Guiding Principles

Take the initiative

It will be difficult to understand how everything works by sitting quietly. There are no marching orders delivered to you on a daily basis, so the only sure way to figure things out is to take the initiative and to talk to people. Ask questions during calls, send messages in the company’s chat channels, and reach out to people outside your project for advice. Your colleagues have open calendars. See what they are working on and ask them to join their calls, so you can learn.

Ask for help

There is no excuse for failing quietly or assuming something doesn’t work because you couldn’t figure it out! If something isn’t clear, or you just want a second opinion, ask for help. In Hygge Companies, everyone is extremely friendly and willing to help. Post your questions in GitHub or public channels in the company’s chat. You’ll not only have a better chance of getting a quick reply, but other people can also learn along with you. There are no stupid questions, only not enough documentation.

Destroy the box

Don’t be afraid to screw up. Hygge Companies work really hard to make sure things can’t be easily broken, even from the inside. Think outside the box, try new things, push all the buttons. Hygge colleagues will always want to hear if you have a new idea or a business lead that you want to follow, even if it doesn’t necessarily fit within their current strategy or goals.


It can be great to play with shiny toys every day, but the truth is you need to focus on something for quite a while before you become good at it. Always focus on the bigger picture set out in a product or a milestone to make sure you are in sync with your colleagues’ vision. Talk to others about your goals and the framework within which you are trying to achieve them.

Baby steps

Small iterations are the way to develop within big distributed teams. Break down your tasks in small atomic pieces and achieve something every day, however insignificant it might seem. It’ll show everyone your progress and make you feel better every time you click that checkbox or change the issue label to status - done. Avoid keeping issues open for too long or bouncing them from one assignee to another.

Speak up

Voice your opinion! The best way to come to a decision is through constructive debates. Stop agreeing with each other and start being the devil’s advocate to challenge the team’s assumptions and common wisdom. Is there something that can be done better? Is there something that the team isn’t doing that they should be?

Change the rules

Nothing is set in stone. Hygge Work Culture can change and adapt as we learn more about new technologies and working together. Take the initiative and suggest a change by creating your repository branch, and making a pull request to the main branch. It’ll give everyone an opportunity to debate it before the change gets pushed onto everyone.

SWAT vs Gunslingers vs Police Officers

SWAT vs Gunslingers vs Police Officers

SWAT teams show up all together in full gear no matter what. They bring enough weapons and ammo to occupy a small village. They bust doors and windows without checking if they are unlocked. They don’t care how much it costs them to arrest a pothead or to repair the damage they cause doing it.

Gunslingers think they can shoot everyone in the village by themselves. They rarely have a plan, mention their vast “experience” often, and rely on their marksmanship skills. They don’t communicate with anyone and often shoot bystanders.

Police officers always follow the plan and tell the dispatcher if they want to investigate something off the beaten path. They update their dispatcher on any developments. Police officers use common sense and department priorities when choosing the car to pull over. They do their research and run the license plate before approaching the vehicle. Police officers don’t write tickets together, but they often request backup to have someone cover them if the situation escalates and help each other without getting in the crossfire. Police officers are also mindful of the costs and call for air support only in critical situations. Their most valuable quality is the ability to follow rules and guidelines in stressful situations.

Always default to the police officer approach.