home can help enhance productivity and be a positive in overall employee wellness.
Bringing Hygge into your office design and culture can bring a sense of being valued, connectedness, calmness and loyalty. It creates a comfortable and comforting environment, promoting stronger values and healthier work environments. That’s Hygge!