Reimagine Your Workspace – 5 Secrets of Productivity and Feng Shui
by Hudson Valley Style Magazine Editor, Designer Maxwell Alexander
Just a few months ago we featured Villa 9W – one of the Duncan Avenue Design Studio projects and analyzed it from the Feng Shui perspective. I like using Feng Shui concepts to make overly complicated scientific ideas more relatable and down-to-earth. It is fascinating how our knowledge of home design circled back thousands of years just to see that we’ve had it all figured out! Well, another thing just happened: the new generation of the workforce (Millennials) is in! They are very serious about health & wellness and in fact, (thanks to advancements in technology) work from home office more than any previous generations in human history. Therefore I am using the word “workspace” more often, as office spaces evolve into something different, but also more inspiring, comfortable, human, home-like, yet more productive.
Practiced in China for centuries, feng shui balances the yin and yang, or energy flow, of your surroundings. The idea is to create a harmonious environment for happiness and prosperity, and many people use this design concept in the interior décor of their home. Even if you use feng shui in your home, keep reading. You need to balance the energy in your office too, and you can use feng shui in your workspace to increase your productivity. Here are a few tips.
Reduce Clutter First
Those who practice feng shui understand that clutter absorbs energy and creates more clutter. Do you have a desk piled high with papers and you simply don’t know where to start? Do you pile more paperwork on the top of the paperwork you’re already avoiding? Clutter is an energy blocker, so clean your workspace up. Get everything organized and keep it that way to encourage energy flow. Otherwise, you inadvertently attract and create more clutter and, in turn, chaos rather than positive, productive workspace energy.
Spruce Up Your Workspace Entry
Once you’ve cleared your office space, give your entryway a makeover too. It doesn’t matter if you have your own office in a corporate building, a cubicle, or work from home, you need to make the entrance into your workspace inviting. Make certain nothing is in the way of your office door or cubicle entry, especially wastebaskets or piles of books or files. If you work in the corner of your living room, make certain that area is not blocked. Keep your office entryway, no matter what it is, bathed in light and inviting to your clients; even if you don’t have any clients. Remember, you’re inviting positive energy to encourage your business to grow and prosper, so positive energy is your most important “client.”
A Space of a Different Color
Many people agonize over the color of their home, both the interior and exterior of the premises. You should agonize over the color of your workspace, too. Working in a dark-painted office is dreary and encourages negative energy and thoughts. You can’t be productive if you are surrounded by depressing darkness. What you do dictates what color your workspace walls should be. For example, if you need to stay calm, or your patients do because you’re a dentist, paint your office walls light blue or green. Are you a sales and marketing whiz? Encourage profitable relationships with your clients by painting your office walls in earth tones.
If you use feng shui practice to decorate your home, you know the power of plants. Plants attract good energy. They also absorb negative energy and distractions. Surround yourself, neatly, with large smooth-leaved plants in earthenware pots. The plants and pottery represent the mountains and create supportive energy. Two good plant choices are the golden pothos and areca palm. While you’re at it, include a bamboo plant for luck, and don’t forget to set a few crystals or rocks in the potting soil to create your feng shui wealth space.
Don’t Forget the Boardroom
Feng shui need not be limited to your home and office space. If you have a boardroom (unless you are working from home and hold your meetings in the dining room), make sure to get the positive energy flowing through it as well. These rooms house meetings with prominent people in your business, your staff, and your clients. You need to make it a productive and positive space. Forgo the square or rectangular meeting table for a round or long oval one.
The energy circles these round-shaped tables and creates a more productive meeting space. When using the conference room, ensure you are sitting in the power position within the room. The power position is the seat facing the boardroom door. Keep this in mind for your office, too. It’s never good to have your back to any door.
Use natural Materials and Warm Lights
Concrete, wood, stone, glass, metals are not only more sustainable and stylish materials but also much healthier than plastics or any other synthetically produced chemicals. Use finishes that are easy to clean and less susceptible to trapping dust and bacteria. Smart use of interior materials improves indoor air quality and of course is a good feng shui, just because plastics were invented much-much later in history.
Lighting is a very important aspect of feng shui and our wellbeing in general. Allow maximum natural light in space, if it’s not available, remember that warmer light sources will make you feel more comfortable and cozy. Cooler lights make you more alert and are great for task lighting and eliminating stairways. Never let exposed lights shine directly into your eyes – use lampshades and directional light fixtures to direct light to where it needs to flow.
These are just some tips to get you started on the practice of feng shui in your office space. You’re in business to be productive and make money. Success really does happen if you allow it to. Don’t block your success or productivity with a cluttered and energy-resistant workspace. Feng shui practice dates back to 5000 BC. If it’s been used that long, it has to be effective.