Now, this may sound as if it will be a strange post regarding hygge, but you can incorporate the hygge approach even in your place of work.
If you stop to think about this for a second, you’ll realize that bringing hygge to the workplace is a good thing to do. After all, the workplace is often regarded as being one of the more stressful areas of our lives, and yet we cannot avoid it.
Well, the truth is that you can avoid it, but not by quitting your job. Instead, by applying some of the concepts of hygge to your workplace, you can transform the energy that surrounds you. As a result, it will become a far more pleasant place and one that you will perhaps enjoy from time to time, although nothing can be guaranteed.
There is some work to be done to transform your workplace, and there are several important steps that one must follow to ultimately end up with a more relaxed atmosphere.
Coming to Grips with the Issues
Before you can fix anything or bring hygge into the workplace, you need to be aware of what the issues are, so they can then be addressed. Issues could be about the space where you work. Issues may lie with some of your colleagues. Issues could be about how you approach your job and are filled with uncertainties and insecurities that spill over into stress and a hatred for what you do.
For this step, sit back and take a moment to think things over about your place of work. What kind of things stress you out? Where are the problems that you would love to resolve?
We can’t cover every issue that people may have at their place of work. However, taking the time to study your working environment, the people you interact with, and even the pressures you are under will help to point you in the right direction for whatever it is that needs to be addressed.
Remember, hygge is often about looking at yourself and determining what brings you comfort and happiness. You may be able to learn about some things that can influence you, but aside from that, your success with hygge does rest on your shoulders.
That being said, we can look at some areas to help you to come to terms with how hygge can be incorporated into your working life.
Looking at the Workplace
Next, we will look at the workplace and how you can make things better and more comfortable. Now, this is going to depend on the type of work that you do, so it’s not always going to be possible to incorporate all of these suggested aspects of hygge, but we can try to give you some tips that may be useful.
For this, we can look at several scenarios. The idea is that you will then have some examples to work from and to implement in your place of work—as long as they correspond with what makes you feel more relaxed and comfortable, of course.
If you have a desk job, then including the concept of hygge in your workplace is very easy. In the next chapter, we will look at adding some comfort into your life, since this is a huge part of hygge, but we can offer a summary at this point.
Your desk should be organized and everything ought to be in order. It should not be cluttered or contain useless items. You should be able to find anything you want at any point. Your chair should be comfortable and supportive. There should be adequate lighting. Your desk should be at the correct height for your needs. Also, any equipment should be in working order.
If your workplace is primarily in a vehicle, then there are still things you can do that will make your office on wheels far more comfortable.
First, there should still be a sense of organization involved. Your case or bag should contain everything you need and you should be able to access it easily. You should keep your car clean and neat as well as looking at ways to make your journey as comfortable as possible. The road is stressful, so hygge enthusiasts would look for ways to make driving more calming and relaxing, perhaps by having comforting music.
As you can see, there are several common threads between these two examples. You must focus on comfort, being organized, and keeping things clean and neat.
Dealing with Work Colleagues
Even though your work colleagues may not be regarded as friends, there are still some rules that are connected to hygge that will help you to potentially get through a difficult part of your working life.
It is impossible, unless you work in a very small location, for every individual to always get on well with one another all of the time. That is just asking too much.
However, when using hygge, you need to look at things from a different perspective with your work colleagues.
First, be aware of what they bring to your place of work. Ask yourself what their role is and how it impacts your role. Spend time thinking about what they bring you, and also the level of interaction that you need to have with them. This is especially important when you perhaps do not see eye to eye some of the time, but as you cannot exactly ignore them, it does make a difference if you understand how to approach this situation.
The Danes will deal with this type of problem in a typically calm way. First, there is an acceptance that some people just do not click with one another, but there should be a form of mutual respect in the workplace for what each person brings to the company or organization. If you can accept this, even without fully accepting the person, then you are part of the way toward resolving the issue.
Next, the Danes would work at allowing old issues to stay in the past. Remember that hygge involves mindfulness, which is all about staying in the moment, and this also applies to how you interact with people.
If an individual at work is upsetting you, but you still have to deal with them, then the Danish idea would be to work with them, finish the job or interaction, and then move on and turn your attention elsewhere. Lingering on bad thoughts serves no purpose and it stresses the mind, which is completely unnecessary.
In other words, hygge can teach you how to work alongside people that you are not particularly fond of, just by getting you to focus your mind in a specific way.
Acceptance and forgiveness are key points, and if you can work with those in mind, then even those individuals that are particularly irritating will become less significant as a result.
Hygge and Your Career
Finally, we should briefly look at the role that hygge can, and should, play in your career.
Too often, people get caught up in the daily grind of the nine to five job, and they hate it. They see work as a chore and start watching the clock from the moment they arrive. Lunch hour is the best hour of the day, and all that they can think of is their salary at the end of the month. It is depressing—and that is not even including the journey to and from work alongside what feels like the rest of the population of the planet at the same time.
As you would expect, this cannot be described as hygge.
So, how can the two possibly work together? Well, the answer is about using what makes you feel happy, content, and includes things that you enjoy doing. It tells you to find your strengths and passions and work on them so that they become a central part of your entire approach to your working life.
Look at what you do for a living. You may very well be lucky and be in the profession that you trained for, but you need to work out if you are content with your actual position.
For example, perhaps you are a teacher. You may have wanted to teach your entire life as you love being in education and you have a passion for it. Even with this, you might want to ask yourself if you enjoy the school you work at or the salary you receive. Also, there may be an issue with the level of teaching you are working at because perhaps you want to be higher up, maybe in administration or in teacher training.
Or, there may be times where you wish to be your boss and run your own company. You may be stressed about the way that your boss treats you, and you feel as if there is no respect. In this instance, hygge followers would believe that you should go down the path of the type of work that makes your life feel better and less stressful.
In short, staying in a job that brings you unhappiness and stress is not an option. It is said that switching to a more calming situation, or with better people, will make going to work less of a chore, and this alone is worth taking a reduction in salary.
Look at it this way—the Danes are not known for working long hours. They also refuse to generally do any overtime, and they do not feel bad about it. Now, compare that to other countries and societies where overtime is almost expected. Also, what happens if you say no? There is often the fear of being fired or overlooked for promotions or bonuses. It is no surprise that the Danes, aside from being the happiest nation in the world, are also amongst the happiest workers in the world.
They have the correct balance between working life and personal life. They work fewer hours but are then far more productive during their working schedule. This work rate is all connected to the simple fact that they feel content with their careers, and the production levels are the direct result of that happiness.
Now, if only we could incorporate those ideas into more businesses and companies, then there would be a real positive shift in the economy.