We have all heard of hygge – the Scandinavian word that describes a feeling of wellbeing and contentment. It originated from Norway but today’s Norwegians also use a different term – koselig. There’s nothing more koselig (pronounced coo-seh-lay) than lighting candles, entertaining friends and family with good food, in front of a warm fire.
Many of us striving for a better work/life balance, choose to work from home. And embracing koselig in your own personal home work space could be a very wise move, helping to boost productivity and cut stress. Despite its long dark days – in some parts the sun does not rise at all in winter – Norway is often voted the happiest country in the world, so what better nation to turn to for advice at this time of year:
How to embrace this Norwegian trend if you work from home. Five practical steps to help improve productivity & wellbeing during dark winter days
- The use of natural wood is key. Many Norwegians share a second home with their wider family, often a rural log cabin. Log buildings are renowned for being warm and cosy, having friendly acoustics, and a relaxing ambience and aroma. Setting up a home office in a log garden building is ideal; many do not need planning permission and are surprisingly affordable. They can also add value to your home and be used as a spare room or chill out space.
- For the koselig look and feel in an office in your spare room, opt for Scandi-style wooden floors, wooden wall panels or even shelving units. Wooden desks, the larger the better, can make a space less formal, and a desk lamp adds visual warmth and comfort.
- Home offices need not be surgical, all-white and cold spaces; pick colourful accessories, such as noticeboards or desk tidies, and use strong, contemporary graphics on walls or textiles. If you have space, add a comfortable chair or sofa, large cushions and even a textured throw or two. Ideal for impromptu meetings and the perfect spot for taking regular screen breaks with a cuppa.
- Office plants are now back in trend and, if you select cacti or succulents, they can be easy-care whilst making a space look far less formal. They can also help improve air quality.
- The outdoor life is very important to Norwegians and if you work from home this is still something you should incorporate into your day. A brisk walk around your neighbourhood, breathing in fresh air and enjoying the sights and sounds of the winter landscape, hits the koselig spot. You will feel better at the end of your busy day, and reap the benefits when you can settle down to a relaxing, sociable evening.
Nick Forester of Norwegian Log Buildings, said: “Despite the long dark days, the Norwegians look forward to embracing the koselig mindset over winter, so perhaps it is time more of us consider it for where we work too? This means at home for a growing number of people, either in an office at the end of the garden or in the spare room. Luckily, you can easily recreate a koselig vibe no matter where you work.”