By now, we're pretty sure you have come across the plethora of Instagram photos that seem bleak in the background. White walls and maybe a plain wooden coffee table or a floor-length window blasting sunrays inside an almost empty room except for the dog quietly sitting in the corner right next to the splash of green from a fern plant in a solid black pot. There's no denying that these pictures give us a sense of calm one swipe after another, most likely why those styles and designs influence and inspire anyone.
If you haven't yet, let us briefly introduce you to what minimalism is, and the advantages of applying minimalism not just in your living room or shopping choices, but with the thing you need most to be able to afford the shopping: work.
So what is minimalism anyway?
In the 50s, minimalism was more as a principle of aesthetic or an art movement and is still pretty much the same today, but has expanded as a way of life as well. As a lifestyle, minimalism teaches us to make smarter choices in organizing and even purchasing, steering clear of excess and investing instead in something suitable for long-term use. This concept has been responsible for making some of us realize that we have things more than we actually need.
Simple. Basic. Clean. Practical. These are the words most associated with minimalism. Those words alone need no explanation on what's good about adapting to minimalism. The philosophy of living with less is nothing new. As it's still a growing phenomenon, being minimalistic has tremendously been life-changing.
Minimalism, work, ergonomics
Whether you still have been working on your office desk as part of the skeleton staff or was forced to attend Zoom meetings in some awkward areas in your home, workspaces need just as much attention to ensure they serve their purpose effectively. Working in an office setting most of my career, I understand the advantages of starting and ending tasks in a workspace that's easy on the eyes, sitting on a comfortable chair, and working on a functional desk. While I will always prefer working from home, it's a whole different situation when working and dealing with the sounds throughout the day (or night) or the human and furry housemates!
Clutter is a distraction, and distraction means less productivity. Less productivity can lead to frustration, and frustration is stress. Picture yourself and your computer on a stocky, heavy desk decorated with a coffee mug or two or cables sticking out from everywhere. While it may not bother you as much (which I hope you didn't succumb to), minimalism wakes you to an elevated sense of being. When you have something like a standing desk or a laptop riser, you're immediate reaction is to keep it clean and organized. Clever.
Putting up your minimalist workspace
Now that we've mentioned the essential advantage of going minimal, here are some tips on how you can get started on going less without sacrificing style and comfort. But where should you start?
Space and time
If you are working remotely, you must find a dedicated room to serve as your home office. Should it have to be a room used for other activities by other people living with you, you may agree on schedules on when and who will exclusively use the space for your individual needs.
In cases of apartments, a well-ventilated and well-lit corner will do just fine. One that's near a window would be nice to let natural light during the day, but make sure that any noise from outside won't bother your work hours.
Again, clutter is synonymous with stress. Go through every cabinet, drawer, box, folder, or even that small tin can behind your computer monitor. Don't leave out the walls for those pictures, postcards, receipts, or Post-its that have been staring at you while you work for months or years now. For every item you contemplate on keeping or giving up on, try to recall the last time you used it and how often you would need it very carefully. As you go through the elimination of things, you may separate those you would keep, those you would throw out, and those you think a friend might find a good use for or for donation. No trinkets and knick-knacks. Remember that your aim is to make room for productivity, focus, and creativity.
Style + home office essentials
We know you've heard this one too many times but, less is more. One of the critical points of minimalism is color, and it's a no-brainer at all: go monochromatic. Whether you prefer white, black, black and white, soft pastels, or neutral earthly tones, choose a classy and timeless finish. This rule goes for the walls, desk, chair, organizers, and decors.
Working remotely at home has its drawbacks on our physical health, too, and one of the most common is reduced mobility. Little opportunities of locomotion have been traded for long hours of sitting on your dining chair, and similar versions of stationary tasks. Even if your workspace is about to be transformed aesthetically, sluggishness and body pain can make one inefficient. The sudden shift to remote work put ergonomics in the spotlight.
Without sacrificing style, efficiency, and the goals of minimalism, FlexiSpot offers quality ergonomic solutions for office and home workspaces. They come in colors that are perfect for your minimalist needs. FlexiSpot has been answering office and home workspace needs everywhere with its sleek designs and functionality. No hue too shocking to distract you! While the standing desktops come in plain finishes, the wood finish is also available to give you that little touch of nature and the illusion of texture. Moreover, according to a study made by the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, standing desks help expend more calories when you switch to standing than sitting most of your shift. It has been said that using standing desks could help prevent weight gain and reduce the risks of cardiac conditions, thanks to muscle activity from standing.
The chair must be the next most important thing to consider other than your desk. The science of ergonomics made sure to stay relevant, offering office and gaming chairs that feature lumbar support, adjustable armrests, rocking function, and the viral FlexiSpot Under Desk Bike V9U -- Best Standing Desk Mate, which allows you to stay productive, balancing work and working out. One way of setting up an ergonomic workspace is by keeping the computer monitor at eye level. Another is your head, spine, and elbows aligned with minimal bend at the wrists, plus your feet resting flat on the floor. These simple practices help prevent pain, fatigue, and injury.
Organizing the minimal way means keeping as much clutter away from your focal point, leaving the usual things you need within reach. A file cabinet or some drawers enough to keep just the essential items should be enough. FlexiSpot's Mobile File Cabinet 513&514 comes with one lock that secures all three drawers. You may also check their cable spines to keep unruly cables hidden, and a desk organizer would be an easy fix to keep documents in place and maintain organization on your desk. Knowing where to find things saves time and distracts less.
Should you want a piece of decor to break your workspace's monotony, a minimalist's favorite is house plants. According to webdesign.com, a Norwegian study proved that having plants in the workspace helped reduce fatigue and cough, dry throat, and flushed skin. Plants improve the air quality from toxins. Psychologically, plants have been found that bringing nature inside through house plants improved moods and performance on tasks. Succulents, snake plants, and palms are a few of the popular ones that have given birth to another demographic familiar with minimalism (except on the plants part): the plant parents.
Keeping tidy and straightforward is not only about having fewer things, but it also trains you to want or need less, therefore reducing your buying impulses. It also allows you to either have more budget to invest in quality pieces, thus preventing you from buying the same product repeatedly or keeping you from going into debt. Moreover, minimalism has greatly influenced many aspects of our lives one way or another, giving us peace of mind and probably even keeping us calm and collected so we can enjoy the things that matter.