Whether you’re fully onboard with the idea or a bit bored of hearing about it, “mindfulness” is one of the most talked-about concepts of the past five years, and for good reason. Mental health in the workplace has become one of the most prevalent issues of the past decade, but until recently, most talk of mindfulness was centred around techniques that we ourselves practice, not features of the offices that we occupy.
This month, the Ashlar team is going to be investigating the space where mindfulness and office design coexist, so you can tap into it when you take on your next office project.
Unfortunately, it’s not the easiest concept to pin down. With roots in eastern thought, particularly Buddhism and Hinduism, mindfulness is about being fully aware of what we’re doing at any one time, but not necessarily taking a stance on it. In this sense, it’s about separating the you that experiences things from the you that feels a certain way about those experiences.
Mindfulness as an anti-anxiety technique became popular in the western world around 30 years ago thanks to the work of Eckhart Tolle, an influential German-born Canadian who has written extensively on the subject.
Reconciling mindfulness with workplace culture isn’t easy, especially when they’re seemingly at odds with each other, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a happy medium. Here are some simple techniques that you can utilise to best promote mindfulness through your office design:
Spaces for relaxation: We’ve all heard of work pods, but how about relaxation pods? If we’re going to promote mindfulness through workspace design, we’re going to need to provide employees with distraction-free zones where they can practice it. Pods in particular work because they offer complete privacy; however, a dedicated library-style area or even a meditation room will certainly do the trick.
Tech-free spaces: Offices without tech? While the idea sounds crazy, you don’t have to enforce it throughout the whole office, just the relaxation zones we mentioned above. Everyone knows that our phones, laptops and other electronic gadgets are a major source of anxiety, so if employees are to find time to practice mindfulness, they need to be able to say no to screens.
Teach mindfulness: If you want to make sure that mindfulness-promoting areas of your office are used to their full potential, you need to make sure that mindfulness itself is woven into the fabric of your company’s culture. This is why you should be teaching mindfulness to your employees. Whether it’s arranging a lunch-time lecture or offering subscriptions to mindfulness apps like Headspace, it all helps.
Are you looking to achieve mindfulness through your office design? Do you want to understand more about office design trends? Give Ashlar a call. We’re an office design and fit out company that can take your ideas and bring them to life. Operating throughout
Nottingham and the surrounding areas, we pride ourselves on offering a seamless service that delivers on value.
If you’ve got a new project on the horizon, why not give us a call? We’d love to hear about it.
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