Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy that focuses on balancing the elements of a space and creating an environment where energy, or “chi”, flows through a dwelling and has a spiritual effect on the inhabitants, bringing a sense of calm and harmony. There are several design choices that reflect Feng Shui principles. Managers looking to switch things up in their offices should consider implementing Feng Shui elements to improve the overall layout and resulting energy of their workplace.
Start by considering how you can introduce the five elements of Feng Shui—wood, fire, earth, metal and water—into your space. Incorporating moving water into the workplace helps add a natural component to a room and is said to pool positive energy that ultimately brings success. Managers can incorporate a fountain in their workplace to improve wellness and promote biophilic design. Fountains that are placed in northern facing portions of the room are said to improve prosperity—entrances and exits are also important areas to consider when positioning water elements.
Entrances are considered important in Feng Shui, since the energy of a room is immediately affected when someone enters a space.
Managers should use entrances to make strong first impressions and set the mood of a space early.
The first step is to keep the entrance area clean and vibrant. Adding pieces like sculptures or plants can also help to enforce a great first impression when staff and visitors walk through the door.
De-cluttering is not directly included in the ancient principles of Feng Shui, but it is often mentioned due to its effect on energy within a space. Clutter in the office can negatively impact your staff’s energy and workflow and impede performance. On the other hand, having a clean, clear desk can help employees stay focused on the tasks at hand. Keeping the office clutter-free promotes productivity, ensures the space is presentable to clients and comes with the added benefit of freeing up more usable space in the office.
Kitchens hold special importance in the practice of Feng Shui, alongside bedrooms and entrances. Traditionally, they represent a place of nourishment and family. In an office setting, they are important because they offer employees a space to relax, regenerate and feed their mind. In Feng Shui, kitchens are ideally placed away from main entrances and bathrooms to promote good “chi”. Changing the positioning of the kitchen in your office space may not be possible—but managers can use strategically placed furniture, greenery or art to liven up break areas.
The placement of desks in a space can have a large effect on your staff’s work output. The arrangement can affect everything from exposure to natural light to a staff member’s perspective on the whole office. Feng Shui practices recommend placing desks in positions that face the entry point of the room. Placing staff in front of walls or dividers can hinder creativity and block inspiration. Instead, placing desks so staff members have a wide view of the room with their backs facing a wall can improve a sense of trust in the space. This is considered the “command position” that allows a person to feel a sense of control over their own environment.
Feng Shui principles are not direct office design guidelines. Rather, the ancient philosophy can help balance the energies of a room. Managers interested in implementing Feng Shui at their office should take the time to understand the system of values before making major changes.
If you’re interested in rearranging your office space, but don’t know where to start, consider using Officespace’s Space Management software.
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