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Hygge: Can the workplace be cozy?

Work hard. Put in the hours. Retire early. Most business majors I've met in college have advocated this game plan, emphasizing their desire to get rich quick and limit their time in the office. Those accruing debt in the form of student loans seem especially focused on pursuing high paying careers, often investing their spare time in professional organizations and internships in order to gain an edge in the cut-throat job market.

But what happens when your efforts to build an impressive portfolio through education and office experience don’t produce the pay scale or lifestyle you envisioned?

According to the 2017 American Working Conditions Survey, 64% of college graduates find themselves working in their personal time to meet workplace demands and 40% of employed workers ages 65-71 have found it necessary to leave retirement and re-enter the workforce. If Americans can expect to clock an average of 1780 hours at the office annually, spend their personal time catching up on assignments and postpone retirement, when can they expect to enjoy the money they’re earning?

The key to happiness might just be to accept reality and change your attitude towards it. Rather than living for the weekend, professionals should find joy in their daily routines. Hygge, a Danish concept of seeking cozy contentment in life, has contributed to Denmark’s reputation as one of the happiest countries in the workplace and could revolutionize your approach to the workplace.

Rather than focusing on possessions, this concept emphasizes appreciating your atmosphere, experiences, and loved ones. Pleasant soundtracks played during downtime, bonding activities with your teammates, and homey desk decorations are some simple ways to begin practicing Hygge. Cozy scented plug ins, fresh lunches, and warm drinks in a cute cup are also easy ways to make your office feel more like home. Essentially, the goal of Hygge is to make your daily routine feel less like an obligation and more like a pleasure. You should enjoy going to the office and building positive relationships with co-workers because a majority of your life will be spent with them in that setting.

If you're passionate about business but are dreading a life spent in the office, maybe it’s time to change your attitude and practice the Hygge lifestyle. Make sitting at your desk enjoyable by adding personal touches and focusing on the positive impacts you make daily. Kick start this lifestyle by slipping on a pair of fuzzy socks at your desk and making a mug cake on your break. Trade your rainclouds for sunshine and stop living for only your annual vacation, you’re missing out on the simple pleasures of everyday life.

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