Yes, lunch tables! Most Danish offices either have their own kitchens in the workspace, where warm, delicious and healthy food is made and served every day. Or they get food of a similar high quality brought in from local catering companies. At lunchtime, you and your colleagues sit around the table and eat lunch together; this creates a relaxed atmosphere and as the Danes put it, is indeed very ‘hyggeligt’.
‘Hyggeligt’ is the Danish word for ‘cosy’; it is a concept that warms up many souls during the harsh winters here. It can be used to describe anything from a gentle person to a pretty candle, and the Danes love making spaces and meetings hyggeligt, especially during the long winter months, and this goes for offices too. Don’t be surprised if on the many cold dark rainy days, you come into office and find it lit up tastefully by beautiful candles.
Ever converted your office into a bar for a couple of hours? Well, we all know how much the Danes love their weekends, and the time it gives them to relax and catch up with friends and family. Naturally, they love celebrating the weekends as well, so many Danish workspaces have either a Thursday or Friday bar tradition, where, after work, around 4 or 5pm, everybody will gather and have a couple of beers become heading home. Denmark is one of the countries in the world with the least hierarchy, so bosses and interns join in alike and on equal terms as if anything else would be unthinkable.
At the universities you will find the Thursday bar tradition being followed almost religiously, with students from all levels and disciplines celebrating what they like to view as “little-Friday”.
Small things like these make going to work very joyful and keeps stress down for many people in Denmark, and somewhere during the week, you are sure to find a delicious cake waiting around in the kitchen, baked or brought by one of your colleagues. How is that for a happy work place!
Curious about more on the topic of Happiness at Work? Check out Alexander Kjerulf’s insightful and upbeat book Happy Hour is 9-5 that has helped thousands of people and organisations around the world to enjoy their work more – and as a consequence boost performance and results too. Watch what Alexander is all about in this video.
Smile – you’re at work!