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.
Start by considering how you can introduce the five elements of Feng Shui—wood, fire, earth, metal and water—into your space. Incorporating moving water into the workplace helps add a natural component to a room and is said to pool positive energy that ultimately brings success. Managers can incorporate a fountain in their workplace to improve wellness and promote biophilic design. Fountains that are placed in northern facing portions of the room are said to improve prosperity—entrances and exits are also important areas to consider when positioning water elements.
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."
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."
Feng shui philosophy tells us to position the desk so that you are in command of the room. Essentially, this means your back shouldn't be facing the door. Beyond the biological aspect of feeling less innately safe with our back to the door, there’s a lot of feng shui lore about this position allowing for things to happen at work "behind your back."
Native to Africa, snake plant is categorized under the plants family Asparagacea with scientific name Sansevieria, it is very popular houseplant. It has several local names such as snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, viper’s bowstring hemp etc. As per Feng Shui, it is considered to bring good luck. It was part of NASA Clean Air Study and found effective in improving indoor air quality by removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene.
In feng shui, each color is considered to be an expression of one of the 5 feng shui elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. Each of these 5 elements "governs" a specific area of your home (according to the feng shui energy map of your space called bagua). When your choice of color is focused on strengthening and nourishing the feng shui element of the area you are decorating, this results in good feng shui energy.
The Pachira aquatica is famously known as the Chinese money tree because of its five-lobed palmate leaves. The five lobes are considered lucky in Asia because they are associated with the five feng shui elements of water, earth, fire, wood, and metal. It is often distinguished for its braided stem and flourishing leaves that are sometimes made to create a round-shaped canopy. It is widely used as an ornamental plant in Asia, where you can find them placed in business offices and malls, grown as a bonsai, or given out as gifts during the Chinese New Year.
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.
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.
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.
As Feng Shui is concerned with how you arrange your environment, you should also carefully consider where you place your plants. Although cacti are often said to cause arguments because of their spikes, they actually shield you from negative energy. However, they need to be placed in lower traffic areas of the workplace, such as washrooms. In fact, as this area attracts negative energy, placing a cactus in the bathroom is one of the best things you can do to improve it.
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.
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5. Improves Energy and Performance. Not only do plants improve concentration and productivity, it also gives you feelings of vitality and increased work performance. In a study conducted by Texas A&M University, they found that both women and men experienced increase in innovative thinking, creative performance, and problem solving with the presence of plants and flowers in the workplace.
Feng shui isn’t a magic formula; rather, it provides a visual reminder of the areas of life that you value or are working to improve. Chin notes that feng shui is a “matter of perspective, a way of thinking or creating balance in our lives.” Start by following the guidelines above as a way to add positivity and balance to your desk—and to your life!
14. In keeping with the habit of feng shui strategies, be sure to keep your office organized and free of clutter. Clutter saps your energy and your motivation, while a clean and organized space increases your efficiency, enthusiasm, and overall work energy. The free flow of chi will be enhanced significantly without clutter (including electronics cords).
The Feng Shui Ying Yang symbol pictured above represents the translated meaning of Feng Shui, which is “wind” and “water”. Feng Shui office designs incorporate some common sense and basic design ideas like a clutter free and organized office space. However, Feng Shui goes beyond that to positively influence employees, customers, clients, and guests who visit your office space by allowing for the flow of chi, or life force.
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To ensure harmony and calm your nerves/soothes your temper, play some music around you. Aim for calming melodies or songs without any lyrics. Try to avoid anything too upbeat or energetic as it may distract you if you’re meant to be concentrating on your work. However, different people respond to different music. If you find rock ballads to be soothing, go ahead and play them. If you are running your own business, having soothing music place in the office is good for business and your employees. Alternatively, getting your clients to meet somewhere with pleasant music can ensure higher chances of discussion or deals.
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."
Many feng shui experts don’t suggest plants for the bedroom, however. This is because they believe the plant’s energy is far too high for a restful night’s sleep. However, if you already have a plant in your bedroom, and you sleep soundly, don’t panic. Some of the more modern schools of feng shui believe that “woodsy” elements can actually help some people flourish.5
When you’re setting up your room (or cubicle), you'll want to first look at its layout. Is there an even distribution of furniture on both sides of the room? Is there art only on one wall, or is it sprinkled throughout the space? Is it too bright? Is it too minimalist? How balanced and even do you feel in your workspace? Where and how do things feel off?