Health and wellness play a huge role in employee productivity and therefore it is no surprise that more and more workplaces are embracing the popular Danish concept Hygge. The Danish art that focusses on creating cosiness in the home has infiltrated the fashion industry and it is set to make its mark on the corporate world too.
After all, according to the World Happiness Report, Danish people topped the polls in both 2013, 2014 and 2016 for being the happiest people in the world. With this in mind, let's take a look at the ways in which incorporating the key principles of Hygge (pronounced 'hoo-gah') can lead to increased productivity in the workplace.
Create Calms and Contentment
Rather than something physical that you can touch or create, Hygge is a state of mind. With stress being one of the top culprits for employee absences, the workplace needs to offer calming qualities to take the pressure off when those deadlines are looming.
Take advantage of those quirky office perks, that lunchtime yoga class or daily meditation session can make all of the difference. Homemade sweet treats are also a huge part of the Danish art of happiness, so why not organise an office food rota with employees taking it in turns to bring in homemade cakes? Lastly, Hygge is about creating a soothing environment and a relaxing playlist can really help to keep you centred in amongst the chaos of turning in reports on time and hitting targets.
Take Regular Breaks and Embrace Teamwork
Me time is one of the key principles of Hygge and one way to incorporate the concept into your day-to-day life is to schedule in regular breaks. With deadlines to meet and tasks to complete, it is easy to buckle under the stress of it all, but taking regular breaks is essential for both physical and mental wellbeing. Whether companies create a designated lounge area for employees to enjoy some down time or simply encourage employees to take their lunch breaks away from their desks, these steps can help to alleviate stress. While Hygge does focus on relaxation, it also touches on spending time with others and creating a positive workspace via communication and camaraderie. A Hygge inspired workplace boasts an environment where communication is treasured and team work is applauded.
Strive for a Better Work/Life Balance
Work/life balance comes up again and again when discussing the Danish concept of Hygge. Flexible working hours can increase productivity in the workplace and give employees more leisure time to spend connecting with loved ones and indulging in pastimes that bring them pleasure. For some, a better work/life balance could mean spending more time with friends and family, pursuing a hobby or simply having more free time to indulge in your favourite interests. In Denmark the average working week is 33 hours long. Could flexible working hours be the reason that Danes are the happiest people on the planet?
Personalise Your Desk Space
Hygge is all about engaging the senses including sight, sounds and touch. At home this would involve adding elements such as candles, cushions and throws and experimenting with new textures, scents and colours. So how can employees create a sensory experience at their desk? A Hygge inspired workplace is the opposite of a sterile white office block. Instead it features comfortable chairs, soft colours and inspiring art. Hygge teaches employees how to create a more inspiring, revitalising office space by bringing the outside in. Encourage creativity and create a sanctuary of sorts with small photo frames, artificial plants and your own mug, anything that will make the space you have feel more personal.
Could the principals of Hygge make you more productive? Do you work in a Hygge inspired office? Let us know on Twitter @viking_chat.