7 Easy Ways to Create a Zen Office Space

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “the modern workplace”?

If you’re like a lot of people, it’s probably words like “ultra-connected,” “demanding,” “always on,” or “stressful.” No wonder companies experience such high turnover, low productivity, and burnout.

Now imagine a workplace exemplified by the following:

Peace. Calm. Tranquility. Focus.

A little better, right? That’s the idea behind Zen Office spaces.


Zen is a Buddhist philosophy that emphasizes meditation, intuition, and tranquility. Zen is also a practice that pulls you out of your routine, and trains you to live less automatically and more mindfully.

More and more companies are embracing Zen principles to bring tranquility to their employees daily work and help balance the demands that growing a business places on individuals and teams. As a result, these employers are seeing more creativity, better communication and collaboration, and less stress in the workplace.

We know that budgets are always a factor, and that most companies aren’t going to be able to spend 20k to transform their break room into a spa-quality rejuvenation space. But as it turns out, often all it takes is a little creativity and planning to create Zen on a budget.

Here are 7 economical ways to embrace Zen and create a calmer, more joyful – and more productive – office.

1. Get Your Meditation On

In a recent podcast interview, workspace expert and Cross Campus CEO Ronen Olshansky made a strong case that every office space needs a space for active rejuvenation.

The reasoning is simple – when you’re expending tons of mental energy creating, problem-solving, and innovating, you need somewhere to recharge.

And as we’ve talked about elsewhere on the blog, achieving personal and professional growth is hard! Getting your business to where it needs to be means requires a healthy amount of stress. Like a muscle, individuals and teams need to be challenged in order to grow stronger.

But in order to keep your stress levels healthy, you need to allow your employees time and space to rejuvenate. That’s why Cross Campus’ location in downtown LA comes equipped with a world-class meditation room.

Ronen didn’t quite know how it would be received when he and his team deployed this space, but it quickly proved to be immensely popular – so much so that members from other campuses throughout the city were making their way downtown just to use the meditation room.

Of course, you can make meditation part of your workplace culture without splurging on a spa-like meditation retreat in your office.

How to do it on a budget:

One great solution is Meditation Studio a beautifully designed app for Android and iOS that promises to untangle your mind. The easy to use app includes expertly curated guided meditations, soothing background noise, step by step guidance and in-depth courses, as well as the ability to automatically track your daily progress.

Another meaningful option is to ask a Corporate Wellness provider like WorkWell for their Office Yoga & Mindfulness Service.

What’s most important is educating your team on the importance of active rejuvenation habits like meditation. Set aside a few guided meditation sessions with your team so they can see for themselves.

2. Filter Out Noise

Open office layouts seem to be all the rage these days. Despite benefits like increased collaboration and serendipitous encounters, there is certainly a downside: noise.

Cacophonous open layouts make focus-work like writing or designing virtually impossible. That’s why companies are taking steps to help employees focus in these environments.

Noise canceling headphones are certainly an option, but outfitting your entire company with these gadgets, can get expensive.

SnackNation, has installed Crush Cubes – miniature soundproof pods that allow for maximum focus and minimal distraction. Crush Cubes are perfect for writing, brainstorming, and other forms of ideation.

How to do it on a budget:

If focus pods or noise cancelling headphones aren’t feasible, consider white noise. Noisli is a fantastic free white noise app that provides high quality environmental sounds to filter out noise and help your mind hone in on focus-intensive tasks.

In addition to sounds from nature (like rain, campfire, and wind), there are fan noises, cafe sounds, and white, pink, and brown frequency noises.

3. Relax with Office Massages

Massage is a classic way to achieve the calm and tranquility that Zen strives for. Colorado based software company Solidfire agrees: the company offers free on-site massages to help employees relieve tension and stress throughout the week.

On a local basis in Greece, there are over 25 companies as you are reading this than invest on a weekly, monthly or every Q basis on Corporate Massage. Companies like Nivea, Philip Morris and AbbVie just to name a few.

It’s a great stress release, your people will love you for it and its a meaningful way to deliver a message of appreciation to them

4. Become an Office Yogi

Yoga is becoming ubiquitous in tons of offices across the country – and for good reason. It’s an extremely effective way to bring a little Zen into office life. It’s a great way to get your people moving in the office, without sweating and with no particular space requirements, except just your meeting room.

How to do it on a budget:

If you are lucky, you may have team members who also happen to be certified yoga instructors, and are able to offer free yoga to employees several times per month.

5. Cultivate Serenity With Your Very Own Zen Garden

With their sweeping, minimal lines and perfectly ordered elements, rock gardens are quintessentially Zen.

One of the coolest Zen gardens we’ve ever seen was actually a notorious prank at LA-based Hulu. A team of Hulugans decided to prank VP of Distribution Pete Distad with a meticulously construction Zen garden at his desk, complete with raked sand, bamboo, and soothing stones placed all over his desk.

Of course, the joke was on them when Distad decided to keep his desk the way it was.

How to do it on a budget:

Not quite ready to dump 1,000 pounds of sand around your workspace? Try this mini desktop Zen Garden from Buddha Groove instead.

6. Practice Gratitude

Part of Zen philosophy involves delighting in the basic miracle of life itself. One way to do this is to practice daily or weekly gratitude. Pausing to take stock of things we do have means we’re not lamenting the things we don’t, and will help your team see the beauty in everyday life.

WeSpire breaks down a few more of the benefits, here:

7. Harness the Power of Aromatherapy

Part of Zen’s emphasis on mindfulness requires us to hone in on our senses.

Smell is one of our strongest senses, with the ability to evoke powerful memories or emotions.

Aromatherapy is the art of using scents to calm our minds and relieve stress. Therapeutic essential oils can get a bit pricey. Try this article on Aromatherapy diffusers instead. One spritz will create the perfect zen vibe in your office.


As you can see, Zen is a great way to introduce useful concepts like mindfulness and tranquility into your office, and the options are really only limited by your creativity.