Welcome to the world of office Feng Shui – the art of rearranging your workspace to maximize productivity, creativity, and good vibes.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice that uses energy forces to allow humans to become more attuned and in harmony with their environments. When Feng Shui is applied to architecture or interior design, its goal is to align buildings and the rooms within with specific natural elements and orientations to maximize “chi” – the alignment between the physical form and awareness.
If you’re interested in learning more about using Feng Shui practices to create a work environment that’s productive, inspiring, and inherently yours – keep reading!
Position Your Desk Thoughtfully and Play the Power Game
The “Command Position” is all the rage in traditional Feng Shui. It means you should see the entrance but not be directly in line with it. But why follow the crowd? Let’s call it the “Power Play Position.” Position your desk wherever you feel the most commanding, like the true office emperor or empress you are.
Balance the Five Elements
The five elements of Feng Shui – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water – sound like the recipe for an intriguing mocktail. Mix them up in your office decor for an energetic cocktail party of your own. A fiery red rug, a wooden desk, some metal accents, a small potted plant, and your favorite hydration libation – you’ve got the ultimate office mixology going on.
Optimize Natural Light
Natural light is excellent, but what if you haven’t worked up to a corner office (yet!) and your desk is in a windowless bunker? Say hello to your best friend – full-spectrum lighting. This office BFF mimics the sun sans harmful UV rays. You can even purchase options that allow you to dim and raise the light at specific times to match the sun’s rising and setting patterns.
Incorporate Plants: Faux or Fabulous?
Live plants are a Feng Shui staple, but not everyone is a gardening guru. If you want to stick to the tried and true Feng Shui principles, get yourself a low-maintenance desk buddy – like a succulent or snake cactus. They require minimal upkeep and still look pretty cute if they aren’t actually “thriving anymore” (not that we know from experience or anything…). If you definitely don’t want to add “keep something alive” to your office to-do list, you can introduce some faux foliage instead. High-quality artificial plants can make your workspace come to life without you worrying about watering schedules.
Choose the Right Colors
Colors have pretty powerful meanings in Feng Shui. Blues and greens are generally considered to be calming, while yellows and reds are energetic and inspiring. For desk decorators that want to really abide by the Feng Shui “rules,” here are the colors considered to be associated with prosperity and wealth, and what each of them is specifically related to
- Red – Luck, Prosperity, Wellness, and Inspiration
- Purple – Ambition and Power
- Blue – Health and Career
- Green – New beginnings
- Black – Money
Use Symbolic Decor
There are 10 traditional Feng Shui symbols used to promote harmony with nature and maximize chi. While using the 10 symbols (that we’ll list below) is the best way to maximize chi, you don’t have to stop there. Your prized vintage typewriter can be a symbol of your commitment to the written word, and a rubber duck can symbolize the joy you bring to your work. Bringing your unique items into your workspace helps make the space yours and increases your enjoyment there.
The ten traditional Feng Shui symbols are:
- Laughing Buddha – Peace and Happiness
- Fu Dogs – Protection, Family Wealth, Social Status
- Dragons – Support and Nourishment
- Horses – Success, Fame, Freedom, and Speed
- Fish – Abundance and Prosperity
- Chi Lin (head of a dragon, body of a horse, scales of a carp) – Protection, Good Health, Prosperity
- Flowers – Healing
- Money Frog – Wealth and Abundance
- Four Celestial Creatures (Green Dragon, Red Phoenix, White Tiger, and Black Tortoise) – Protection from outer energy fields (in specific directions)
- Lucky Cat – Frightening evil spirits, Attracting Money, and New Opportunities
Personal touches are essential, but Feng Shui often advises keeping things ultra-professional. That said, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your space and infuse your personality in a fun and appropriate way. An action figure or a quirky desk toy can add a bit of character and whimsy to your office, making it more than just a place to work.
Feng Shui is about creating a harmonious, motivating, and productive space. And you can do it with your unique style and a touch of rebellion. So, as you Feng Shui your office, remember that it’s your space and should empower you to conquer the workday in your own way. Cheers to the unconventional office Feng Shui, and may your workspace truly reflect you.