Laura Cerrano is a Full-time Certified Feng Shui expert with 20+ years of experience. She provides bi-coastal consultations and workshops for residential, real estate developments, Fortune 500 companies, and healing facilities. She is currently conducting research for her upcoming book that focuses on bridging the gap between the ancient wisdom of Feng Shui and modern day science to establish the practice of Feng Shui as a credible form of health care.
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."
If you work from home, you can apply many of the same principles of feng shui for offices that you would apply in any other work environment. Keep the entrance of your home neat, clean, and free of clutter. The same goes for the entrance to your office room. Even if you never meet clients in person at home, this is an important step in opening up the flow of energy and welcoming positive improvements to your work life.
You may find it strange to introduce spirituality into the workplace- but appealing to all planes of human wellness is imperative for improving your performance entirely. You may purchase a calendar of daily devotionals, or draw Oracle cards in the morning to keep yourself abreast of the challenges and successes of the day ahead. When you are centered within yourself, there exists nothing powerful enough to unground you.
The wood element colors of green and tan (light browns) are ideal for an east (health luck) or southeast (wealth luck) office since the wood element governs both sectors. In addition, wood fuels fire, so be sure to add splashes of green and brown in a southern office. You may decide to go strictly with these colors for a southern office décor. Blue and green are good color combinations for east and southeast since the water element (blue) nurtures wood (green).
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."
Kitchens hold special importance in the practice of Feng Shui, alongside bedrooms and entrances. Traditionally, they represent a place of nourishment and family. In an office setting, they are important because they offer employees a space to relax, regenerate and feed their mind. In Feng Shui, kitchens are ideally placed away from main entrances and bathrooms to promote good "chi". Changing the positioning of the kitchen in your office space may not be possible—but managers can use strategically placed furniture, greenery or art to liven up break areas.
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 surface of your desk can also be arranged according to feng shui’s bagua. This is essentially a map that can be applied to the surface of your desk just as it would be applied to the floor plan of a home or office. Different areas of the bagua are associated with different areas of your life, and you can focus in on specific areas that need a little bit of a boost.
As with one of the meanings of “earth” this element can help you stay grounded and stable. It also is said to create grounds for stable relationships as well as job stability. Designs with earthly tones (light browns, yellows, oranges and sandy colors) will help you especially when used in the center of the office. Paintings of landscapes can represent the earth element so can ceramic or clay decorations.
When it comes to the link between colors and performance, Feng Shui distinguishes between tones which stimulate the mind (gray, white, and muted shades) and those that invigorate the body (brown and bright hues). For this reason, medium-toned wooden desks are considered the best office option as they provide optimal contrast and minimal distraction.
If you’re sick you can’t work! Although it may be difficult for you embellish the center of your desk, I adorn my computer monitor with crystals like citrine and blue calcite, the first of which promotes energy and liveliness, the latter facilitates communication. Lack of communication is a common source of anxiety, depression, and physical unrest.
If you are not feeling quite right in your office, it could be time for a feng shui overhaul. Feng shui is an ancient Chinese system to help organize your life to promote the flow of energy. Applying these principles to your office will help increase productivity lower stress. Simple things such as removing clutter from your desktop, choosing the right paint colors or artwork, and keeping the right elemental balance of objects in your office all make a surprisingly large impact on your work day.
The image to the left is a good example of a balanced environment. It has characteristics of all five feng shui elements. The wood element can be seen in the soaring vertical window treatments. The earth element is represented by the horizontal, rectangular furniture as well as the earthy colors and pottery. The fire element is brought in through the natural and artificial lighting and the antler base of the lamp. Finally, the water element can be seen in the mirror and asymmetrical shapes.
The earth element is symbolized by the color ochre (yellow). Use this color as a main color for a southwest (love and relationship happiness luck) or northeast (education luck) home office or company office. You can also add other colors to enhance the energies, such as a brown for a darker earth color. The earth element also govern the center of a home or building. If your office is in this location of your home or company building, then be sure to use ochre as your main décor color. Good color combinations include red (fire produces earth (ash)) and yellow, or orange (fire color variation) and yellow.
Crystals such as Tourmaline or Clear Quartz should be placed at the right-hand corner of your desk. This helps you to breakdown the stressful energies at work. It can also reduce attacks from ‘tricky’ people or those who may want to con you. They can also attract benefactors to assist you in your work. Remember to cleanse the crystals regularly to keep them at their most effective.
Above all, tackling your storage needs and limiting visual clutter can do a lot to boost your productivity. "Understand the use of your office, and you'll know the type of storage that is needed," says Cerrano. "Do you need to have hard copies? If so, file cabinets and closets tend to offer great storage space. Perhaps a low-sitting bookcase is best or simple shelving along the wall. If you wish to connect more with the digital age, you could store files on your computer and on an external drive. When in doubt, keep what you need, and release what you don't need. This may sound elementary, and yet it's an extremely powerful habit to adopt that transcends your physical, mental, emotional, and energetic bodies."
You would welcome a blast of positive energy at work. Feng Shui has been around a very long time and maybe there is something to it. At the very least, it asks you to think about what matters to you in life and where your energy should be focussed. When you consider how much time most of us spend at our your desks, a bit of balance with our true priorities might be just what we need.
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.
One of the key principles of feng shui is achieving happiness. One of the the easiest steps towards achieving this is through organizing and removing clutter around the office. The idea is that clearing away clutter helps bring in vital energy which promotes clarity and focus. Overall, 50% of your desk should be cleared. You want to be able to arrive at a clean desk when you get to work and leave with a clean desk at the end of the day. Taking the extra time to organize things correctly and efficiently will help you from having to do it again in a few months.