British employees are more productive in minimalist spaces

employee productivity

Office-based workers could become more productive if they work in a minimalist environment, according to new research.

A poll of UK workers which looked into the impact of our surroundings on productivity and wellbeing has found that seven out of ten people feel stressed by cluttered surroundings, over half feel they sleep better, and over two thirds say they are more productive when they are surrounded by less “stuff”.

To help Brits to de-clutter and take a more minimalist approach to their office interiors, Space Station has teamed up with four leading interiors experts who share their ways to embrace minimalism:

Invest in good storage

Anna Ward, interior designer at Furnished By Anna, believes that efficient storage is a good compromise when it comes to living a minimalist lifestyle. She says: “De-cluttering doesn’t have to mean getting rid of everything and working in a sterile environment! Being clever about mixing things on show with things out of sight is key, and utilising good storage makes this possible.

“Put away items that aren’t used daily or regularly, and be realistic about the things you need to keep. My rule is that if you haven’t used or missed these items in six months, you’ll never miss them!”

This sentiment is echoed by Judith Harrop of Judith Harrop Interior Design. She says: “When things have a home we are more likely to put them away. Keep surfaces clear and find homes for things that tend to accumulate, like paperwork or stationery. For remaining items, ask yourself “does that need to be on show?” and “does it really have a use?” If either answer is no, throw it away or find somewhere to tuck it away out of sight.”

Go digital

With new technology coming to market every day, it’s easier than ever to digitise items that take up too much space.

Anna Ward continued: “There are so many distractions in modern life, so it’s essential to have spaces that help and promote working. Fewer items on view can help greatly with productivity as a huge pile of papers doesn’t look like an easy task and can be quite off putting.

“Get technical and make the most of the cloud to store documents, and create an online to do list rather than a paper one. This allows you to check your tasks when you are out and about, and stops paper sitting around the office, which can easily distract you from the task in hand.”

Keep it simple

While practicality and convenience often rule when it comes to office layouts, furniture styles and colour schemes can be chosen to fit a minimalist theme. Jess Clark, in-house interior designer at Unique Home Stays, says: “Choose a few items with clean lines and solid colours. Except for the furniture, keep floors completely clear, with nothing stacked or stored on the floor or surfaces. It’s important to avoid complex patterns or visual clutter – instead opt for classic minimalist white or earth tones in blue, brown and green, and keep walls clear aside from one or two simple pieces of artwork or photos.”

Make it interesting

Minimalism doesn’t have to be boring, as Judith Harrop explains: “Too many styles, shapes and colours can create over stimulation. Instead, use layered textures in surface finishes such as walls, soft furnishings and flooring, rather than a bold pattern.

“Repetition works well. Think of the ‘things in threes’ rule when looking at the colour, shapes and decorative elements of your office, to create a feeling of order and harmony.”