When you are designing your office environment, not only should you strive to have a desk setup that is practical for your work purposes, but you should also try to ensure that your desk would create positive energy so that you feel more motivated and energized as you work. Most people spend most of the day sitting at their computer desk, and when you spend several hours sitting in the same position looking at the same desk, it is easy for your morale to slide.
Take a look at a list of 10 plants that were defined by NASA research in the early 1980s as species with good air-purifying qualities. These plants continue to do a fine job of air purification. Common airborne toxins and pollutants in the home that plants can scrub from the air include benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, xylene, and ammonia.
That said, spending hours working from your couch on weeknights or at your kitchen island on Sunday mornings might not be the most productive thing to do. Studies conducted by Alan Hedge, Ph.D. and CPE at Cornell University, found that a comfortable working environment can do more than make workers happy: It can improve productivity as well. Just like new workout clothes can motivate us to hit the gym more often, an office space with good feng shui can help us work more efficiently.
One of the criteria that the feng shui expert recommends for establishing a commanding position is to have a solid wall supporting you. "Using a visual cue, think of the solid wall as a mountain protecting your back. Remember, be flexible in how you interpret the feng shui principles." For example, if your floor plan only allows a desk position where your back is supported by a window, Cerrano recommends adding a few plants along the window sill or behind your desk. "The main characteristic of plants (also known as the wood element) is to offer support. Again, this is a general guideline because you need to become acquainted with your office to see what areas allow for the best commanding position and proceed from there."
Citrus and limes are considered symbols of good health, longevity, wealth, and prosperity. Along with the lucky bamboo and money plants, decorating a citrus or lime in the home during the Chinese New Year is said to foster good fortune for the family and business in the upcoming year. Citrus and limes are frequently grown as a bonsai or bought as artificial plants.
Cerrano also reminds us to think of function above all when planning your home office space. "Remember to take into consideration the function of the office, and become decisive with the type and amount of furniture that is needed. This will save you time, money, and reduce stress," she says. "Invest in a supportive office chair, especially if you plan on sitting for several hours in a day. Experts say moving more during the workday and stretching is the best solution."
I often suggest clients place two lucky bamboo stalks in a single vase of water in the relationship area of their bedroom. To locate this area, stand at your bedroom door facing into the room. The far back corner to the right is the relationship area. The pair symbolizes a harmonious union between you and your current or future partner. Both stalks are best similar in size as they also represent a balanced and equal relationship that can grow together in accord.
2. Southwest and Northeast Area. Just like the center area of your home, both Southwest and Northwest belongs to the Earth element as well. A weakened energy in the Southwest area negatively affects the relationship between the husband and the wife. A weakened energy in the Northeast area slows down children’s ability to learn, which may result in poor academic performance.
You can apply the classical principles of feng shui to other objects, such as your desk, in addition to the office itself. To start, be sure to place your desk so that it faces the door, as this will symbolize your ability to see opportunities and seize them when they arrive. If you work from home, this is a lot easier to accomplish because you will not have a boss telling you whether or not you can move your desk around. But if this is not possible at all, whether you work from home or not, place a mirror on your desk that gives you a view of the doorway in order to generate the same beneficial effects.
If you definitely can’t move your sitting position, you can place an 8-x-10-inch mirror in a picture frame or on a small stand to reflect the entrance of the cube to allow you to see if anyone is approaching. Many people subconsciously use the reflections in their computer monitor to see who’s approaching them, because seeing the entrance is a basic human need. The problem is that the reflection in a monitor’s screen is distorted, unclear, and unreliable.
You can use the typical feng shui cures for each specific area, or come up with your own creative solutions. For example, we mentioned the light source to your left—upper left—which is an excellent feng shui cure for the wealth area. A vibrant plant to your left or a family photo is excellent feng shui for health. A photo of you and your beloved or a couple of crystals can be great feng shui for your love area.
Dana Claudat is a modern feng shui master, designer, and founder of the blog The Tao of Dana. She is a Stanford-educated art historian with more than a decade of experience in design, feng shui, and research with thousands of clients, yet her approach to space is simple. Starting where you are, using what you have, you can create more of your dream home—and dream life—every day. Dana is a longtime mindbodygreen contributor and instructor (she may have had a hand in the hundreds of plants in mindbodygreen headquarters!), and her work has been featured in design and lifestyle publications around the world. You can work with Dana from wherever you are in the world in her online Feng Shui Camps and through her Online Feng Shui Consultations. For more art and feng shui lifestyle inspiration, you can follow Dana on Facebook and Instagram. Join in her weekly feng shui notes, including monthly New Moon Full Moon feng shui rituals, here!