How Minimalism Can Save You Time and Money
From wristwatches to shoes to chocolate wrappers, minimalism is all the rage these days – and it’s no exception when it comes to office layout and design.
Minimalism has been a major art movement since at least as far back as the 1960s, which is around the same time that minimalist work spaces began to pepper the office landscape. According to John F. Pile’s A History of Interior Design, after the Second World War, European architects like Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe began creating minimalist architecture in the US, popularising these design principles.
Today, minimalist offices are not uncommon – from small companies like web and graphic design firm Yummygum to massive names like Adidas, businesses all over the world and of all different sizes are finding out the benefits of minimalist offices.
What exactly are these benefits, though?
Minimalism can keep your office clean and clear
One of, if not the most commonly touted advantages of minimalist office fitouts are their ability to keep a workplace free of clutter.
Minimalism prides itself on the principle of elegant simplicity, achieving an orderly organisation of elements, whether that be visual lines or, in the office context, making sure a work station isn’t buried under a mountain of superfluous objects. It’s also about efficiency and maximising the space available, further making the cleaning up of useless clutter a top priority.
For this reason, minimalist work stations might include hidden slots in which to store items, leaving the work station clear and tidy. They are sometimes also designed with the express purpose of preventing workers from covering their desks with unused items by making them limited in space.
De-cluttered desks can boost concentration and productivity
You might be asking yourself what the ultimate purpose of utilising such office furniture. It might be visually striking, but how does it impact your bottom line, if at all?
In fact, a number of studies have demonstrated a link between productivity and de-cluttering. In one 2011 study from Princeton, researchers found that too many visual stimuli tend to hinder the brain’s ability to concentrate.
“The capacity of the visual system to process information about multiple objects at any given moment in time is limited,” the report tells us, citing an earlier study from 1958.
This means that, even if employees are hard at work, too much clutter can subtly undermine the quality and speed at which they carry a task out. And this isn’t even to calculate the direct impact clutter has on slowing down the pace of work.
According to a survey by Brother, an estimated 38 hours, or approximately one week of work, are lost each year by every worker as a result of looking for office items amongst a lot of junk.
There you have it. While messy offices may have worked for geniuses like Einstein, for the average employee it’s better to tailor your design toward something that limits, if not eliminates, clutter.