The placement of desks in a space can have a large effect on your staff's work output. The arrangement can affect everything from exposure to natural light to a staff member's perspective on the whole office. Feng Shui practices recommend placing desks in positions that face the entry point of the room. Placing staff in front of walls or dividers can hinder creativity and block inspiration. Instead, placing desks so staff members have a wide view of the room with their backs facing a wall can improve a sense of trust in the space. This is considered the "command position" that allows a person to feel a sense of control over their own environment.
Houseplants can be an important Feng Shui tool to help activate positive energy in your home or office while they purify the air. Many people think that lucky bamboo is the only Feng Shui friendly houseplant, but there are actually many choices that can fit your décor. The best time to add a new plant is at the beginning of a new month or at the new year, when it symbolizes a healthy beginning for you and your family.
Even if your dream color looked perfect in the store, and passed all the tests when it comes to your view, your goals, and so on, it can read the wrong way once you're at home. "Sample three colors — the one you love, than one warmer and one cooler. Get a test pot or small sample and paint a 12" square on your wall. Observe it at different times of day before you make your final decision."
As for color choices, the feng shui expert explains that it depends on your line of work. "In general, office spaces that require writing, mathematics, and science benefit from wall colors in shades of blue, green, or even beige. These are considered a strong backdrop of color. From there, you could accent the office with artwork, lighting, plants, area rugs, and anything else you need to help achieve the best focus and productivity. To stimulate the energy more, implementing touches of warm colors like red, yellow, and orange can stimulate the creative aspects of our brains. In feng shui and on a practical level, we're always looking to establish a harmonious collaboration of colors."
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."
The second priority is bringing living and flowing energy into your workspace. These features are important ways of compensating for the small size of your space and the constant traffic flows that pass by your cube. If you can bring an odd number of healthy plants into your space, you can stimulate more-active, vibrant energy. Also, a nice fountain near the entrance of your cube can work wonders. Not only can it stimulate more salary coming your way, but also it can help uplift your mood and diffuse any negative flows of chi (human or environmental) in the vicinity of your work space. If space or social realities preclude a fountain, you can get some of the same benefits from a photo (the larger, the better) of flowing water, such as of a waterfall or river.
The workplace is one of the key areas in which you should be using feng shui if you wish to manifest your intentions, clear your mind and promote better focus, and produce high quality work that your clients, bosses, and coworkers will admire. But if you are new to feng shui, it is best to get a bit of background information on this ancient art and science so that you can use it to its fullest potential. You can begin by reading this blog post, which will introduce you to the world of feng shui, and you can also enroll in a course that will teach you how to apply feng shui principles throughout your life in an easy way.
Dana Claudat is a modern feng shui master, designer, and founder of the blog The Tao of Dana. She is a Stanford-educated art historian with more than a decade of experience in design, feng shui, and research with thousands of clients, yet her approach to space is simple. Starting where you are, using what you have, you can create more of your dream home—and dream life—every day. Dana is a longtime mindbodygreen contributor and instructor (she may have had a hand in the hundreds of plants in mindbodygreen headquarters!), and her work has been featured in design and lifestyle publications around the world. You can work with Dana from wherever you are in the world in her online Feng Shui Camps and through her Online Feng Shui Consultations. For more art and feng shui lifestyle inspiration, you can follow Dana on Facebook and Instagram. Join in her weekly feng shui notes, including monthly New Moon Full Moon feng shui rituals, here!
The ideal office is a room of your own with a regular shape (preferably square or rectangle), natural lighting (at least one window), a solid door you can close, and a good position for your desk. One of the great advantages of having your own office is that you can usually perform more decorative Feng Shui adjustments than if you work in a cubicle. Of course, not every company can afford, or desires, to put every employee in his or her own individual space.
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When it comes to desk materials, wood and metal are the best choice as they symbolize stability and peak mental performance. Glass desks and tables (like those offered by Lexus or Arkitek) on the other hand, symbolize transparency, but they also allow a faster energy flow, so be sure to coat them with wooden accessories or potted plants for a dose of stability. Laminate desks are energy neutral and won’t impact your performance significantly.
Projecting corner, post, pillar, column, soffit, or duct work: Many offices contain features that break up the energy flow of the room or, worse, shoot “poison arrows” at your sitting position at the desk. Place a sizeable plant in front of the troublesome feature, or hang a faceted crystal sphere between the feature and your sitting position at the desk.
You can use the typical feng shui cures for each specific area, or come up with your own creative solutions. For example, we mentioned the light source to your left—upper left—which is an excellent feng shui cure for the wealth area. A vibrant plant to your left or a family photo is excellent feng shui for health. A photo of you and your beloved or a couple of crystals can be great feng shui for your love area.
Wooden desks are very creative but may be too unfocused. In feng shui, the wood element carries a more wild, chatty, creative energy, which can get a little frenetic for an office space. You can rein in your focus with a sparkly crystal on your desktop (spirit quartz and shimmering pyrite are my top picks) and/or some metallic desk accessories that have more organized, uniform energy.