How Using Hygge in Your Work Can Increase Productivity
I love culture, but one thing I love more than that is applying it my life practically. I’m obsessed with seeing what other countries do, trying them out and sharing the results.
Hygge (hue-guh) is pretty well known now as a way of life for cozy and comfortable. Danes created a way of like to help get them through long winter months so much so that it became a staple of their society - but I’m more interested in how it can be used to create better work life synchronicity.
That’s why I dove into how using hygge in your work can increase productivity - and how to create a hygge work style.
Hygge is a Feeling (Which You Can Use to Boost Everything)
Intimacy. Simplicity. Cosiness.
Presence in the moment that makes a memory.
It’s when you can find moments to celebrate or acknowledge - so why not make that part of your work?
My recent journey to feel work life synchronicity is to feel so fucking in flow with what I do and who I am that my day to day is filled with amazingness. We don’t have to think to take care of ourselves or live for the weekend.
Hygge rituals can create a feeling or to your work that can carry over into everything else you do. It can make work not feel like work.
Hygge Creates a Relaxed Environment
A relaxed environment can drastically improve your stress levels and increase productivity dramatically, as most research suggests.
So, grab your favorite warm beverage, light a candle and wrap yourself in warmth to create a hygge style environment.
You might light some incense that’s calming to you or put on music that gets you in flow. I’ve also seen some people invest in those warming gloves that leave your fingertips bare so your cold hands don’t slow you down.
When you have a hygge environment there’s most likely very little clutter and plenty of space to feel at ease in the environment, so make sure you take that into account.
For me, the most “hygge” environment means little to no movement around me like a library. It’s quiet, relaxing and there are no distractions. At home, I feel relaxed sitting on my couch or a bed because it’s comfortable and I don’t have to slouch in a chair.
You want to be relaxed here, so do what you need to do to figure that out.
Hygge Helps You Connect
You can definitely hygge alone when you’re working (or otherwise), but you can also use this cozy, style to collaborate with a friend.
This welcoming environment, plus the very basis of hygge being a feeling of intimacy and joy, can create a bond between you and those you work with if you include them in the practice.
You can hygge by taking mindful breaks throughout the day that are:
Fulfilling - thanks to the undercurrent feeling of hygge style.
Intentional - because shifting consciously from work to other tasks
Present - giving you awareness of your time, tasks and energy.
Motivational - because you can connect with a coworker, socialize a little bit and return to your work feeling focused and refreshed.
Even a small break to mindfully - meaning focusing on talking to them, not going on your phone or multi-tasking - connect with your coworker can do wonders for your energy levels and productivity.
I found that some good hygge breaks for me meant moving physically to stretch or go for a walk.
Sometimes that included some motivational talks or complete silence depending on my need at the time.
That might also include grabbing a coffee with a friend on the trip then returning to work, so I can get a quick jolt of inspiration and social interaction, but not enough to topple my concentration.
Hygge Increases Presence and Intention
As Hygge House puts it - “[Hygge] only requires consciousness, a certain slowness, and the ability to not just be present – but recognize and enjoy the present.”
When you’re present, you’re intentional.
Intentional action means more energy, focus and productivity.
This might look like penciling in a short meditation session, like I do. Sometimes it takes just noticing what’s happening if I’m getting stuck, which means I need to stop, ask myself why and dive into that resistance.
The more I use a hygge mindset, the easier it is to shift when needed.
We don’t have to rush through work as if we’re trying our hardest to get it over with. Instead, be present and thoughtful. Love the process each moment and you’ll get farther than you think.
Hygge increases productivity by creating environment and work style that is present, thoughtful and comfortable, which means less stress, better relationships and more intentional time on projects. It’s about loving what you day in the moments, not the accomplishment you get at the end.
Hygge is about enjoying the simple, good parts of life with people you care about.
If you love your work style as much as you love your process, your productivity skyrockets.
I mean seriously, have you ever worked in a cubicle? They’re cold, bleak boxes of hell - and not super productive. What you surround yourself makes a huge fucking difference.
And take it from someone who knows what a post-apocalyptic office feels like after months of hell and a mass firing, spaces have a feel to them that can make you sick and completely throw your ability to work in the trash.
Next steps… Take Action
You might be thinking, “Well, that’s all fine Taylor, but how do I actually use hygge practically in my work style?”
I’ve got you covered below.
How to Create a Hygge Work Style
Here’s a simple way to start creating a hygge work style in your daily routine.
1. Explore what feeling you’re trying to create in your work.
Focus, motivated and hard working? In-flow, cosy and comfortable? There’s no wrong answer, but remember that hygge is about recognizing and enjoying what you’re doing. It’s about loving the present moment - or the process as we like to call it. So, what feelings are “enjoying the process” to you?
2. Think about what creates that feeling for you.
What does it look like to you? Feel supported by the environment you choose so your process is simple and fun for you.
If that looks like candles, a clear desk and plants, then add more of that.
Maybe it’s motivational speeches in your ears, warm socks, a hot cup of joe, and the fan on.
Start by making a list of all the things you might want in your ideal work environment. Don’t forget to add in things like breaks and anything else that gets you feeling productive.
That may be as simple as buying a timer that tells you when to start and stop (like the pomodoro technique) because you don’t want your phone near you or creating a playlist of motivational music that you can tell Alexa to play for you.
Maybe it’s adding hand weights next to you so you remember to exercise.
3. Add those hygge productivity items in.
Start adding those things on your list to your environment.
I don’t have to tell you how to do this.
Check around the house or shop for it on Amazon or at the store.
4. Start working and notice what works.
Remember - if it gets stagnant at anytime, change it up. You have all the power. Reevaluate and shift as your work style does.
Track what works and doesn’t, plus how you can expand or try something new with it. This is entirely for you, so if it doesn’t work, try a different method or throw it out completely. The tool itself might be great, but you haven’t figured out how to use it to your benefit yet, and that’s okay.
This is all about creating a work style for you that is present, productive and thoughtful.