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Hygge for a Covid Winter

Natalie Moore | 24th December 2020 | Blog
Blog - Hygge for a Covid Winter

For all the things you may have planned for 2020 dodging a global pandemic probably wasn’t one of them. For many of us this has meant working from home or limited time in our normal office environments and with the long stretch of a Covid Winter in front of us we got to thinking about how to make the best of it.

Home working

Our home working environments need to provide us with a level of practical comfort to ease concentration and avoid injuries (think against the fold up chair at the kitchen table!) but also with a feeling of contentment and wellbeing. Now is the best time to welcome ‘Hygge’– the Danish practice of taking pleasure in simple things and feeling cosy – in to your life. If we’re going to be spending more time in our homes working through the winter let’s make our spaces feel like a sanctuary every time we walk through the door and pass the Winter with a positive mindset for work.

Blog - Hygge for a Covid Winter
MM cat Charlie knows how to make any space look hygge

The simplest way to add some hygge to your home environment is by adding soft furnishings, candles and earthenware to your space. Think textured layering of neutral fabrics and natural finishes to lend a sense of calm. Add plants to bring the outside in and consider creating a corner for reading or reflection for when you need to take a break from all of those Zoom meetings. Lighting is key; soft lighting will add to the sense of calm and, with the nights drawing in, candles will add warmth that will make you pleased to be indoors – there can never be too many candles for hygge!

Blog - Hygge for a Covid Winter
Invest in home office furniture then surround yourself with your favourite things

But home working isn’t just about hygge, it’s about ergonomics too. Making sure you have the right set up to get you through a Winter of work is imperative – there can be no greater feeling of comfort than not spending 8 hours contorted at a ‘temporary’ workspace that has outlived it’s initial purpose. In short, if you haven’t done so already, invest in a desk and chair designed for the task,  improving posture and offering support. See our blog on ‘At home with hygge’ to for our recommendations on how to achieve the perfect home office environment.

The 2021 office

But how to make our transition back to office life easier? We may be looking forward to the prospect of spending time with colleagues in person and having a separation of the home/work life but many will be uneasy about how the office of 2021 will look. Business owners may be anxious of how to draw the workforce back to the office but the answer is simply to bring some of those home comforts to the office environment, providing a stress-free reintegration to office life.

Blog - Hygge for a Covid Winter
A mixture of furniture for open areas allows for collaboration or working independently in a new setting

Creating areas where staff can work independently and in comfort away from desks, to read emails or make calls with a cup of tea on a comfy sofa, all contribute to a feeling of home in the office. A different location in the office can offer a new perspective on challenges, a space to immerse yourself in work and concentrate without distraction. Open areas with soft furniture and finishes that allow for collaboration and meetings can spark ideas and creativity that is missing from the home working experience.

Blog - Hygge for a Covid Winter
Planting and spaces away from desks make a space feel more like home

As in the home office, lighting can play such a key role in making the office environment feel more hygge; think pools of warm light from desk lamps for a more subdued work space. Floor and table lamps help to zone soft seating areas and when combined with plants and rugs lend a more residential feel, creating cosy spaces where staff can concentrate. Our blog ‘Back to the office‘ has our tips for your office transformation.

Wherever you’re working, adding some hygge can help you appreciate the positives in work and life – something we can all do with this year.

If you are looking for ways to improve your home or office environment, speak to our team of architects and designers to find out how to make the most of your space, we’d love to hear from you!