Since reading ‘A Year of Living Danishly’ by Helen Russell I have been well and truly embracing the spirit of the Danish. Apparently they are the happiest country in the world and it’s not all down to their generous welfare system, equal rights and world class pastries. In my eyes their happiness is almost completely attributed to hygge (pronounced Hoogah).
Hygge is a way of surviving the cold, dark winters and cosying up with your friends and family. Hygge is choosing to stay in with a blanket and a DVD. Hygge is keeping snug in your pajamas all day. Hygge is about recharging batteries and hibernating. Hygge is about comfort food that warms the soul.
It’s easy enough to incorporate hygge into your home life: pjs, box sets and pasta bakes are what weekends have always been about for me! Trying to be hygge at work is the tricky one, however, as dressing gowns are not particularly work-appropriate attire.
As The Corner Shop’s Office Manager, here are my rules of how to create hygge in the office:
Lots of tea rounds
Hot drinks are what it’s all about. Make sure you always have a brew on the go. When it’s chilly in the office wrap your icy fingers around the mug and breathe in the heat until your glasses steam up. My personal tip is to choose the largest mug in the cupboard (yes even the Sports Direct mug) so that it stays warmer for longer. Share the joy by offering to do a tea round at least once a day.
Movie nights at the office
Make use of a large meeting room by hosting movie nights after work. We recently had a screening of Dreamgirls and cosy fun was had by all. We dimmed the lights, ordered food in, popped open a few bottles of fizz and settled in for a night of show tunes.
Dose up on vitamin D
If you’re spending more time indoors ie. covered from head to toe with a giant blanket then it is quite likely you need a bit of extra help on old vitamin and mineral front. This is the time to eat more vit D friendly foods such as salmon (luckily we have an Itsu next door), eggs (omelettes for lunch anyone?) and cheese (never an issue). Choose a nice piece of Isle of Mull Cheddar on a cracker instead of your usual choccie biccie.
Leaving work on time
Get home to your pals and loved ones by shutting down and clocking off on time. Switch off your phone during your commute home and pick up a book instead, or listen to an audio book. Moving away from the computer screen to appreciate the world around us is totally hygge.
Using fake candles
Our office is located in a listed building so candles are a definite no-no, however you can replicate the glow and atmosphere using fakes! Reduce the florescent lighting in your office and choose lower (and more flattering) lighting instead.
Use the sofa for meetings
If you’re lucky enough to have a sofa in your office then use it. Grab a brew, get your blanket scarf out and slob while you work. It’s fine if you’d rather not do this with clients but there’s no shame in having an internal catch up while lolling on the sofa.
- Fiona Jarrett