When Japanese consultant Marie Kondo released a book and a Netflix series about the art of tidying up, many viewers joined in the movement of decluttering their spaces and keeping only the things that spark joy. But minimalism is not a new movement. Although it has been gaining momentum in recent years, the concept emerged in the late 1950s when artists began to challenge the gestural art of the previous generations.

And the concept is certainly not new in today’s workplaces. You’ll see minimalist designs reflected in Google’s quirky furnishings and airy spaces, Apple’s achromatic walls and interior sliding glass doors, and Microsoft’s vibrant common areas and standing desks.

The Minimalist Movement in Workspaces

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, minimalism has surprising benefits in the wellness and productivity of employees. According to Business Advice, this office setup boost employee productivity, promotes communication and community, attracts new talent, offers room for growth, and adds a wow factor to commercial spaces.

The great thing about minimalism is that you don’t need to be a multibillion-dollar company like Google or Facebook to incorporate it into your workspace. Here are five easy ways you can apply it at work:

Lessen Your Paper Usage

One defining characteristic of a minimalist lifestyle is living consciously to reduce your carbon footprint. In the office, you can eliminate waste by decreasing your paper and ink consumption and digitizing your documents instead. You can also try investing in virtual printer software. When printing files at work, the software will pause the printing process and send your print-ready documents to cloud storage for review of the recipient instead.

If you’re still receiving direct mails and physical newsletters, you can request your service provider to send you emails instead. For workers who are more productive when writing down notes, recycle your old documents and use unused side or refrain from buying notepads when you can write on receipts you no longer need.

Don’t Buy What You Don’t Need


Open your desk drawer. Visit the supply closet. Look at all the stuff inside. Do you need ten colors of highlighters? Are those paper clips, staples, and rubber bands being used mindfully?

Next time you’re out to buy something, ask yourself these questions: 1) Do I need it? 2) Will it add value to my life? 3) Am I helping the environment by purchasing this product?  If you answered no to all three and decided to walk away from that store empty-handed, then congratulations. That means you know the true essence of minimalist living.

Keep Your Environment Free From Distractions

When you work at an office, it’s natural to want to decorate your walls or desk with photos, toys, or decorations. But there’s a reason why minimalists wish to you to keep your environment devoid of these items. With fewer decorations, you’ll have fewer distractions. This way, you’ll be inspired to focus more on your work and complete your tasks. If you want to add decorations, consider succulents or small plants. Aside from the fact that they’re pleasing to the eyes, they also help to clean the air and reduce stress.

If you’re serious about incorporating minimalism into your life, remember that it’s more than just beautiful white walls and pretty planters. The idea is to live more with less. It also helps to be conscious of your choices, whether you’re at work or home.