"Once you have a clearer vision for the function of your office and understand what pieces of furniture you need, you can establish the arrangement of furniture," says Cerrano. She recommends starting with the desk position and building outward from there. "Essentially, you are looking for the best commanding position, which allows the occupant to literally, energetically, and metaphorically see and feel who and what opportunities are approaching their life. Positioning your desk inside any office could symbolize avoiding collaborations with unbeneficial business partners and signing contracts or agreements that are one-sided."
"Overall, create an environment that highlights you professionally and personally," recommends Cerrano. "Your selection of décor on a subconscious level is an energetic extension of what you are attracting. For example, when I first started my business, I knew my main clients would be from the New York region, yet I was curious in extending my feng shui consulting firm to reach national and international clientele. To align that intention with the surroundings of my home office, I chose to display an antique world map. Within a short period of time, I began attracting clients beyond the New York border."
A cubicle is a much trickier Feng Shui situation than an office room. Cubicles are unfortunate paradigms of vulnerability for the individual worker. One of the chief problems is that you don’t use a real desk but work from a countertop, unless you work in one of the large manager type cubicles. However, you can do plenty to improve your situation. By judiciously applying Feng Shui cures, you may find yourself in your own office sooner than you imagined. (See Figure 1 for cure placements.)
While there are few to no scientific findings that look at the effectiveness of feng shui directly (just, you know, thousands of years of Chinese tradition), some research backs up the practice’s basic principles. One study suggests that getting more organized can improve time management, which helps boost productivity at work Time management for today’s workplace demands. Thomack, B. Matrix Absence Management, Phoenix, AZ. Workplace Health and Safety, 2012 May;60(5):201-3. And psychology research found that adding natural elements—such as sunlight, green plants, and physical movement—to the workplace can boost employee health, happiness, and productivity Evolution in the office: how evolutionary psychology can increase employee health, happiness, and productivity. Fitzgerald, CJ and Danner, KM. Department of Psychology, Oakland University. Evolutionary Psychology, Dec 20;10(5):770-81. How’s that for some positive energy?
The colors that you choose for your walls are also important in feng shui for offices, and they will ultimately depend upon the line of work that you are in. For example, if you work in a medical office or an environment in which you will be greeting anxious clients, you should use calming colors, such as blue or green, on the walls. Businesses that are fast-paced and environments that deal with a lot of deadlines can also cause you to become frazzled, so you want to use calming colors on the walls rather than white, which can be a stressful color choice. And to build positive relationships with clients in a professional business setting, you should employ earth tones, such as terra cotta.
It is not essential to fertilize the plant. If necessary, you can add the African violet fertilizer to improve the growth of the feng shui plant. Feng shui plants play an important role in purifying the surrounding air. It helps to absorb the radiation from the electronic devices. As it is considered as a lucky plant, it helps in relieving you from stress and encourage in doing the work in a relaxed manner.
If you want your work to be noticed by the people who matter, fire up the South side of your desk with all things red! This is an ideal place to hang awards, accomplishments, or mementos of projects you are most proud of. (I hung a picture of my eBook’s cover here.) This serves as your font of power, building your confidence in the office will help you stand behind your proposals, and have the courage to propose them at all!
The expert also warns against a workspace that serves multiple functions: "Another hiccup to the feng shui-ing process is sharing your home office with too many people. Learn to set healthy boundaries. I've had clients who shared their office file cabinet, desk, and other means of storage with their children. The result? Toys, drawings, and homework took over their office, creating a clutter of distraction with limited storage space."
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To create a calming and safe environment for your clients, incorporate the five Chinese elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water into the space your sessions take place. You can do this by bringing in decorations or furniture of each element. Or, you can accomplish this by strategically choosing a wall color that aligns with one of the five elements.
Benko recalls a client whose family photo was hindering rather than inspiring her. Even though the photo was taken during a vacation, the client revealed it was a very stressful time. "The kids were hungry and they felt forced to pose for the picture, so every time she looked at that picture, subconsciously she was feeling the stress and anxiety of that moment," says Benko.
2. Generates Happiness. Multiple studies have cited that plants in the workplace increased employee satisfaction. Further, flowers are found to have the greatest impact. Research conducted at Rutgers shows that flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. The researchers were even shocked, because 100% of the people responded to flowers with a true or excited smile.
The feng shui expert notes that paying attention to what you want to attract and visually displaying those goals in your space can have an impact on your overall motivation and subsequent success. "Feng shui encourages you to learn more about yourself and discover the necessary knowledge, skills, and connections that need development for nurturing your goals. As you do this, you become more curious, motivated, inspired, and productive. Those sparks of interest could then be visually translated inside your office to offer an abundance of beneficial psychological cues."
If you are hoping for a raise or looking to close a big business deal, metal elements should be put in the western corner of the room and can be used to bring on an increase in financial success, income, or profits. Metal objects can be made of metal or just colored to represent them. Design elements made of stone, metals, or marble will give the impression of professionalism and success.
"A lot of people see white as a neutral, but in Feng Shui it's often perceived as very sharp," says Frampton. "If I'm looking for the fresh crispness of a white, I'll go with a darker white or very light gray instead," she explains, and suggests Benjamin Moore Gray Owl. "It's a super-soft gray that can read as the right kind of white. We use that one all the time."
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."
The entrance to your office is a key component of feng shui because it is what allows energy to flow freely into and out of your space. Therefore, making sure it is free of clutter is imperative. Also, the door to your office should open completely without anything getting in the way. These are the first steps you can take when applying the principles of feng shui to your workspace. The idea is that you will have your physical door wide open to welcome new clients, new work, and more money.
The color white is considered to be among the list of supreme colors from the ancient yogi tradition and is of the metal element. White vibrates with high intensity and represents purity, new possibilities, focus and cleanliness. Making an office entirely white is often too intense, causing occupants to become unsettled, hyper-focused and stressed. This is why it is best to use it as an accent color. For example, if you were to paint your walls terra cotta or light blue you could paint the doors and trim white to add just enough purity and crispness to the existing color scheme to simply enhance the other attributes of the primary color scheme. This makes white an ideal accent color for any type of office environment.
The "wealthy" plants in feng shui are not particularly air-cleaning, but they are gorgeous and great for anchoring your intention in a room. Some of the more wealth-symbolic plants are succulents, jade, and "lucky" bamboo. That being said, if a plant, tree, or anything symbolic chosen for "feng shui" reasons doesn’t inspire you, it’s not really worth getting. Let love rule your plant choices.