Scandinavian countries regularly beat out everyone else when it comes to the happiness of their citizens. And while high wages, a robust socialized healthcare system, and a work/life balance that skews strongly toward life may help explain that, you'll never really understand it until you've spent some time there. If you play your cards right, IKEA might foot the bill (and also pay you!) to spend some time in Denmark to find out out for yourself what makes the Danes such happy people.
Proving its not only a purveyor of unpronounceable flatpack furniture and delicious meatballs, IKEA Denmark is offering someone the chance to get paid to visit Copenhagen for two weeks in September with the express purpose of exploring the homes, habits, and "hygge" of the country. In other words, you'll be getting a free trip to Denmark to hang with locals and see why they're so happy, all while earning an average Danish salary for the time you're there.
Beyond covering your travel expenses and paying your salary (minus local taxes), IKEA will also hook you up with a temporary home in the capital city and set you up with home visits, dinners, and guided tours with locals.
If you end up scoring the once-in-a-lifetime gig, you'll also be accompanied by a camera crew who'll be there to capture the experience and your findings, then turn the whole thing into a mini documentary.
So, why is IKEA doing this? Essentially, the company wants an outsider perspective on what makes Denmark a happiness haven.
"We wondered whether happiness arises from the Danes’ authentic life at home. But it’s difficult for us to figure out since we, as Danes, are naturally blind to certain elements that characterize everyday life in Danish homes," said IKEA Denmark Communication Manager Lene Gaarde, in an interview with HuffPo. "That’s why we’re inviting our competition winner to Denmark to help us discover the key to the Danes’ happiness in their homes.”
If you're interested and free to travel for two weeks in September, anyone over the age of 18 is welcome to throw their hat in the ring before the July 1 deadline. All you need to do to apply is fill out an entry form and upload a 60-second video explaining why you're the best candidate for the job and your reason for wanting to "investigate happiness."
And, hey, even if you don't end up winning, there's still plenty of joy to be found in your local IKEA food court.