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With the days short and roads slick with ice, many of us would rather curl up with Netflix and tea than brave the whipping winds of the outside world. The Danish have long embraced the concept of hygge (pronounced “hoo-hag”), which essentially equates winter with warm and comfy cocooning. It’s how they maintain record happiness levels in a brutal climate.

The idea has gained currency in homes around the world. Now, many companies are working to cultivate coziness to their workplaces, too, in an effort to stave off seasonal affective disorder and make their offices, well, a little less cold. (That said, it works in sunny spots, too: The Australian home of software firm Zendesk was designed using hygge principles to improve employee energy.)

While the notion of hygge conjures images of pelt rugs and crackling fireplaces, all that’s really needed is a bit of warmth: nooks for quiet work, some non-fluorescent lighting and, ideally, a cozy lounge where folks can put up their feet and cherish the great indoors.


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