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."
Plants may be just one element of Feng Shui; however, they can play a major role in office environments. Plants can buffer noise in an office increasing the amount of privacy felt in open floor plans. Plants, in general are known to make people happy and more creative, although this might be intangible, the extra added health benefits of having plants in an office are not. Plants increase oxygenation and filter out impurities in the air reducing the amount of bacteria and germs that are usually present in any shared environment. Therefore, office spaces with plants statistically have fewer employees that need to take sick leave. See here for 10 peaceful plants for Feng Shui.
Lucky bamboo plant is often associated with Feng Shui friendly plants. Lucky bamboo is easy to grow, doesn’t require a lot of sunlight, and because it can be grown in water it can be an excellent choice for bathrooms and kitchens. However, you don’t have to limit your choices to lucky bamboo when selecting a plant to use in your Feng Shui décor. Here are 9 additional Feng Shui friendly houseplants --
Crafting some sort of meditative space—be it your desk chair, a floor cushion, a sofa, or a beanbag—is always worth it. Not only will it encourage you to practice more meditation, but it can remind you to circle back to that calm place during stressful workdays. Your favorite coffee mug, a family photo, or an inspiring book can also do the trick to help you feel more settled and relaxed in your space.
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.
Make sure that your desk or work space isn’t facing any sharp corners or edges. Such as pillars, other buildings or walls and so on. These sharp edges can invite in negative energy. They will cause migraines, headaches, pressure and unhappiness for yourself and others. Keep your desk facing a different way or try to put up a blockade or something between your desk and the sharp edge or corner if you can’t move it. If it is truly unavoidable and you feel uncomfortable, place a bowl of salt or a salt lamp between you and the sharp corners to minimize pressure and “Sha Qi”.
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 Chinese people consider that you can attract luck and prosperity in your career by using money, just not any kind of money, but I-Ching coins. These are round coins, with a square cut out in the center, linked together with a red silk thread. These tiny coins can be carried in the wallet, or connected to the phone, after the latest fashion trend. The most important thing is to carry them with you, especially if you work in retail or sales, to bring you luck.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
When choosing the colors for your office, you can either go with the elemental guide above or choose a general, lighter color. Yellow, sandstone, pale gold, or green work well. If you want to ground or stabilize, you can choose browns or other earth tones. For large offices with open floor plans, it is important to have subtle colors. When you try to incorporate a bright color in a large active room, it can become too distracting and more stressful.