Designing for Mindfulness
At the heart of every well designed space is the thought and compassion that went into the planning of the space and the people who inhabit it.
How many office spaces you encountered that try to project a professional image but somehow seem to lack in warmth and personality? Designing an environment for mindfulness and peace can reduce stress, keep people focused and increase creativity in the workplace.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when designing a mindful office space:
- Colour. Natural whites, woods, soothing greens, blues, lavenders to calm a stressful dealing room. Bright summer colours can lift moods and increase dynamism in a room where monotonous or more routine work is done.
- Ease of movement. Can people move around from one point to another and still be able to swing their arms with ease? Does traffic flow efficiently in your office?
- Comfort. Invest in a comfy office chairs. Consider a walking or standing desk to increase blood flow and reduce aches and pains associated with sitting down for long periods of time.
- Amenities- Ensure you have everything you need to create a happy efficient environment. Keep areas clean. Pantries can have coffee machines, clean water, healthy snacks and seating areas for informal meetings.
- Storage- Ensure adequate space for everything so surfaces are cleared at the end of the day. A clean workspace is a reflection of an uncluttered organised mind.
- Inspirational pictures/ art pieces- Use art to motivate people, inspire and deliver the company's message. Encourage employees to display their own pieces to showcase their talents and inspire others to nurture creativity.
- Quiet spaces- Contrary to popular opinion, lumping people in space does not help with creativity and cooperation. People need space and stillness to think. If space is an issue-provide silent clutter free areas where they can use to decompress and regroup.
- Nature- Use plants, natural light, natural materials that are sustainable and environmentally friendly. Natural materials and plants provide a connection with nature and helps us stay grounded so that we are able to make good decisions.
- Fresh air. If possible provide a space outside. Landscape the area with plants, chairs, rocks, swings, wind chimes, fountains to add to the sensory experience of an oasis from stress and 'doingness'. Encourage walking meetings.
Designing a space with care shows you care about yourself, your company and your workers. The feeling of being nurtured and cared for is key to motivating employees on an intrinsic level. If you care for people they will give back in so many ways that cannot be motivated by money alone.
Loving kindness is the new stock options.