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?
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.
"In a vase, place a few stalks of bamboos in fresh water," says Gordon. "Place five stalks in a vase for academic achievement and creativity (in your creativity area), place seven stalks in your health and family area, place eight stalks in your wealth area, and nine stalks for overall luck (you can place these anywhere, but it could also be in the center of your home). Don't forget to change the water frequently."
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.
3. Turn your desk toward the door. Position your desk so you can clearly see the entrance of your office. "You don’t ever want to put your back to the door because that creates a subconscious feeling of vulnerability," says Benko. Besides being easily startled, not being able to see what’s coming can make you feel like you have have lost control. The best feng shui positioning is with your back against a wall or window facing the door, but not in direct alignment with it.
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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.
And, of course, because feng shui is all about energy, there is certainly a lot of emphasis on the actual energy of the plants, starting with their specific look and feel to one of the most important factors - their overall health. Having a popular feng shui plant such as the lucky bamboo, for example, struggling to survive, will be quite bad feng shui as compared to another plant with absolutely no specific feng shui reputation but with a vibrant, alive and joyful energy.
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."
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.
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 --
Explore our office feng shui tips and choose at least several feng shui cures that you can easily implement in your specific office space. These feng shui cures do not have to be dramatic, even a couple air purifying plants and smart feng shui images plus a better positioning of your office desk can do wonders for your well-being, and ultimately contribute to your career success.