Feng Shui Your Workspace
Use design philosophy to create vibrant
and positive energy in your office space.
Feng Shui is a classical Chinese philosophy of design. In English, Feng Shui means “wind water,” which in Chinese culture are two universal forces necessary to life. What can Feng Shui do for you at work? It can help you to become more productive by reducing clutter, and it can inspire you to work towards your goals by setting positive intentions in your space. Here are some Feng Shui design techniques for setting up your work space to best serve you and your career.
Clean and De-clutter
Your Work Space
If you have piles of loose paper lying around, remember that in the age of technology most documentation can be saved electronically. Mindfully review each piece of paper and either recycle, shred, or file it to clear off your work station. An unorganized and messy space creates negative energy and is counterproductive. It can also reflect badly on you in front of your clients, co-workers, and boss.
Object Placement Matters
Each corner of your work space, whether it’s a cubicle or a corner office, has a sector representing an area of your life. The north is your career sector; the northeast is your knowledge sector; the east is your family sector; the southeast is wealth; and the center is health and overall wellbeing (see Bagua map). As you place an object in each of these sectors, be mindful of what it represents.
Hang a Mirror
A mirror can serve to reflect negative energy entering your space. It also allows you to see who is coming up behind you if you are not able to face the entrance of your work space. Being caught by surprise when someone approaches you from behind creates tension. Any mirror will do, but an eight sided mirror is optimal to represent all the universal forces.
Add a Healthy Plant
If your office or cubicle has a lot of corners or angles, use a healthy plant to round out the space. Corners and sharp angles break up the flow of a space, once again creating negative energy. Plants also serve as a natural air purifier. Just don’t forget to give them that all-important element: water!
Choose the Right Colors
When choosing colors for your office space, understand what each color represents in Feng Shui design:
- Red is a fire element and represents fame and reputation.
- Yellow is an earth element and represents unity, health of the business.
- Green is a wood element and represents growth, teamwork, new beginnings.
- Blue is a water element and represents knowledge and skill building.
- Purple is a wood element and represents prosperity.
- Gray is a metal element and represents helpful people and travel.
- White is a metal element and represents productivity, creative expression.
- Black is a water element and represents career, business journey.
- Pink is an earth element and represents primary business relationships.
To keep your space well balanced you should have representation from all five elements: earth, metal, water, wood, and fire. Depending on where you work, your space may weigh highly in one of these areas. In healthcare, we have a lot of metal in our work spaces. To incorporate the fire element, consider adding lighting to brighten dimly lit work areas. To incorporate the water element, add a small water feature in your office space. Strategic placement of a few plants (as mentioned above) covers the earth element. And a few wooden picture frames to display your family photos takes care of the wood element. These are just simple suggestions, but you get the idea.
Every object you bring into your workspace should have an intention, and each intention should be directed toward a goal you’ve set for yourself. Using Feng Shui in your work space won’t help you if you don’t know what your goals are. Create goals you can achieve. Placing coins in your wealth sector with the goal of becoming a millionaire overnight is not an achievable goal (for most of us anyway); but placing coins in your wealth sector with the goal of getting a raise at the end of the fiscal year is an obtainable goal. Seeing those coins will remind you of that goal daily.
Hale, Fill. The Practical Encyclopedia of Feng Shui. London: Anness Publishing, Ltd., 2002. Print.
Ziegler, Holly and Lawler, Jennifer. Feng Shui Your Workspace for Dummies. New York: Wiley Publishing, Inc., 2003. Print.
Bridget Toomey, CPC, CPB, CRCR, RYT-200, works for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Patient Financial Services as a revenue cycle coordinator, where she supervises staff on the physician Iowa Medicaid team. She also teaches Kundalini yoga at Heartland Yoga in Iowa City, Iowa. She is certified by the Kundalini Research Institute as a Kundalini yoga teacher and is a member of the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association. Toomey is a member of the Iowa City, Iowa, local chapter.