More of us are working at home than ever. Some of us have slowly returned to the workplace, while others are adjusting to a hybrid — alternating days spent working at home with days at the office. Suffice it to say, solutions for sanity are needed.
If we’ve learned anything from working in a pandemic, it’s to take it one day at a time and control what we can. Using feng shui in your office is a clever way to better manage your work environment, while also promoting focus, productivity, and peace.
14 office feng shui ideas that reduce stress and boost creative energy
A few fun facts about feng shui for starters:
- Also called Chinese geomancy, feng shui is an ancient Chinese art that focuses on harmonizing qi energy in our environment.
- The desired outcome of feng shui — or one of its primary principles — is cultivating happiness.
- Happiness or harmony may be achieved by organizing spaces and reducing clutter, inviting the flow of productive or positive energy.
- While it may sound similar to the KonMari Method created by anti-clutter queen Marie Kondo, feng shui is a different practice, though Kondo integrates some of its techniques.
In the modern-day world, it checks out. Not only does the cleanliness of your office affect how people perceive you — potentially as neurotic and disagreeable if you have an excessively messy workspace — but reducing clutter has been directly linked to a drop in procrastination and a boost in productivity.
To improve the flow of energy in your home or work office, here’s where to begin:
1. Get rid of obvious clutter.
Aim to have your desk or workspace at least 50-percent clutter-free. Reduce your use of paper wherever possible; it’s good for the environment, and it also eliminates one of the main causes of lost productivity.
2. Face your desk toward the door.
It’s considered a power position, promoting success, to have your eyes on your office’s entry. When your back faces the door, it signifies vulnerability. If you share an office space, at the very least try not to sit back-to-back or facing the other person. Or, put up a barrier.
3. Hang a mirror.
If you’re in a cubicle or another type of work environment where you can’t face the door directly, hang a convex mirror behind your computer for a quick fix. Facing the mirror can expand your view, especially when you angle it toward your doorway.
4. Arrange your desk with a bagua map.
A bagua map, or a feng shui energy map, can be used to organize in a way that brings in more beneficial energy. Bagua translates into “eight areas” that include creativity, health, career, money, and spirituality. Bagua mapping your desk may look like using different objects for distinct purposes, like black decor to inspire career opportunities.
5. Steer clear of sharp furniture.
Pick curved chairs, desks, and tables instead. Softer edges signify success and prosperity, while sharp corners promote “poison arrows” or bad Sha (energy). Even in cities like Hong Kong, architects avoid designing modern buildings with pointed external corners.
6. Decorate with harmonizing colors.
Colors are critical for feng shui and can influence your output and productivity. Color choices may vary by career; a financial professional might need different stimulation compared to a counselor. Earth tones can be calming to promote stability, while lavender, representing the fire element, can encourage insight.
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7. Choose the right desk.
The area where you spend the most time deserves attention. A desk made of wood, versus metal or glass, is preferred to nourish and restore energy. A rectangular desk can be grounding, as long as its front is open; a curved desk may free up the flow of energy. A brown desk can provide comfort, while a black desk might strengthen concentration.
8. Leave extra room.
When reorganizing your office, take care to allow for extra space. This, too, will open the natural flow of energy. Remove any non-essentials you no longer need, like bookshelves and file cabinets filled with old papers. Distribute the remaining furnishings evenly with enough area for movement. It’s a bad sign when you have to squeeze around furniture.
9. Consider the elements.
When you’re redecorating, aim to keep the main elements — earth, wood, metal, water, and fire – in balance. Take a look at how each element may be under- or over-represented in your workspace. Metal filing cabinets and equipment, linked to power, can be offset with potted plants or pictures of nature that spur creativity.
10. Bring in a water fixture.
Moving water represents a healthy flow of energy, stimulating abundance and prosperity. A small fountain can help get energy moving, as can a vase of fresh flowers or a photo of a waterfall or ocean. Whatever you choose, just make sure your water is moving toward you and not away, i.e., out the door or window.
11. Add mementos of memories.
A simple way to uplift yourself and elevate your energy? Bring in personal items, like a picture your child drew for you or a kitschy souvenir from your honeymoon that’ll be sure to infuse your office with feel-good memories. Hanging inspiring art or motivational quotes can also support productive energy.
12. Use natural lighting.
If you’ve been blessed with a window in your workspace, open the blinds and turn off the indoor lights when it’s sunny outside. Artificial, florescent lighting can cause fatigue — the last thing you need before a meeting. But don’t leave the lights too low; a dimly lit office could also drain your energy.
13. Create a sacred space.
It’s no secret meditation zaps stress. It can also amp up productivity by thickening your prefrontal cortex. Setting aside an area in your office — whether it’s a comfy chair or a cushion in a corner — can give you a peaceful place to practice. Feel free to include mementos that have spiritual meaning, like candles, beads, or religious objects.
14. Put on the finishing touch with plants.
Potted plants help purify the air, also serving as a powerful source of protective energy. It’s suggested to place a plant in the wealth area of your desk (see the bagua map above) to encourage growth and prosperity. The feng shui money plant — a type of tropical bonsai tree — is most commonly used for this purpose, placed indoors and in a southeast direction.
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For educational purposes only. Please contact your qualified professional for specific guidance.
Sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed.