By Cora Gold, Editor-in-Chief of Revivalist
In modern times, minimalism is a great solution for those who want to eliminate distractions and live a sustainable lifestyle. As many feel they’re being held back by the things they own, giving them up creates some sliver of peace of mind. Many bring this concept to the office to inspire creativity and promote efficiency.
If you want to practice minimalism in your business but don’t know where to start, here are seven ideas to help.
7 Ways to Practice Minimalism in Business
Transitioning to paperless benefits your business and the environment. Cloud storage doesn’t take up physical space, reducing the furniture you’ll have to buy for filing. There’s also no need to use paper, ink and a printer to share strategy proposals with clients — you can send them to their emails directly. You’ll save money on printing supplies and electricity.
Switch to LED lights to cut down your power use. You can use even less by relying on natural light during summer. Consider keeping the blinds up as long as possible — or as long as the sun isn’t glaring in your eyes.
If you can, invest in a motion sensor HVAC system. It auto-controls the temperature in the office so you don’t overuse the cooling and heating equipment, and preserve its life span. Remind your employees to turn off the lights, AC and heat, and other machines when not in use.
Encourage staff to reduce waste, such as packing lunches in reusable containers so they don’t generate trash. You can implement disposal programs with separate bins for paper, plastic and food waste.
Bring the recyclables to the nearest recycling station near your office. Meanwhile, you can compost the food waste and use the fertile soil for indoor plants.
If you source the materials for your services or projects, prioritize suppliers that practice sustainability. Where does minimalism fit in this picture? Some vendors practice a zero-waste business lifestyle and have package-free items, eliminating unnecessary waste. Others use only natural or gentle ingredients, so you’re sure you’re not adding anything toxic to the environment.
When working with another company, like a caterer or a janitorial service, ask about what kind of supplies they use–like eco-friendly ingredients or cleaning products without harmful chemicals.
Being part of a sustainable supply chain improves your reputation as a business. Customers will see you in a positive light. In addition, green partners create their products in a manner that minimizes trash and the negative impact on the environment.
Filling your walls with art pieces is tempting, but these can be distracting clutter. Not to mention, they easily collect dust that degrades indoor air. Instead, add live plants as accents in your workplace. They add a pop of color to a neutral, minimalist-style workspace while removing toxins contributing to poor indoor air quality.
6. Invest in Quality Office Equipment and Furniture
Thinking long-term is a good quality of a financially smart business owner. Choose high-quality brands if you need to upgrade your office with a new desk or computer.
They may cost more than the average model, but durable, eco-friendly furniture and energy-efficient desktops tend to last longer, meaning it takes several years before they become trash. If the budget is tight, consider quality refurbished options.
Using multifunctional furniture — like a desk that works as a conference or dining table — can maximize the space in any limited-square-foot office. Some also have foldable desks they put away after use. Choosing multi-purpose materials will reduce the quantity of furniture you have to buy, which is the fundamental principle of minimalism.
Adapting a minimalist business lifestyle has several positive effects, from saving you money to improving the mental health of employees and helping restore the planet. It can transform your workplace into a healthy space where everyone can collaborate.
Every piece of equipment in your office powered by electricity generates greenhouse gas emissions when turned on, contributing to global warming. For example, an AC uses hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants, which are potent greenhouse gases. These stay trapped in the atmosphere and make the planet warmer.
With a minimalist approach, you only buy the necessary tools to operate and limit their quantity to what you need — like a single printer for everyone’s use if it’s applicable. Buying extra electrical devices will only increase your utility bill and be a factor in climate change.
An advantage of a minimalist office includes having more usable areas because you have fewer things that can cause distractions. Your ability to focus drops when there are visual stimuli that remind you of disorganization all the time. The brain likes order, so clearing the clutter will allow you to concentrate better, seamlessly process information and improve productivity.
Similar to how clutter affects focus, it also elevates stress and mental health. Wouldn’t it be easier to find and locate things if they were arranged neatly in the office? How much better would it be if your workspace only had one shelf or cabinet that contained all your necessary work items?
Some people easily get irritated and stressed if they can’t find what they need immediately, impacting their productivity. When the time comes that you need a stapler or a folder, you’ll know exactly where to get one since everything is sorted out appropriately.
Every minimalist action you implement translates into savings. Being mindful of the office supplies you purchase and limiting the quantity to what you need saves you dollars monthly. By pursuing energy-efficient efforts, you cut down your utility bills. When everyone returs things from where they got them, it decreases the need to maintain the office. More importantly, promoting a productive workplace environment leads to higher employee efficiency and productivity, which affects your bottom line.
Owning fewer things has several benefits to employees’ well-being and productivity, and the office. It can lower your operating expenses, encourage your workers to optimize their focus and make your company a great place to work. Try going minimal to see what advantages it can bring to your brand.
About the Author
Cora Gold has a passion for writing about life, happiness and sustainability. As Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine Revivalist, she loves to share her insights and find inspiration from others. Follow Cora on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.