Yin and yang represent feminine and masculine energies. Nourishing energy strikes a balance between the two extreme forces of yin and yang. Let’s say for example you worked in an overly yang environment with high ceilings, light colors, angular furniture and lots of natural light. You would need to balance this overly yang environment with some yin energy. You might add curved or flowing shapes, darker colors, soft furniture and some window coverings. Read more about yin and yang energy here.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy that focuses on balancing the elements of a space and creating an environment where energy, or "chi", flows through a dwelling and has a spiritual effect on the inhabitants, bringing a sense of calm and harmony. There are several design choices that reflect Feng Shui principles. Managers looking to switch things up in their offices should consider implementing Feng Shui elements to improve the overall layout and resulting energy of their workplace.
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."
There are three main schools of feng shui. Two are traditional (classical) Chinese feng shui schools, while the third is widely embraced by the Western culture, especially the United States. Regardless which feng shui you practice, you can take advantage of basic principles to enhance your career and make your office inviting to chi energy for greater success in business.
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 Chinese practice of feng shui dates back several millennia and basically involves arranging your environment in such a way that everything harmonizes and stimulates positive energy. According to these principles, using feng shui in your home office can help enhance productivity, creativity and even your earnings. We have some tips from Feng Shui & Beyond, an online guide to the practice, on how to feng shui your home office.
Once you have a full view of any incoming opportunities, it’s time to tackle the desk's surface. Chances are there’s a bit of clutter, which Cerrano defines as “anything unfinished, unresolved, tolerated, or disorganized.” Clear the clutter and organize things in a way that suits your work style and personal preferences. Cerrano suggests organizing by date or category, using colored binders if that appeals to you. Getting organized can boost productivity, while clearing clutter can provide a space that allows creativity to flow Time management for today’s workplace demands. Thomack, B. Matrix Absence Management, Phoenix, AZ. Workplace Health and Safety, 2012 May;60(5):201-3.
Bamboo is a plant that is abundant in Asia and grows very quickly. It represents upright and honest growth, as well as flexibility and adaptability. Since the bamboo plant does not flower or fruit, it’s lifespan is long and simple. And because it is hollow, bamboo also symbolizes an empty heart of humbleness. I love the fact that in western culture, lucky bamboo has also become a symbol for the green sustainability movement. Lucky bamboo is not technically bamboo, but it looks very similar, is super easy to take care of, and represents the same thing symbolically.
The jade plant is another plant commonly known as a money tree in feng shui because the round leaves symbolize good fortune. These plants are relatively hardy succulents, so they may be a better money tree choice for those challenged at keeping plants alive. Like the traditional money tree, jade plants are best placed in money, health, or fame areas of the home. You can also place them in an office space to invite success and fortune.
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 FIVE ELEMENTS (Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood) work best when blended together in a harmonious way inside your home. Today, we are focusing on the element of wood (a.k.a plants,flowers,trees, bushes, etc). Not only do they help to spruce up the overall ambiance, they are also scientifically proven to reduce stress, purify the air, improve learning, compassion, speed up the healing process, memory, and communication!
For optimal feng shui, place the bamboo in a shady spot where you want to invite more blessings for good luck and harmony, such as on the counter of your business place or the living room of your home. In Asia, people commonly tie red ribbons around the stalks of the lucky bamboo plant during the Chinese New Year and place it on a special table together with other auspicious objects, like the golden ingot.
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.