I absolutely love working from home but there is one thing about going into the office that I miss a little – the coffee break. It’s not that I don’t give myself breaks every day while at home, but grabbing a coffee at the office feels more like an “event” than it does when I’m meandering about my kitchen located just steps from my office.
Just the act of getting up from my desk, walking to the elevator and riding down to the coffee shop actually made me feel like I was getting the break that needed. And, during that once- or twice-a-day ritual, I’d almost always run into someone I knew and end up chatting for an extra 10-15 minutes about anything and everything.
In Sweden, this practice of enjoying a cup of coffee and chat is known as fika. A sacred part of Swedish culture, fika can take on many forms but it nearly always happens twice a day (around 10am and 3pm) and includes a hot drink, a tasty pastry and the chance to catch up with someone you know.
I guess I never realized it, but over the many years of going into the office, I created my own fika ritual – a ritual that became just as much about the coffee and pastry as it was about connecting with others and getting a short physical and mental break from work. But now, with so many people working from home, this practice of taking a coffee break has become a lost art – even for me. It’s much easier to just sip a latte at my desk while staring at my laptop than it is to actually take the time to really enjoy my break…as well as the coffee.
But this year, I’m determined get that special time back each day and make it a point to enjoy my own version of fika, even when I’m working at home.
Ready to join me? Then here are a few suggestions on how we can all embrace fika and bring the conscious coffee break back into our work-at-home lives.
5 Ways to Practice Fika While Working from Home
1. Build Fika time into your schedule – We all know that work calendars can fill up fast. Use your calendar to block at least one, 20-30 minute fika break each day. Blocking your calendar will hopefully give your schedule (and your brain) some much needed breathing room to recharge and disconnect from your work life, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
2. Go out for coffee – Once or twice a week, make it a point to head out for your daily cuppa. Whether it’s your local Starbucks or a new coffee shop, the simple act of getting out of your designated work zone (ie. Your house) can do wonders for your sanity.
3. Use the time to network or connect – As part of your daily or weekly coffee escape, why not use this time to connect with a friend or family member? Even if you can’t meet in person, taking a few minutes to chat via phone or on FaceTime can make your day go by faster and leave you feeling that much better.
4. Create a quality fika experience at home – For those days when going out for a coffee is not possible, make sure your at-home coffee experience feels just as special. Designate a fika space – preferably away from your desk or office. You can set yourself in front of your large window overlooking the backyard or at a cafe table on your front porch – just make it a sacred and safe space that will help you really relax. And while you’re at it, invest in a quality coffee or espresso machine, like Nespresso, to help keep you caffeinated for hours on end. Finally, make your coffee a little extra by adding flavored syrup and a sprinkle of vanilla sugar on top.
5. Don’t forget the sweet treats – Whether you’re headed out for coffee or staying in, be sure to grab a little something sweet to go with your drink. A scone, muffin or almond croissant paired with a perfectly blended, foamy cappuccino will undoubtedly have you relaxed in no time.
Hmmmm….with all of these thoughts about coffee and pastries…I’m wondering, is it fika time yet?