5 Simple Ways To Add Zen To Your Office
Zen is the Way!
Dusty grey carpets, funky beige walls, flickering strip-lighting – offices tend to be unloved and dull spaces. More like industrial shells than real spaces for actual human beings. It’s such a shame, as we all spend much of our lives at work – having to spend our lives looking at uninspiring vistas, staring at blank walls and working under frustrating fluorescent lighting. To help combat uninspiring office spaces we have come up with these five simple ways to Zen up every office based on Zen design principles.
What is Zen?
Originally a Chinese offshoot of Buddhism, Japanese Zen eventually developed out of Chinese Zen. A Buddhist practice centered on insight and meditation, Zen has always attracted loyal followers.
In interior design, Zen design is characterized by simplicity and clean, natural lines. For more tips, check out these helpful seven design principles inspired by Zen wisdom.
Improve office lighting
Most offices have one of these common lighting problems: bad and overexposed strip lighting, flickering lights, dim lights or a lack of any natural light.
Bad lighting can be bad for people’s health and eyes, and it deadens and dulls the senses as well as the designs.
Here are some ways you can change your office lighting to make your working environment a better, more inspiring place:
- Increase natural light – Having windows means opening up your office space onto the rest of the world, letting in light and fresh air. Live with the seasons: opening windows in the summer and letting in all the possible light in winter by lifting up the blinds creates a peaceful office atmosphere.
- Use light bulbs with softer light – softer light is easier on the eyes and the brain. Avoid single sources of light that hang down from the ceiling as they create harsh lines and unnatural ‘spotlights’.
De-clutter for simplicity
We’ve probably all been guilty of a bit of an office junk pileup in our time, but de-cluttering is one of the core principles of Zen design.
The problem with needless clutter is that it inhibits us from thinking clearly, and it ruins the aesthetics of any space.
Having bits of paper lying around might make you think you look creative or busy, but in reality it’s just clogging up your space needlessly.
Top Zen de-cluttering principles:
- Zen design is all about simplicity and austerity, so favor clear and clean lines. Have things stored away, rather than displayed, and favor recycling over hoarding.
- Minimize the proliferation of personal junk at the office.
- Go paperless by favoring smart technology over printing.
- Manage your office supplies so you don’t overstock and end up drowning in staples. Favor natural and ergonomic materials and shapes.
Use Natural and healthy design choices
Use soft, rounded surfaces in your office alongside traditional hard lines to improve the flow of energy in the room.
Shapes, colors and textures can literally change moods. Intelligent Zen color design favors natural earthy colors.
Try incorporating colors and patterns from nature into your office environment: soft grey pebbles in a babbling brook, undulating green forest ferns or sun-speckled beach sands.
Green is a color known to promote peace and calm, so play around with different shades of green in your soft furnishings.
Comfort is important. Contrast hard bamboo flooring with a few soft rugs or mats.
Textures and surfaces should be warm and tactile: natural, not clinical and harsh. Office furniture should be of a high quality and well-designed to avoid aches and pains.
Add Little Zen touches
Sometimes achieving Zen is all about a few simple touches. Here are some Zen touches you can try out today to help improve your workplace:
- Have some stress-busting essential oils on hand. These are great to rub on your temples during a busy day.
- Scent is important, so air your office and use candles and scented products inside. Have a well-ventilated kitchen area and staff room.
- Green office plants bring a sense of joy and peace to your surroundings, and they produce oxygen.
- Cleanse the office atmosphere by moving things around and removing any junk or furniture that has been left lying around (like that exhibition billboard that’s been there since Christmas).
- Cleanse any noticeboards of cluttered and messy notices.
- Hide unsightly cables.
Leave…only to return energized
Perhaps counterintuitively, going outside the office is sometimes the best thing you can do to improve how things are working on the inside of the office!
Going outside, getting some fresh air and a new perspective by walking around and exercising your legs will help you return to the office with a renewed sense of Zen.
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