This article has been contributed by Richard Larson, and he gives us a high level overview of the design principles of Feng Shui and how you can apply it to your life and office. Enjoy!
Feng Shui may be an ancient Chinese design technique; however it is still widely practiced today and can benefit your office space in many ways. The main purpose of a Feng Shui design style is to promote balance and harmony in the space you apply the design to. Any work place can definitely benefit from harmony and balance.
The Feng Shui Ying Yang symbol pictured above represents the translated meaning of Feng Shui, which is “wind” and “water”. Feng Shui office designs incorporate some common sense and basic design ideas like a clutter free and organized office space. However, Feng Shui goes beyond that to positively influence employees, customers, clients, and guests who visit your office space by allowing for the flow of chi, or life force.
Above is a Feng Shui energy map that shows the cycles and characteristics of the 5 elements of Feng Shui; Water, Metal, Earth, Fire and Wood.
Water represents free flowing of ideas, and thus helps promote office communication. If you deal with many different people, having a small water fountain or perhaps even a fish bowl will help aid with your communication with them. If you are not able to use an actual water feature, glass can be used as a good substitute.
Beware about mirrors. Even though they can represent the water element too, Feng Sui experts believe that mirrors can reflect the negative energy of others, so use caution with them and they are likely not a good thing for office spaces.
In addition to glass, the colors blue or black can be used to represent water. Those colors also promote trust, wisdom, and learning. Water elements, or their representatives, should be placed in the north corner of and office, where Feng Shui experts say they can promote concentration, focus, and intelligence.
If you are hoping for a raise or looking to close a big business deal, metal elements should be put in the western corner of the room and can be used to bring on an increase in financial success, income, or profits. Metal objects can be made of metal or just colored to represent them. Design elements made of stone, metals, or marble will give the impression of professionalism and success.
As with one of the meanings of “earth” this element can help you stay grounded and stable. It also is said to create grounds for stable relationships as well as job stability. Designs with earthly tones (light browns, yellows, oranges and sandy colors) will help you especially when used in the center of the office. Paintings of landscapes can represent the earth element so can ceramic or clay decorations.
Of course, fire is the most powerful element and should be used with caution so that no one gets burned. This is true in both the literal and figurative sense with Feng Shui office designs since using actual fire elements can often be dangerous. Therefore, you can use red objects to represent the fire element and should be place in the south section of the room, office space, or building. Lamps and unique lighting can also be used to represent fire elements for the office.
Wood elements are usually easy to incorporate into office spaces because desks and other office furniture is readily available in all different types of wood. The wood element represents loyalty and also promotes creativity and inspiration. Your wood element is best positioned in the eastern corner of your office. If you do not have actual wood furniture, you can also use brown or green colored decorations.
The Bagua (above) is a template that can be laid over house plans to determine which areas of the home relate to different aspects of your life and to ensure it is balanced and in harmony. See a more detailed explanation here.
A good representation of all 5 elements should always be present in your room, but if there is any one area that you want to focus on for a special business deal, time of the year, or to help out with a weakness, that can be played up in your designs to help achieve short term goals.
In the picture above you will notice everything is organized and filed away. As little as possible is on top of the desk but a plant was added to improve the air quality and fulfills the prosperity corner of your desk. The right side of your desk should have some room for a little creativity whether it is a notepad or a list of ideas. You can read about the ultimate feng shui desk guide here but in summary the desk layout touches on the following Feng Shui energy & flow areas:
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.
Employees that are in an organized work environment feel less lethargic, more invigorated and inspired to produce efficiently. The increase in productivity also leads to an increased level of satisfaction and leads to a domino effect of positive outcomes for the employees, management, and the company as a whole.
If you are unsure about implementing such an old style of design and think it might just be superstition, just try adding just a few elements of Feng Shui at your office today and see how it can improve productivity and organization in a very short time.
Check out this article for how to get started with Feng Shui.
Bio: Richard Larson is blogger and Brand Manager for GoPromotional.co.uk. He enjoys sharing business and marketing tips and ideas. Photo Credits: Akwos | iidudu | cr3at | Unsplash