Swedish giant in search of happiness in Denmark

Sweden has lagom. But Denmark has hygge, right?

There is a global competition about which concept is the best. Or works best. However, while both contribute to happiness in a different way, Denmark ranks as happier than Sweden.

The Swedes don’t like that perhaps. In search of their own Nordic happiness, one of their most iconic brands, retail giant IKEA is on a quest to research about happiness. In Denmark!

How odd! People would flock to Sweden to live and enjoy the freedom, equality and… errr, kanelbulle (you know, those delicious cinnamon buns).

So why is IKEA looking to find their lucky happiness researcher? What do they want to see into? Read on!

Flat-pack but flat out happy!

IKEA is known for two things: its flat-pack distribution and the minimalistic Nordic style (inspired by Sweden). But they want to find out the secrets of a happy home. Or a home of happiness. This is why they needed help and decided to bring in a foreigner who may be more objective to find if and why Denmark is a really happy place.

The online competition called for people who are curious enough to explore new things and like to travel and meet new people. Oh! Also, he or she should feel comfortable in front of the camera because everything will be recorded. Meaning anything good or bad. And a documentary will be made at the end of the campaign to highlight the findings, through a foreigner’s perspective.

The lucky winner will stay for 2 weeks in lovely Copenhagen, in a fully furnished home (ahem, IKEA style of course). Also on the menu: home visits, guided tours, talks and dinners and of course time on their own to explore the city and the way of life. Travel expenses are paid by IKEA. As well as a 2-week salary to the winner, based on the Danish standards (that’s a lot of money for a foreigner).

There are two downsides though. Danes are happy tax-payers. So will be the lucky winner as he/she will have to pay the legal taxes for the salary received. The second one is Danish fall. Unstable weather and probably a lot of rainy and chilly days. Just to make things smoother, the lucky winner will also get as many free Swedish meatballs as he/she wishes, at the IKEA restaurants in Copenhagen.

What makes a home?

According to the Life At Home Report 2018, by IKEA, a home is not just the physical space. Over 22.000 people from 22 countries all over the world were asked about their perceptions and feelings about their home.

The most important finding was that people perceive as a home not only the physical space of their house but also what they can sense inside it (like smells), their beloved items (whether they are books or clothes or anything) and the relationships they build and nurture in it.

These all make up a home. The more we have of these things in our homes, the happier we tend to feel. And the Danes felt much happier indeed. According to the findings, 9 out of 10 Danes felt peace and happiness when they thought of their homes.

What is a happy home for you? 

Image: Robin Skjoldborg / VisitDenmark