Dont’ Be a Minimalist at Work


There is a minimalist trend going on right now and it’s invading every nook and cranny of our society. In July, an article in The New York Times Magazine described it “… like a bright algae bloom in the murk of postrecession America. From tiny houses to microapartments to monochromatic clothing to interior-decorating trends — picture white walls interrupted only by succulents — less now goes further than ever.” 

Now I’m all for paring down your wardrobe and decluttering your house (yup, still tackling that one), but the one place where you really need to let go of the minimalist mentality is in your work; don’t become the office minimalist.

My definition of the office minimalist is the person who does the bare minimum to get their job done. They tend to put blinders on and focus solely on their tasks at hand and oftentimes don’t see or understand the big picture. We all need undistracted time to be productive, but the minimalist is the one who does things the same way every time even when it doesn’t make sense to.   Or they walk out the door when there is a crisis that everyone else in the office is scrambling to resolve.   They walk around the giant empty box in the hallway instead of breaking it down and putting in the recycle dumpster because it’s not their job. And the really sad part is that with a true office minimalist, their “bare minimum” gets smaller and smaller the longer they stay in a job.

Being in the staffing industry (as well as having a long and varied job history), I have witnessed many minimalist workers (and long before minimalism was trendy).   I don’t know if they’re born that way or if they become that way by working in jobs that they don’t find interesting or challenging.

For whatever reason, try not to let yourself get into this rut. Be a team player, learn everything you can about your industry and at least occasionally go above and beyond. And if you are so unhappy in your job that you see yourself becoming the office minimalist – come see us at Sea Coast Staffing and we’ll try and help you find a new one.

Now I have to go and water my succulent.