A busy professional has an endless series of projects and deadlines to meet. Competitive work culture ceases all our focus from the necessities of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Businesses have to incur a huge loss every year due to unhealthy and distracted employees. Creating a zen office can yield excellent results, such as combatting the rising employee mental health.
It is a workplace culture that promotes zen principles of mindfulness and tranquility. It forms a part of the modern workplace that suffices the lack of employee wellbeing.
As your employees spent maximum time at the office, work-life imbalance and a surging sedentary lifestyle greatly affect their productivity levels. Fostering zen at the workplace can help bring focus and positiveness in their daily life.
The popularity of zen office space is skyrocketing among companies, let me help you curate budget-friendly ideas to create one for your workspace.
But before delving deeper, starting from scratch isn't a bad idea!
What is Zen?
“Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.” ~Shunryu Suzuki (Sōtō Zen monk)
"Zen" is the Japanese articulation of the Chinese word "Ch'an," which means "meditation." or "dhyana" in Sanskrit. It is a Buddhist philosophy that prioritizes meditation, calmness, and insights into one's life. Its emphasis on the principle of "Less is more" requires one to follow a life of self-control and spirituality.
Zen philosophy is about dwelling in the present rather than "past." Practicing Zen inspires one to follow a routine lifestyle that instills health and wellness within the self. It trains one to live less automatically and more mindfully.
Benefits of Zen principles at the workplace
Some research found that zen practices reduced a significant amount of stress and blood pressure levels. There are various other benefits, but one needs to create a suitable environment for maximum results.
At the workplace, Zen is an easy and effective way to promote mental wellbeing among employees. It merely needs a creative mind, collaboration, and patience to reciprocate the actual benefits of Zen.
Here are the top 5 benefits of practicing Zen at the workplace:
1. Improves focus and memory
Employees face issues of lacking focus and burnouts due to overwork. There are various reasons for having a disoriented mind; one is stress. A stressed mind is the biggest hub of distractions.
It can only be tamed through mindfulness and being at present. Zen teaches meditation as a prime practice to improve focus and memory.
2. Increase creativity and productivity
The creative mind yields productive results. A mind needs to be decluttered and calm to increase creativity. Zen meditation and exercise helps in calming your mind to be more focused.
3. Builds empathy and team spirit
In a competitive corporate world, it is easy for your employee to get conflicts while dealing with group projects. This tests the tolerance and patience of completing a task effectively.
Zen practices include activities like meditation, which builds tranquility and empathy against each individual.
4. Fosters positive outlook for the job
Hectic workloads result in often burnouts. This increases the hatred towards the job and decreases productivity. Creating a Zen office space will inspire employees to be more focused. It will also result in having a positive outlook for the job.
5. Elevates work-life balance
Employees face various challenges when it comes to balancing work and personal life. It results in a grim situation when anyone of both faces conflicts. It results in unwanted chaos and stress. Zen meditation can help define a clear solution to the problem and take a better hold on future stress situations.
How to make your office more Zen?
Here are the best nine ways to create budget-friendly zen office space
1. Frame inspiring quotes
A famous quote by Tony Robbins says, "Energy flows where attention goes." To gain maximum productivity and focus on the job, you can also inspire employees through art murals.
Zen's philosophy puts much importance on words and chants. Framing zen posters and motivational quotes in and around the office will help in bringing positive vibes. Interacting and observing these visuals will promote calmness in your employees mind.
Buying art and painting a wall might cost you a few bucks, hence if you're low on budget, try printing some quotes from the internet and frame it by yourself. It will still create useful impressions on your employees.
2. Create meditation space within the office
Workplace meditation keeps your workforce Stress free and cuts down the company's medical bills. A report by CDC cites that 2.25% of US Employees consider their work to be stressful. They complain of becoming workaholic and lack personal time for de-stressing.
In Zen practice, meditation is a prime factor in keeping sanity and calm. Creating meditation rooms within the office will rejuvenate your time-constraint employees. You can also organize collective guided meditation sessions during office hours.
Because of Covid 19, all your employees work from home; hence you may provide subscriptions to meditations apps that serve the purpose.
3. Place ornamental plants and stones
If your office lacks garden space, you can place ornamental plants and stones at various office corners. Aloe vera, peace lilies, and bamboo shoots have proven to create a good mood and increase morale.
You may encourage them to have a bonsai plant at their office desks. This will create the same effect of positiveness and keep your employees close to nature.
4. Install a fountain or tranquility waterfall within the office
Zen holds special attention for water in its practices. Water is an energy source of peace and tranquility. Installing a water source within the office can help your employees rejuvenate and take inspiration of nature.
Depending on the budget, you can install a vast artificial tranquility waterfall or a small fountain at the heart of the office. There are also plenty of DIY water fountain models that serve the same purpose at a low cost.
5. Offer free Zen-yoga classes at the office
Zen -Yoga is a modern practice of following the benefits of both Yoga and Zen principles. This form of yoga is helpful for employees who aren't athletes or are less active. It includes simple breathing, movement, and stretching exercises that anyone can do regardless of age, fitness, or health.
Offering Zen Yoga to your employees helps in movement and retaining flexibility. It's a bare minimum exercise conveniently performed by your employees that are less fond of exercising. You can always opt for a virtual yoga class or hire one professional to practice yoga.
6. Install aromatherapy diffuser
Zen practices value the power of smell by lighting incense sticks or aroma candles. This creates a peaceful environment to meditate and focus.
The sense of smell is one of the powerful mood regulator mediums. It is natural to feel agitated if your workplace smells awful. Hence the daily cleaning of the office and washrooms is of utmost necessity to promote wellness. You may also install aromatherapy diffusers or candles to create a spiritual environment at the office.
7. Switch to wooden furniture
It's hard to find peace and tranquility in a busy work culture; hence switching with zen furniture is another way to promote wellness. Rather than investing heavily in showy furniture, you can opt for wooden chairs and tables to make the office more Zen.
It is wise to choose soft tones or earthy colors to create a sense of closeness towards nature. Zen style furniture avoids sophisticated ornamentation and concentrates more on comfortability and simplicity.
8. Remodeling an office garden or terrace into a zen garden
Keeping yourself close to nature is always a refreshing feeling. In big cities, nature is rare to feel around, hence bringing back nature at the workplace is a great option to get the same vibes.
You can turn your office balcony or terrace into a mini garden with various plants and flowers. You may also encourage your employees to plant saplings or do terrace gardening; it can be the best way to boost team participation outside the office.
9. De-stress by sipping flavored tea
Office canteens are known to brew coffee, but switching to different flavors of tea is a whole new experience. Tea was first introduced in Japan by a Zen monk from China. The tea ceremony is practiced with Zen meditation to preach good ethics, calmness, and peace.
Drinking tea at the office awakens the mind and helps in retaining energy throughout the day. It is also known to de-stress and reduce anxiety among individuals. Offering your employees with various flavored tea bags help promote workplace wellness.
Creating a zen office is a way to dodge from an exhausting workload. It helps your employees to unplug from work that provides a chance to gain some clarity.
Transforming your workplace, which is more Zen, will bring peace, tranquility, and focus among your employees. It merely costs bucks to execute the zen culture in your office. Following these ideas will take creativity and interest,which creates a huge impact in your employee wellness.
Now I would like to know from you.
How do you practice Zen principles in your office?
Let me know in the comment section below.