Improper lighting: Like the majority of office workers, if you suffer under fluorescent lighting, you can use a couple helpful hints. You may be able to replace the tubes yourself with healthier full-spectrum ones (also called “grow lights”) from the hardware store. If you can’t replace them, bring in some supplemental incandescent light in the form of floor or table lamps. Working solely with overhead light is uncomfortable for the eyes, and supplemental lighting is a source of relief for your eyes and mind.
Native to French Polynesia, golden pathos are categorized under the plants family Araceae with scientific name Epipremnum Aureum, it is commonly known as Money Plant and very popularly grown plant in India. It has several local names like golden pathos, ivy arum, taro vine, Solomon Island ivy and devil’s vine. The plant has shiny heart-shaped leaves in the different shades of green and has several beliefs associated with the plant, it is believed that the plant brings luck, happiness and prosperity. As per Feng Shui, it is considered to bring wealth.
1. Center of the House. The center area of your home belongs to the Earth element. Because Wood has the ability to weaken the Earth element, the center of your house is not the best place for indoor plants. This is not to say that placing plants there is completely out of the question. If you feel like the area can use some plants, place small ones instead of large ones.
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.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice that involves arranging your environment in a way that allows the energy (or Chi) to flow smoothly through it. This energy is made up of five elements (Wood, Earth, Fire, Metal, and Water), and its believed that the flow of this energy can have considerable effects on your finances, health, happiness, and personal relationships. Whether you believe that it is the flow of the chi, or that the ancient practice tapped into great design and sense of proportion, the practice can definitely has a positive impact on design.
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.
So how is feng shui different from just getting organized or decorating better? “It goes beyond just decorating because feng shui has a psychological component to the principles, says Laura Cerrano of Feng Shui Manhattan. "Your surroundings have a deep and profound impact on your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.” Since the daily nine-to-five makes up a big part of the day, improving the chi in the workspace will help you out at work and in the rest of your life.
4. Bedroom. In addition to the eight cardinal directions, the type of rooms also matter. Many experts agree that plants are NOT suitable in the bedroom, and their reasons vary. Some say it harms the luck and health of the home’s breadwinner, while others say that plants bring strong energies of growth, which contradicts with the energy needed to get a good night’s sleep. Further, some reasoned that the carbon dioxide produced by the plants at night can negatively affect our sleep.
I see your concern, because Wood controls the Earth element in the Northeast. First, I would check whether your plants are really in the Northeast. You’ll need to divide your floor plan into 8 pieces, according to the 8 cardinal directions. If they’re really in the Northeast, you can either (1) place smaller plants and/or (2) introduce some fire element to weaken the wood energy.
The color green falls under the wood element and symbolizes growth, energy, healing and new beginnings. The nourishing vibrations that green produces promote balance throughout the body and a calming connection to nature. This is why green is a color commonly used in hospitals and doctor’s offices. If the people in your office are under a lot of stress or have a heavy workload, this can be a great color to help them keep a level head.
If your light is too limited to grow healthy plants, or if you simply have a case of “brown thumb,” silk plants are an acceptable Feng Shui alternative to living plants. Be sure to dust them often and replace them if they fade. However, it's best to avoid dried flowers because they represent stagnant energy. If you simply can’t give up your dried arrangements, be sure to dust them frequently and replace them seasonally.
When it comes to the colors on your walls, use white if you tend to find it very difficult to concentrate because you are in your comfortable home environment. And when it comes to elements, use water to inspire communication, metal to encourage prosperity, earth to promote long-standing relationships and balance in the workplace, fire to boost productivity, and wood to allow your creativity to flow.
There are a few feng shui principles you can follow to bring more energy into your space. "Make sure you have good air circulation," says Cerrano. "When the weather is good, feel free to open up the windows, and if you can't, consider looking into purchasing an air purifier (especially if your home office has no windows). Do your best to avoid locating your home office in the basement." Allowing natural light to penetrate into the office is proven to increase productivity, according to a study from Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "On that note, if you are able to establish a commanding position that allows you to be supported by a solid wall, see the office doorway with no obstructions, and have a view of the outside, it's a triple win."
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?
Work stress counts as one of the most common ailments suffered by many urbanites today. Getting help to ensure a smooth workyear ahead is always a good thing, which is why many deskbound employees are beginning to place emphasis on creating a workdesk that is primed for success, with the aid of Chinese metaphysics. Here are a few pearls of ancient wisdom to clear the energy in the office and give your career a boost.
Avoid hanging mirrors in the office or workspace. Especially avoid hanging it behind your back. This also applies to pictures or anything that strongly reflects/or acts like a mirror. This can cause you to attract complaints and increase the chance of people looking to backstab you. If you need to check your makeup or do up your hair, use a small compact mirror that you can carry around in your purse or bag instead.
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.
7. Accelerates Healing and Recovery Process. It turns out that hospital gardens bring natural medical benefits. Namely, it helps patients heal and recover faster. In a study conducted by HortTechnology, patients recovering from abdominal surgery in hospital rooms were tested. They found that the patients exposed to plants and hospital gardens had significantly fewer intakes of postoperative analgesics, more positive physiological responses, and more positive feelings.
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.
The feng shui expert also adds that adding real plants enhances any office energy by naturally cleaning the air, reducing stress, and improving communication. "Bamboo, Boston ferns, English ivy, and rubber trees are great go-to options. Including a couple images of supportive family members or other individuals who inspire you is another great energy booster."
All shades of purple represent the fire element and at its most intense, its high vibrations create intense feelings of nobility, power and mystery. However, when the color is muted to lavender, it instead promotes an aura of calm as well as determination, clarity and imagination or creativity. This makes lavender an ideal color for media, technology or marketing firms. If the employees in your office are often tasked with developing new ideas, completing large projects, or doing any right-brain thinking, lavender can be a perfect color to help them maintain their composure, prioritize tasks, and have the focus to complete them in a timely manner.
Outer offices: Large offices, especially high-rise offices often have a bank of windows along the outside wall. While it may be tempting to sit with your back to the windows, you will lack the support you need in your work. Place your desk so you have a solid wall behind you. Use a feng shui office layout for auspicious chi energy and success in your career.