We’d like to start this blog post by acknowledging that every business is different; therefore, every office will be different. Some offices require specialized equipment, while others require nothing more than a laptop. In addition, every person is different and does their best work in varying environments. There are those who work well in loud spaces (both audibly and visually) and those who need a clean, quiet, minimalist space in order to concentrate and be productive. We’d like to speak to the latter group in this post.
Whether you’re setting up your office for the first time or attempting to redo your space with minimalism in mind, there are a few basic things you can do to create a minimalist workspace.
First of all, you want to purchase the right minimalist desk. By minimalist desk, we mean a desk that is simple and has clean lines, like our popular Desk A. It has a sleek design, with just a couple of hooks up front to keep your backpack, purse, headphones, or other items off the floor or your work surface.
You might notice that our minimalist desk doesn’t have any drawers. In our opinion, owning a desk with a lot of drawers is just an invitation to start collecting items that you don’t need. Do you really need more than one or two pens? Are staplers, paperclips, and post-it notes still necessary when all your documents are digital and you can set reminders in your phone? So many of the office supplies that were necessities 15 years ago are now not needed in many offices.
If you currently have a desk with multiple drawers and can’t imagine switching to a minimalist desk with no drawers, start going through your desk drawers and evaluate what you really need and what you can get rid of. You might be surprised how much of the stuff in your drawers are things you never use and can do without. Have you ever actually used scissors while at work? Do you still need a calculator when you have one on your phone? What about all those flash drives? Pretty much every instruction manual is available online, so it’s okay to toss them.
Next, decide what you truly need on your work surface. If you don’t have good overhead lighting in your workspace, a simple lamp is a good idea to help prevent eye strain. You might also want a charging station for your phone. Small storage items that do double duty are also a great option, such as a desk organizer that holds a couple of pens and highlighters that also charges your phone and holds your ear buds when not in use.
As far as personal items on your work surface go, try to limit yourself to one—a favorite picture, a small plant, or a special souvenir that makes you smile. An even better idea is to have your personal items on a nearby shelf, or hanging on the wall, if that’s an option. Too many personal items start to create clutter and make your work surface more difficult to clean when it needs a dusting or wipe-down.
The most important thing to do when creating a minimalist office setup is to carefully evaluate every item that goes in your workspace. Just because it’s always been in your office doesn’t mean it needs to remain a part of it. Do your best to evaluate every item with fresh eyes and a minimalist mindset.