4. Use plants and essential oil. Low-maintenance plants such as bamboo or philodendrons help to clean the air, make breathing easier, and add a vibrant life force to the space. Aromatherapy can also help elevate your energy and productivity. Benko suggests placing a bottle of lemon oil on your desk and taking a whiff when you feel uninspired. "Lemon makes you feel more motivated and uplifts your spirits," she says.
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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.
One of the basic tools for a feng shui practitioner is the bagua map. It’s a nine-part grid depicting the different areas of a space (home, desk, office, what have you) and how they correspond to different areas of life. Think of it as a general blueprint for any feng shui endeavor. To let the positive energy flow, follow the basic guidelines below.
Alison, thanks for writing. My desk in my home office also faces a wall so I know whereof you speak. If you can’t turn things around by separating the arms of the “L” and using one arm in the Command Position, place a mirror on or near the desk to reflect activity behind you. Here’s a link to a previous post about this: http://openspacesfengshui.com/feng-shui-tips/2010/02/feng-shui-office-command-position/ Good luck!
"Once you have a clearer vision for the function of your office and understand what pieces of furniture you need, you can establish the arrangement of furniture," says Cerrano. She recommends starting with the desk position and building outward from there. "Essentially, you are looking for the best commanding position, which allows the occupant to literally, energetically, and metaphorically see and feel who and what opportunities are approaching their life. Positioning your desk inside any office could symbolize avoiding collaborations with unbeneficial business partners and signing contracts or agreements that are one-sided."
That said, spending hours working from your couch on weeknights or at your kitchen island on Sunday mornings might not be the most productive thing to do. Studies conducted by Alan Hedge, Ph.D. and CPE at Cornell University, found that a comfortable working environment can do more than make workers happy: It can improve productivity as well. Just like new workout clothes can motivate us to hit the gym more often, an office space with good feng shui can help us work more efficiently.
You can apply the classical principles of feng shui to other objects, such as your desk, in addition to the office itself. To start, be sure to place your desk so that it faces the door, as this will symbolize your ability to see opportunities and seize them when they arrive. If you work from home, this is a lot easier to accomplish because you will not have a boss telling you whether or not you can move your desk around. But if this is not possible at all, whether you work from home or not, place a mirror on your desk that gives you a view of the doorway in order to generate the same beneficial effects.
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.
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.
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."