Articles From the Team

Hygge - Have the Danes found the key to happiness?

Hygge – pronounced “Hoo-ga” is a Danish word that is pretty tricky to pronounce and articulate. Essentially it means a “cosy existence”. Enjoying the good things in life with good people round you is hygge. The warm glow of candlelight, big blankets and a roaring fire in winter is hygge. And let’s not forget eating and drinking (preferably sitting around the table for hours on end discussing the big and small things in life). So perhaps the Danish idea of hygge explains why Danes are often considered the happiest people in the world?

As an outsider you might question why the Danes are such a happy nation, with some of the longest winters and highest taxes around. However you only have to visit the Country to see it for yourself. Having spent a long weekend in Copenhagen earlier this year I quickly came to understand why the Danes regularly top the poles as being the happiest country in the world. It rained all weekend and was freezing cold but we had a brilliant time and cannot wait to go back!

Happiness can of course be defined in different ways. According the World Happiness Report, happiness is more closely correlated to social equality and community spirit than how much money you earn. When you consider this, the higher taxes paid by the Danes might actually be a contributing factor to the Danes’ happiness. High taxes mean that the costs of health care, university education and child care are shared throughout society. Furthermore it would appear that the Danes express trust in their government, with nine parties in the national parliament it is hardly surprising that people feel better represented. It is also a country that enjoys low levels of corruption in the public and private sector. All in all a far cry from Britain in 2016.

Greater social equality can have other benefits in society. Certainty over welfare support means that people can have more freedom when it comes to work. People can do the jobs they want to do and follow their career dreams because they are not tied to the idea of having to do the job that pays the most money. Furthermore the concept of hygge applies to the work place too. Happier people mean a happier working environment.

At BCL Legal, we notice that candidates seldom wish to move jobs purely for financial reasons (unless their salary is very low). Usually they are looking for a better work/ life balance, access to different work or the chance of taking on more responsibility. Like the Danes, it seems Britain’s lawyers are seeking Hygge.

Chloe specialises in placing candidates into the top firms in Birmingham. For a confidential conversation on your situation fee free to call me on 0121 237 5611 or email me at .


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