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Lessons Danshari Has Taught Us About WFH And The Pandemic

Lessons Danshari Has Taught Us About WFH And The Pandemic

We’ve been practicing the Japanese concept of decluttering without knowing it.

Maya Suraya

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If a Total Lockdown has taught us anything, it is patience and the realisation of how we take our freedom of space for granted.

How many of us have had to convert our once tidy living room into a workspace / children’s playground / dining room? Though we as people might be flexible, wouldn’t it be nice if our homes were too?

The good thing that may have come out of life in this new normal of working from home is how we’ve inadvertently applied the Japanese philosophy of Danshari to our way of life.

What is Danshari?

Simply put, it is the philosophy of decluttering which helps us live a more satisfying and fulfilling life.

The concept was introduced 46 years ago in Japan by yoga instructor Mashiro Oki. It applied the yoga training of “dan” to refuse unnecessary things from entering our life, “sha” to dispose what we do not need, and “ri” to separate from material things.

(Credit: Japanahome)

Although the concept was introduced within the last century, it is based on the minimalist movement that takes its roots in the century-old thinking of Zen.

How we’ve been applying Danshari during this pandemic

Working from home (WFH) looks like it will be the new normal here in Malaysia with the announcement made last month that WFH is to be made compulsory to the private sector with no more than 30% of managerial staff allowed in the office at any one time.

Although WFH was introduced and encouraged at the start of the pandemic, it has since influenced the behaviour of many people at home. With the availability of freecycle groups like the Beli Nothing Project Klang Valley, people used their time housebound decluttering.

The Danshari concept does not stop at material items

Without realising it, people also applied the concept of tidying up to their relationships with family and friends. This was partly in line with the rules that adhered to social and space restrictions.

By this time, people chose what was most important to them, which made them feel freer than before as they didn’t have to clutter their schedules with social obligations.

To add to the clutter-free lifestyle, people were happier having more efficient and effective online meetings as well as time saved from no commuting.

The majority of Malaysians prefer WFH

According to a Jobstreet Malaysia’s recruitment study by Laws of Attraction, working from home can be utilised as a driver of work-life balance. WFH is preferred by 72% of Gen X employees, 71% of Gen Y followed by 64% of Gen Z and 66% of Baby Boomers.

(Credit: Freepik)

WFH also means a shared space at home to some

Staying at home also means a lack of personal space to some.

Remember the video from a few years ago when political analyst Robert Kelly inadvertently became a viral star after his 2 children barged into a live interview he was giving on BBC World News? Although it happened before the pandemic, these instances are now more common with people working from home.

Danshari at home

Gamuda Land’s latest project, Enso Woods, has taken the concept of Danshari even further by applying its practice of less is more.

In fact, Enso Woods was designed for post-pandemic home living!

It is said that every home at Enso Woods in Gamuda Cove has been “specially conceived and curated to deliver stress-free simplicity”.

Flexibility is the unique selling point for Enso Woods. Its ‘new norm’ layout lets you create an edible garden, entertainment area or outdoor gym.

It also has versatile spaces that easily transform into a home office, hobby or fitness room – or if travel opens up by then, an extra bedroom for visiting guests.

Now, wouldn’t it be nice if we had a room to specifically enjoy a cup of hot matcha in peace without your family or housemates making much ado about nothing? Now you can! So whether you’re a first-time homeowner, multi-generational family, or young family (like the family in our video below), there’s no doubt the pandemic has greatly influenced the way we live and Gamuda Cove’s Enso Woods has a solution for you.


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