Curious about what “Arbejdsglæde” means?

At The Curiosity Approach, we promote mindfulness and the emotional well-being of children and staff.

Within our first book, The A-Z of The Curiosity Approach 2017, we discuss Hygge, the way in which to bring well-being to your Early Years provision. However, another word that we would love to introduce to you is:


Arbejds – at work
Glaede – joy or happiness
Arbejdsglaede – happiness at work


Arbejdsglaede is a Scandinavian word which only belongs to countries like Denmark, Norway and Sweden. No where else in the world is there a word which means the same thing!

Literally, it means “happiness at work”. It is about liking what you do and looking forward to going to work on Monday. It is about being content in your role and being happy and motivated to contribute your skills and knowledge to a secure and happy workplace.

Arbejdsglaede is really important!

Think about how much time we spend at work, we spend more time with our work colleagues, than we do with our own families, friends and hobbies combined. This is a humongous amount of time –

Therefore, it is imperative we are HAPPY with the job we do.

Another reason to be happy at work is that it literally leads to more success.

Many people think SUCCESS leads to happiness, however, if you are totally miserable within your working environment you are not going to be happy and therefore will not reach your full potential.

Surely, it would be better to find happiness within your job and research suggests that happier people are more successful and creative.

When you are happy you ultimately are more productive and you do a better job.


At The Curiosity Approach, we promote a working environment of happiness and well-being. How we do this is from VALUING the efforts of the team or TRIBE who work for us. By LOOKING after the tribe and treating our colleagues with respect and equality.


Many people will say that high wages, perks and bonuses will produce a happy team, however, research also suggests that if you are unhappy with your job this is regardless of the money paid.

Money won’t make us happy at work! Yes, it obviously makes the pill of an unhappy workplace a sweeter pill to swallow but sadly we are exchanging our emotional well-being and happiness for monetary gains and this can only cause us much sadness, hard work and effort to get up to work every morning.

Of cause a fair wage, is essential and staff need to be valued and paid for the amazing job they do. Sadly in Early Years, wages are notoriously low and this is why so many educators are doing this job because they LOVE working with young children.

Therefore Arbejdsglaede is extremely important!

Be happy at work

Being happy at work is not solely down to the boss or the owner, obviously, if you have a tyrant at the helm, things get tricky and we need to work much harder to stay positive and motivated. We cannot change the actions of others, however, we can change how we react to them.

OUR HAPPINESS is in our own pocket and together we must work towards creating a productive an enjoyable place to work. It’s up to every single one of us to be responsible for our own happiness. To come to work motivated and with a positive frame of mind.

Nobody wants to be around the emotional vampires or mood hoovers, this just becomes contagious and quickly spreads amongst a whole team. Distance yourself from becoming dragged into negative conversations or backbiting about fellow team members. There is nothing worse than a bitchy cliquey environment. Stop people in their tracks and say you are not interested in listening to their negativity.

Good job!

Praise each other, whether it is a small well done, a pat on the back or creating a positivity board, where messages of praise and encouragement can be shared.

Be aware of your body language and your non-verbal communications, these speak louder than words.

Ensure you start your day on a positive note, arrive at work upbeat with a smile a warm welcome of ‘Good morning’.

Keep a reflection diary and record 3 things you are grateful for at the end of each working day.

Finally and most importantly, celebrate the small successes you have achieved, whether this is getting through a difficult day or something as simple as keeping hold of your pen the entire day – a great achievement in any nursery or education setting!

At Curiosity Approach settings it’s about being mindful of how our attitude affects others and your attitude will affect your tribe. Turn up to work with a positive mental attitude, help your colleagues out, communicate well and stop blaming everyone else for how fed up you feel. Finally, don’t forget to smile!


If we have a positive mental attitude and have “arberjdsglaede” then this will, in turn, benefit the children within our care and we contribute to the feeling of hygge within our setting. Children will notice the upbeat to the day, they will be more content settled and relaxed and the entire feel of the environment will contribute to the emotional well being of children and staff.

The responsibility lies with YOU, lets all work towards creating a culture of ARBEJDSGLAEDE

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