Love or loathe it, there’s no getting around the fact we spend an annoyingly large part of each week at work. And while we can’t promise you the job of your dreams or even the secret to making your boss crack a smile, we Danes do believe work can be a whole lot more bearable. Hygge - our cosy concept of being content, present in the moment and cherishing life’s joys – isn’t just something we practice at home, when we’re snuggled up by the fire enjoying time with our family. It’s a way of life for us, a magical method of making every minute as pleasurable as possible, even if you’re stuck in a deadly dull office watching the clock until hometime. Try the Danish way instead and the days might not seem quite so long…
Lunch Time Goals – Don’t stay at your desk checking emails while you wolf down a sandwich. This is your time, a small window in a long work day that is just for you. A chance to be kind to yourself and do something you love – it doesn’t get any more hygge than that. Read a good book, call a friend you haven’t spoke to in ages or throw on a coat and walk round the local park to press pause on work stress and enjoy some fresh air.
Get Your Boss On Board – If your boss is open to new ideas, suggest ways of introducing hygge that will boost productivity, cut stress and increase the workplace feel-good factor. It’s a win-win for everyone. Think like a Dane and ask your boss to consider insisting everyone leaves work on time for a week, or even just every Friday, to spend quality time with family and friends and get that work/life balance sorted.
Bring On The Music – Work rules permitting, make the 9 to 5 zip by with an office playlist that will lift everyone’s spirits, or use headphones if you can to listen to any music that will soothe work stress and give your day a hygge twist. Even just listening on your way home will allow you to switch off from work within minutes and make the most of your free time, just as we do in Denmark.
Challenge Yourself – We Danes love to innovate, to push ourselves to do things better and improve life wherever we can. Apply the same thinking to your job and look at whether your workplace offers courses to gain extra skills or whether you can volunteer to take on new challenges that will force you out of your career comfort zone. You won’t know until you try.
Team Bonding – Don’t panic, we’re not talking outward bound courses or forced role plays. Just try and make time for a Carlsberg after work with colleagues and get to know each other better outside the office. They could be friends in the making. Better still, arrange an unexpected work night out at a gig or comedy night, so everyone can relax on neutral ground and you’ll all feel more familiar and at ease around each other at work. Check out the listings at your local O2 Academy venue for endless inspiration.