What to Do When Employees Request a Zen Office Design

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Zen refers to a state of calmness where a person can be guided by his or her inituition. It has become a buzzword in the business world, with terms like “zen business,” “zen leadership,” “zen office” and the like being used when employees (or companies) want to focus on well-being, creativity and productivity. The belief is that a company’s policies and procedures — even its atmosphere right down to its physical setting, as well as its furniture — can be used to initiate peace and harmony amongst employees, thereby enabling them to be healthier, more engaged and more effective in their work lives. This is what to do if your employees are suddenly requesting a zen office design:

Don’t Panic

Fortunately, designing a zen office doesn’t have to involve a complete office overhaul. There are plenty of design options available for reimagining established spaces and using existing fittings and fixtures in new ways. None of them has to be expensive or disruptive to normal business functioning!


One of the easiest ways to quickly facilitate a zen office design is to clear out all unnecessary objects and debris from the office itself. File away papers, straighten desktops and hide cables and cords. A clean and ordered space allows workers to focus on the work at hand and not the chaos of their surroundings.

Let in Light

Research shows that natural sunlight improves employee health, boosting their mood, improving their sleep patterns and encouraging longer nightime sleep duration, better sleep quality and more physical activity for those with access to natural light during working hours when compared to those without it. To foster a zen office design, remove obstructive window coverings and/or arrange mirrors to reflect light where needed. You could repaint walls using white or light colors to help brighten the room, as well.

Focus on People, Not Things

The real focus of any zen office design is people, not things. Many traditional office designs center around workplace efficiency, arranging square footage in ways that maximize workflow. Zen office design, however, puts the needs of people above the needs of the company, connecting people to each other instead of to a specific area or item or any particular aesthetic ideal.

Add in Decorative Accents

A peaceful environment soothes the senses. Think about adding a water feature, artwork, and plants to generate a relaxing tone throughout the office space. The sound of moving water, coupled with living plants, evokes a feeling of serenity that science shows can “reduce stress and increase creativity and focus,” all desired results of any zen office design. To the same end, pretty artwork can also be added with little effort.


Want to Learn More?

Creating a zen office design plan doesn’t have to be a daunting endeavor. You can start small and add in design elements based on any type of time or budget constraints; you can also partner with an experienced commercial design firm like Key Interiors. We can help you reconfigure your space to maximize zen-like qualities, or we can work with you to imagine a zen office from scratch. Please contact our office to learn more about creating a zen office design that matches your vision, as well as your resources.












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