Does your current workspace drain you even before you’ve had your first cup of coffee? Add hygge and style to any office space.
Learn How to Add Hygge and Style to Any Office
It’s Monday morning at the office. Everywhere you look are fabric-covered partitions meant to keep you from socializing with your cubicle-neighbor. The dark wood laminate desk you have been assigned has seen better days. The faint buzzing of the florescent lights and their constant flickering give you a headache before your 9:30 am coffee break.
In other words, your workspace is a far cry from the hygge happiness you so long for. Fret not, with a few simple tweaks and tricks, you too will feel hyggelig, happy, productive, and at peace with the world, WHILE at the office.
Getting Started on Your Hygge Office
- First things first, make sure you know your company’s policy for personalizing the workspace. It would be counterproductive to end up in a meeting with management over your attempts to bring hygge and happiness to the workplace.
- Start by taking a picture of your cubicle, especially the desk. This is a trick a professional organizer once told me. Looking at a photo on your phone gives you a sense of objectivity. You can easily identify areas of clutter. The photo will also reveal if your workspace is visually “out of balance.”
- Clear the clutter. Remove equipment and files you don’t use every day. Wipe off your desk, clean your computer screen, shake the crumbs out of your keyboard, and make sure your work area is ergonomically correct.
Even if your office is on a tight budget, there are inexpensive ways you can modify your work area to fit your physical needs. Hygge is as much about feeling comfortable physically as it is feeling cozy mentally. If you spend a lot of time on the computer, get a supportive pillow for your back and a cushion to rest your wrist on while you type.
And now to the fun stuff, personalizing your desk space. Remember in the hygge mindset: “less is more.”
Add Hygge to your Desk
- A few personal items will bring you more comfort and peace than a cluttered collection of old dusty frames and stained takeout menus.
- Keep your desk “decorations” light in color and material, to offset the dark wood office furniture.
- A great “guide” for your office decorations is the sleek and functional look and feel of Scandinavian-designed furniture.
- Keep the bare necessities on your desk and store the rest of your office equipment in drawers.
- A cute cup for your pencils, a pretty frame, and a personalized desk pad are great ways to bring hygge to your workspace. (Some of my favorite beautiful desk decor is listed in this mom friend gift guide.)
Hygge with Office Plants
My all-time favorite way to soften the appearance of a sterile work environment is to add a plant. However, remember you want the best low-maintenance plant that doesn’t require sunlight and can go for several days without water. A “lucky bamboo” is my personal choice. It’s always green, you can water it and forget it for a few days, and besides, who doesn’t love the thought of bringing “luck” to your workspace?!
I wouldn’t recommend orchids or other flowering plants. The purpose of bringing hygge to your cubicle is to add tranquility and happiness to your day, not to give your guilt because your flowering plant hasn’t bloomed in months.
The Best Lighting for Office Hygge
To combat the headache-inducing effects of harsh fluorescent lighting, it’s a great idea to add a Himalayan salt lamp to your desk. The negative ions produced by a Himalayan salt lamp have been found to increase serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that regulates a person’s mood. Besides, the warm pink glow emitted from a Himalayan salt lamp is the epitome of hygge lighting.
If a Himalayan salt lamp is too exotic for your taste, a desk lamp with a regular light bulb gives the most relaxing and healthiest lighting, according to the theories of Feng Shui.
Office Pets (Yes, it’s a thing!)
There is a growing trend, here in America, for allowing employees to bring their dogs to work. Several large corporations, such as Amazon, have in-house doggie daycares and play areas for their employees’ pups.
Bringing “man’s best friend” to a place previously thought of as “strictly business” is a great way to infuse hygge into the workday. Dogs are legendary for reducing stress in humans, which is why specially trained dogs are popular in nursing homes and hospitals.
If bringing your pooch to work isn’t a possibility, consider adding a small decorative glass bowl with a Betta fish to your desk. A Betta fish’s needs are simple and easily accommodated: a glass bowl, decorative rocks, an underwater plant for the fish to hide in (or a plastic plant does the trick too), fish food, and water conditioner (a solution you add to the water after changing it). It’s a low-cost substitute for bringing a dog to the office.
I can personally attest to the level of hygge brought on by adding a Betta fish to your small cubicle world. My fish, Flipper, lived for several years in a small bowl on my desk.
It is relaxing to watch the fish throughout the day and you know that there is at least ONE living being excited to see you on Monday morning. A fish brings just enough coziness and hygge to your workday without breaking corporate policies of personalization of work areas.
What is the first thing you plan on doing Monday morning when you get to the office – after you have a cup of coffee, of course?!