Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art. In Mandarin, “Feng'' means “wind” and “Shui” means “water”. It is well known for building a calm and focused atmosphere by creating a balance between individuals and the environment around them with specific layout arrangements. Many people around the world, including architects and interior designers, use it to create a peaceful environment. As the future of work focuses on employees' well-being, their workspace should make them feel as comfortable and productive as they would be when working from home. With all of the advantages of this design model, why not consider creating a Feng Shui Office? With our desk booking app, deskbird provides the best tools and recommendations to manage your workspace and create an employee-centric culture. In this article, we share 9 steps to create Feng Shui at work and build an atmosphere that fosters inspiration and productivity.
Step 1: Take the power position into account
The position of your desk is a very important aspect of Feng Shui. While Feng Shui recommendations may not be easy to apply to coworking spaces or collaboration areas, they are to individual office spaces. Also called the “command position”, the power position is described as the spot where your desk should stand. First, according to Feng Shui, your workstation should inspire you and help you avoid distractions.
Facing the wall is not a good idea. You will definitely avoid being distracted, however, not seeing who enters your office can create anxiety and disturb you even more. The best spot is at the back of the room, facing the entrance door.
Tips: in a shared office, optimise the layout by turning working areas towards the main entrance of the room. Mirrors can also help implement this.
Step 2: Choose a comfortable chair and prioritise strong backing
There is nothing worse than sitting in a painful chair all day. It definitely doesn’t help focus and productivity. You should therefore choose comfortable seating for your employees and if possible, chairs with a high back.
This is recommended by Feng Shui as it is seen as a means of support and protection. If changing all the chairs in the office is not possible, having seating options that are placed against a wall provides a similar effect. Strong backing is one of the core rules of Feng Shui.
Sharp angles are not recommended as they are seen as “cutting” the harmony and the energy of the room. They are also called “poison arrows” in this Chinese design concept. If you can, try to avoid them when creating a Feng Shui office for your employees.
For example, prioritise furniture with round angles and shapes. If there are any sharp objects in the room, place them in a spot where they are not facing your team members while they are working. Last but not least, in case there are any sharp wall corners, you can decorate them or add some plants in front of them.
Step 4: Bring nature inside your workspace
The presence of nature is one of the main components of Feng Shui. Adding a little water fountain and some plants to your workplace will help you to include two of the five elements of Feng Shui (wood, water, wind, metal and fire). While wood brings energy and growth, water symbolises flow and serenity, and abundance. Plants also help provide better air quality in the room.
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Step 5: Decorate your Feng Shui office with artwork
First, artwork helps you create a specific vibe in your office space. As mentioned, traditional workspaces are disappearing and workplaces are becoming environments where employees feel good and comfortable. They are places where employees enjoy spending time and that fosters well-being, creativity and productivity.
Second, in terms of atmosphere, pieces of art can help you bring the other elements into your Feng Shui office. For example, ceramic pots can be associated with the earth element which symbolises stability and self-care.
Step 6: Make the right choice of colours and materials
Orientation, shapes, materials and colours are the core components of good Feng Shui. Colors and materials are crucial because they bring different types of energy to a room or work area. You can take this information into consideration when choosing these aspects for your building office layout.
Make them match with the energy you wish to trigger. For example, a brown wood desk is a symbol of stability (earth element). A glass desk, however, is seen as fragile.
➡️ Is your employees’ well-being your main focus? Discover why it should be in our article about the employee-centric approach.
Step 7: Focus on natural light for a good Feng Shui at work
Facing a window is not recommended. The first reason is that, according to the Feng Shui at work guidelines, it is better to face the entrance door. The second reason is that some people can get easily distracted by what’s happening outside. However, it is really important to place your workers' desks close to the windows if you can.
Why is this key from a Feng Shui point of view? In opposition to natural light, artificial light tends to create fatigue and stress. Therefore, if your office layout allows it, let your employees enjoy the benefits of natural light by placing their workstations as close to the windows as possible.
Step 8: Declutter as much as you can
Your desk and surroundings also foster a calm mindset and productivity. In order to do so, many studies show that avoiding clutter lowers stress, brings serenity, helps you focus and creates greater control.
Cleaning your house is clearing your mind and similarly, decluttering your office has the same effect. It is also a great for recentering and concentrating on your priorities. According to an article published by HeadSpace about the effect of clear space on our minds, having a clean and tidy space can help set up an environment that enhances a calm mind, creativity, and productivity. So, avoid clutter, and share this tip with your team members too!
Step 9: Create natural scents
Scent can be a great stimulus to create a positive atmosphere and trigger certain emotions. For example, it can help your employees relax and focus more. Some essential oils that can be beneficial for a workspace include lavender, citrus and eucalyptus oils. However, to implement this Feng Shui trick, it is really important to be mindful. Make sure everybody agrees and is comfortable with it.
Some people may have allergies while others may simply not like those smells and be disturbed by them. You would then end up with the opposite effect. As usual, be employee-focused and include them in the process to know if it could actually help them and if they wish to try.
In summary, if you are paying attention to the new ways of working, implementing Feng Shui at work can support you in adapting to the recent work trends. As creating a Feng Shui office can help you build real positive energy and atmosphere, it is a solution to focus more on how your employees feel when on-site. Of course, many other aspects need to be taken into account to match the requirements of modern work. For example, providing a better work-life balance with flexible schedules and hybrid opportunities. The deskbird team can support you with these new concepts that are driving the future of work.
Get in touch to request a demo and discover more about our services and our people-centric features!
Paulyne is a hybrid work specialist, who writes about sustainability, flexible work models and employee experience.