Hygge is an abstract concept because it has no exact translation other than the Danish language, but we defined it as cozy and happy.
In Denmark, there is an institute investigating happiness (yeah, they are living in the future). They have determined that what makes people happy is safety in their homes, loved ones, the food they like, comfort food, good work performance, financial stability, and health.
Hygge (verb) is pronounced “Hoo-ga.”
As an adjective: A moment or occasion can feel Hygge.
Example: When they are going to invite someone else to have a cozy evening with friends in front of the fireplace drinking mulled wine.
That is very Hygge.
Danes use it a lot, and it is a concept considered an essential pillar of their culture.
The concept is much more than just coziness. It’s sharing, making unique moments with the people we love, as well as being content with being entirely alone.
It is an ideology that invites us to feel comfortable and happy. But how do we achieve this?
For the Danes, there are three fundamental principles in the structure of society, and this is something that Malene Rydahl talks about in her book “Happy as a Dane”.
For the Danes, trust is everything. It’s the root and key to their happiness. When you trust, without judging or doubting, you must start with yourself.
You become a trustworthy person when you keep your word and do everything you promised you would do for yourself and others.
The freedom to be yourself is vital. Seeing yourself without judgment, with self-confidence, and finding peace in that process is essential in Danish culture. From childhood, you learn to appreciate your abilities, no matter the area, every person and every profession is important in society and celebrated.
This kind of thinking gives people the opportunity to explore and live their skills to the fullest. As well as expand their knowledge in multiple things.
Finding your purpose
We each have a role in life. Each of us is part of the gear of something bigger, so finding your purpose comes from “what do you do with what you have.” But finding your real purpose comes from what makes you happy.
How do you contribute to your environment with that which makes you feel alive? Knowing and understanding the responsibility of belonging to something bigger, and belonging to yourself, gives you a sense of purpose.
But we don't have to be Danish or live in Denmark to feel Hygge
It can be learned and applied in our lives! But we must start with ourselves. First, we have to define when we feel true happiness. Then, we have to be honest with ourselves, away from the judgments of others, be true to our word, and be consistent with our actions.
In the same way, we can implement certain aspects of Hygge in our home, office, or special occasion, making our life experiences more full of love, peace, and fulfillment.
Hygge in the Workplace
Hygge might not be the first thing we think about work, but we can apply it! We can create that cozy feeling in all aspects of our lives, including our job. How?
Well, I have to say that, just as we need to feel cozy, happy, and comfortable at home, we need to feel that way at work. If we think about it, most of our day is spent working in an office or home.
Considering the times we live in, immediacy is what pays us, which makes life hectic. We hardly even have time to think if we are happy or comfortable in our workspace, we only take that into account when we are out of it, or we make that mental barrier and finish our working hours at home.
But we have to be aware that today’s work environment is vital for our employees to choose a company, so how do we create a happy and welcoming culture?
Here is where Hygge comes in to play a critical role.
Hygge goes far beyond cups of tea and warm socks by the fireplace. Lately, this beautiful term, coined in Denmark, has managed to creep into the corporate culture, prioritizing the well-being of our employees and creating an environment in which we can foster creativity, trust, and a sense of belonging.
But how can we do this? Where do we start?
Communication is vital and is the most significant pillar we need to work on.
When we work in a very closed or bureaucratic company, we tend to be afraid to express our ideas. Still, when we start to apply a flatter, more open communication and a culture of open doors, our employees will begin to approach, and their ideas will be heard.
This will cause them to feel appreciated and empowered, giving them a sense of tranquility and fairness, which is vital for healthy work culture.
For example, one of the ideas that brought Amazon to the top was its methodology of putting the consumer at the center. In this case, we must put our employees at the center and try to create benefit packages focused on the four most essential pillars (physical health, mental health, financial health, and occupational health), providing them with the tools and guidelines to live a fulfilling life.
Hygge in our work culture
Promote synergy, the feeling of belonging. When companies grow a lot and are a lot from home, it has been detected that their employees see the company as the team they work with and the company as such, a separate administrative entity.
But this is where we must apply our Hygge more strongly, trying to create spaces for our employees to behave and create a better synergy no matter what team they are in. Creating bonds of trust is vital to building a solid and pleasant corporate culture.
All of us create the corporate culture, but it is crucial that, as a company, we open spaces that provide freedom, security, and attachment to our employees. That is why it is essential to create healthier, balanced, and collaborative work environments.
Our employees are and always will be our engine, and that is why it is so essential to create and share by example the right culture.