An optimal office workplace with Feng Shui

Julia van Ramshorst
An optimal office workplace with Feng Shui

There are many ways to make your work environment better, more pleasant and healthier.   

According to the interesting philosophy of Feng Shui, we are all surrounded by energy Qi, which gives us life force. If this energy flows optimally, without blockages and stagnation, this life force can make us function optimally. Feng Shui philosophy is more than 3000 years old and is widely used in business in Asia, in Japan, China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, among others. But it has also become increasingly popular in Western countries in recent years. Here, Feng Shui is only known as an interior application for homes. But also your company or the office where you work can benefit from Feng Shui. So what about Feng Shui in the office?  

Based on the basic principle of Feng Shui that every space radiates a certain energy or atmosphere which influences us, it is essential to create a working environment which not only benefits our well-being, but also motivates, inspires and invites us to work. You've probably experienced that just moving the furniture around can make a big difference! You can also change colours, add or remove accessories or choose different lighting. You will notice that the whole atmosphere of a room changes. It suddenly feels different! This is exactly the interesting thing about Feng Shui for the office. The way this space affects you is then sometimes completely changed!   

So the concept of Feng Shui involves the use of colours, materials and the layout of a space that follows a natural flow of energy Qi to create balance, stability and a pleasant atmosphere.  

Important tips:   

1. Assess the space  

When you enter an office space, first look at the layout. Is there even a distribution of furniture, desks and cabinets on both sides of the room? Are there desks only on one side of the wall? And what is in the middle?  How balanced does the room feel?    

2. Create a good personal workspace  

The right work environment has good desks and comfortable chairs. Where and how your desk is positioned is very important. Sitting with a solid wall behind you - or a very solid chair back - is best.  Your back is covered and you have control over the space. This is called a "commanding position" or power position in Feng Shui. It gives you strength, support and control over space. In office psychology, for example, it is also known that during meetings you can choose a "strong" position at the conference table which makes you feel more secure and allows you to exert more influence on the discussions. So why not choose a place in the office that gives you that extra support?   

In office gardens I sometimes see workplaces that are "too vulnerable". These are workplaces where you sit with your back to an open space or have a door behind you. Behind your back, a lot of things happen. People walk past, conversations take place at the coffee machine or someone unexpectedly enters the room. You have no control over it, you unconsciously feel less safe and instinctively you are always "on your guard", and therefore tense. People who have to work in a concentrated way for months are exposed to extra stress. That is why a clear view of the door (and anyone approaching it) is also very important.   

Also look carefully at the material on the work desk. Never opt for a glass desk! A glass desk gives no sense of stability. Wooden desks are fine and very creative. In Feng Shui, the wooden element carries a more creative and conversational energy.   

In addition to space and materials, a tidy office is also very important. A clean and tidy office makes working more fun and more efficient. In Feng Shui, all non-essential things around your desk take away your focus, attention and concentration. This also applies to the drawers you rarely open. Clutter (even that which is tucked away) creates stagnation. The energy cannot flow freely and you feel stuck. Spending a little time each day tidying up your workspace can help enormously for clarity, lucidity and a smoother working day.   

3. Provide clean air   

Clean air is necessary for our brain to function properly. Even if you're incredibly motivated and looking forward to your day, if there's not enough oxygen you won't be able to concentrate and work efficiently. Stagnant air can make you feel exhausted and unmotivated. Properly working ventilation systems, a small fan, or even a small desk fountain can work wonders! 

4. Bring greenery into the office  

Adding plants is another great way to purify and freshen up the air. Plants themselves are also a symbol of creativity and growth. Special air-purifying plants can provide good Feng Shui energy. An example of a beautiful natural product is the moss wall. A moss wall in the office creates a calm and pleasant atmosphere. It also ensures pleasant acoustics and a clean office environment! Firstly, it absorbs noise from the environment and secondly, it increases air humidity, which is often too low in the office. Relative humidity that is too low (below 30 %) is not good for the health of employees.

5. Check your lighting   

Aim for as much natural light as possible in the office and do your best to go outside during your break to get some fresh air. In the winter months this is of course a little tricky. Apart from the fact that it is often not very nice weather to walk outside, it gets dark quite quickly. The most modern and effective solution is dynamic lighting. This ensures that the feeling of natural daylight is maintained as far as possible. Therefore, if you have the opportunity to invest in good lighting, do so. It is often underestimated how important this is. As has been mentioned, natural daylight is best. Fluorescent lamps, for example, can make us feel tired or dull, which is exactly what people with migraine can experience.   

6. Use images and posters in the office  

As already mentioned, everything around you in the office can subconsciously influence you. It can motivate you, increase your performance and give you inspiration. So choose consciously and carefully where and what you hang on the walls. Since your office is a place to work, it's useful to keep it professional. For some, an image of nature or beautiful mountains can be inspiring, for others it's more of a clean design. Fun pictures, inspirational quotes, mood boards, posters or photo wallpaper made from your own products can transform a room into a beautiful and professional workplace with an atmosphere that makes you happy.  

7. Ensure good acoustics   

In open-plan offices, the noise from computers and colleagues' conversations can cause great frustration, resulting in concentration problems, restlessness and headaches. Not every organisation is suitable for working in an open-plan office. We can keep noise pollution to a minimum by installing acoustic partitions, wall decorations or acoustic benches. Certain types of flooring, curtains and plants also help reduce noise.  

Keep up the good vibes   

Above we gave tips on how to furnish an office. But the atmosphere is also influenced by the people who are there and the relationships between them. So your enthusiasm, success and good cooperation also contribute to a positive and good energy on the shop floor. You can feel that immediately when you enter the room. A negative and emotionally charged atmosphere can also be felt immediately. So create good vibes in the office. Pay attention to openness, transparency, mutual relationships and activities between employees.