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.
Corporate settings use two general seating arrangements: individual offices (one room per worker) and the dreaded cubicle (or office isolation tank). The move to more people sharing space, whether in cubicles or not, contributes to an admirable flattening of hierarchies within the corporation. However, the downside is sterility, a lack of privacy and personal space; you may feel like a unit in a machine rather than a person with individual needs and desires.
Yes, your Feng Shui instincts are excellent — I would definitely suggest placing a mountain behind you to place something between you and the window panes. One of my favorite additional adjustments in cases like this is to hang a protective textile over the back of your chair. Use something that has dark, grounding earth tones like golden brown; it will make you feel more secure immediately.

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.


Blue is the prime color of the water element, and its low, smooth vibrations always provide feelings of comfort and safety. Lighter blues encourage healing, growth and harmony while darker richer blues promote the deepest levels of solace, calm and serenity. To invoke all of these benefits, paint one wall dark blue and the rest light blue. Because of its calming nature, blue is an ideal color for deadline-oriented office spaces such as press rooms or payroll companies.
Benko recalls a client whose family photo was hindering rather than inspiring her. Even though the photo was taken during a vacation, the client revealed it was a very stressful time. "The kids were hungry and they felt forced to pose for the picture, so every time she looked at that picture, subconsciously she was feeling the stress and anxiety of that moment," says Benko.
Benko recalls a client whose family photo was hindering rather than inspiring her. Even though the photo was taken during a vacation, the client revealed it was a very stressful time. "The kids were hungry and they felt forced to pose for the picture, so every time she looked at that picture, subconsciously she was feeling the stress and anxiety of that moment," says Benko.
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.
I see your concern, because Wood controls the Earth element in the Northeast. First, I would check whether your plants are really in the Northeast. You’ll need to divide your floor plan into 8 pieces, according to the 8 cardinal directions. If they’re really in the Northeast, you can either (1) place smaller plants and/or (2) introduce some fire element to weaken the wood 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.
Soft yellow, sandstone, pale gold, pale orange, pale green, and blue-green are always appropriate feng shui office colors. Adding white will increase clarity and mental focus. Browns and earth tones will ground and stabilize the office, however, they don’t stimulate mind. Read more about color psychology here. You can also choose colors based on yin/yan or feng shui element principles to create balance.
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?
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.

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The wood element colors of green and tan (light browns) are ideal for an east (health luck) or southeast (wealth luck) office since the wood element governs both sectors. In addition, wood fuels fire, so be sure to add splashes of green and brown in a southern office. You may decide to go strictly with these colors for a southern office décor. Blue and green are good color combinations for east and southeast since the water element (blue) nurtures wood (green).
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."
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