I’ve just finished my first week in a new job, so I’m very tired and filled with information, but also very excited about the challenges coming up. That said, many of us spend 40+ hours a week in the office, so we may as well make it as comfortable and pleasant for ourselves as possible. I’ve put together a few tips to make your office just a little bit nicer, so that morning commute doesn’t feel quite so painful.
Bringing life to your desk
I mean this quite literally. Having a plant to look after can have a surprisingly powerful effect on your mood at work. I love to fill my home with plants – flowers, cacti, herbs, everything – and I think they have a place in the office too. I think there’s something very therapeutic about having something other than myself to look after (parents may not agree), which is why I’m going to be buying a little terrarium to fill with mini succulents for my desk. Copper is very Scandi, and this one is small enough to slip into any corner. It also comes with a useful handle for easy transportation if your plants need to sunbathe for a while. Ticks all round.
No more al desko
Eating ‘al desko’ (at your desk) should never have been a thing in the first place. I get horrendous leg cramps if I stay sitting at my desk for too long, and not moving around at work can be very bad for your health, leading to sluggish circulation, trapped nerves and conditions like RSI. Besides, the fresh air is good for you. Seeing as businesses are generally still tied to the idea of getting everyone into the office every day (I have my own thoughts on this, but that’s not for here), the least we can do is make the most of our lunch breaks and get outside. Run some errands, pick up some food, just go for a wander.
A second wardrobe
Anyone in the UK knows that the weather does what it likes. We’re expecting a particularly cold, snowy winter this year, making it easy to get caught out in a downpour, sleet, snow, intense winds or pretty much anything else. Having extra layers at work can be a godsend in the ‘-ber’ months, whether the heating just isn’t cutting it or you need to run some errands in your lunchbreak. I recommend this unisex American Apparel pullover for extra warmth – mine has saved me from cold snaps many times. For extra hygge points, go for the burgundy, white confetti or dark sage. Or, if a work jumper feels like too big a commitment, sling a spare pair of socks in your desk drawer. You’ll thank me for it after a soggy walk to work.
This goes without saying. Desk snacks are a crucial part of my life. I’ve currently got a box of grapes, but I also like nuts (especially pistachios, but the shells make SUCH A MESS, and nobody likes a nutty keyboard) and peanut butter and ricecakes. When I’m hungry, I just can’t work, so it’s nice to have things to graze on. Self-deprivation is so not hygge, so make sure you have some nice snacks within easy reach to see you through until 5pm.
Let the music play
I can’t bear silence when I’m working, so if the radio’s not on, I’ll be listening to Spotify all day every day. I’m slowly building up my Hello Hygge playlist (suggestions always welcome), and have been listening to that this week. Ambient office sounds (whirring printers, clinking teaspoons, coughing fits from afar) can take their toll on concentration after a while, and I find that music makes me much more productive. I write for a living, so the ability to listen to my own tunes at work is an absolute godsend.
These ideas are just a starter for ten – I’d love to know how you make your working environment more cosy. Have you persuaded your boss to ditch the strip lighting in favour of personal desk lamps? Do you keep a stash of your favourite tea in your drawer? How have you introduced hygge into the workplace?