How to use ‘hygge’ to create a happy and productive workforce

The latest lifestyle concept to hit our shores is that of hygge. A Danish import, hygge is a word used to capture the feeling or mood of taking pleasure in the simple moments of everyday life. The Danes are known for having the happiest workforce, and general population, in the world, and this pursuit of everyday happiness can be seen as a major contributing factor.


We’ve taken a look at how some of the basic principle of hygge can be utilised in the workplace to create a happier, and therefore a more engaged and motivated, staff.


Be present

Hygge is all about living fully in the moment, a concept known to us as mindfulness. This is not an easy task to master in an office environment with the constant stream of distractions in the form of emails, phone calls and questioning colleagues. Hygge believes in the benefits of fully immersing yourself in one task, foregoing distractions and multi-tasking to create a higher quality piece of work and improving workers’ state of mind. Think about how this could work in your office environment, maybe create a distraction free zone that allows staff to focus in on the task in hand.  


Be positive

Focusing on stressful topics is rare in hygge, however in the office it is sometimes hard to avoid. Instead make sure you and your employees note the positives, however big or small, at the end of each working day. Regularly making an effort to focus on the positives reprograms the brain, boosting happiness and increasing resilience to stress.


Look after yourself

Personal contentment is a major factor of hygge, and there are plenty of little things you and your employees can be doing throughout the working day to be kinder to yourself. The easiest of these being ensuring employees take a proper lunch and checking they are setting achievable deadlines that do not push them past their personal limit.



Some refer to hygge as an “art of creating intimacy”, whether that be with yourself, others, or your environment. Humans are naturally social creatures and isolation from others can produce low moods. Encourage employees to forgo a lonely lunch at their desk and create a communal eating space in an environment where helping and supporting each other is rewarded.