By Dr Hannah Yang
Working from home definitely has its perks. Remote work offers many the flexibility to adjust their schedules to match their lifestyles. It allows the ability to wear casual clothes, take spontaneous breaks, and set up a comfortable workspace anywhere in their house.
However, productivity levels at home can vary considerably for each individual. For some, working from home has too many distractions and can lead to reduced motivation and work output.
One challenge people often face when shifting to remote work or starting a fresh career from home is overlooking the importance of creating a space that promotes concentration. This is where the timeless teachings of Feng Shui can be invaluable.
What are the Principles of Feng Shui?
Many people have come across the term “Feng Shui” and probably have brushed it off as a design fad. However, beyond the aesthetic appeal that is synonymous with the term, Feng Shui is actually rooted in ancient Chinese principles, emphasizing a balance between individuals and their environment.
At the heart of Feng Shui is the concept of energy flow, or “chi.” The idea is simple – when energy flows in a space without obstacles, it can positively influence different aspects of a person’s life. This is why we see Feng Shui elements in so many spaces ranging from trauma therapy centers to corporate lobbies.
A key concept in Feng Shui is the Bagua, an eight-sided map used to identify the distribution of energies in a space. This map features eight distinct “guas,” each corresponding to different areas of life like your career, relationships, and well-being. Finding an equilibrium in these zones is thought to bring happiness and prosperity to those who live or work in that space.
How Feng Shui Can Be Used to Enhance Your Work-From-Home Experience
For those working from home, the design of their workspace can greatly influence productivity. Though personal preferences in designing a workspace vary, integrating Feng Shui principles can introduce additional structure and functionality into the daily grind.
Here are some simple methods to implement Feng Shui concepts in your home, improving your overall remote work experience:
Position Your Desk Correctly
Believe it or not, there is a right and wrong way to place your desk when relying on Feng Shui to guide your design choices. It all has to do with helping the user to position themselves in a “power position,” where they have a clear view of the room and door without being directly in line with it.
To do this, it’s important to eye the space you’re considering for a workspace and purchase a desk that can properly fit into that area without sacrificing the ideal positioning.
When you’re able to have a clear view of an office entryway, it provides both a sense of security and openness, which subconsciously can help with focus and productivity.
Make Smart Use of Lighting
Everyone has a unique taste when it comes to setting up their office space. However, neglecting the benefits of natural light can have repercussions. Spending extended hours under artificial lighting can affect your mood, energy, and even your eyesight.
In Feng Shui, balancing yin (relaxing) and yang (energizing) elements is key. With that in mind, consider using bulbs that mimic daylight color temperature. This can be easily achieved by using LED lights, which can be adjusted to different color temperatures. It’s also important to have layers of light in an office space. This helps to reflect natural light and avoids harsh glare from one single source.
Keep Your Area Organized
The state of your desk often mirrors aspects of your life. A tidy and well-organized desk suggests that you’re on top of your tasks and prepared for challenges. A neat workspace also helps encourage a more focused mindset. On the other hand, a chaotic and cluttered desk can increase stress and make important items hard to locate.
To incorporate Feng Shui into your organizational habits, it’s important to keep your desk as clutter-free as possible with only absolutely essential items on it and within arms reach. This helps to create a sense of calm and organization in your workspace. It’s also helpful to have designated areas for different tasks, such as a filing area, a writing area, and a computer station.
Incorporate Natural Elements Into Your Space
Along with natural light, the more natural elements you can add to your workspace, the better. This can include plants, wood furniture, and natural materials like cotton or linen for curtains or pillows. These elements help to bring a sense of balance and harmony into your space.
In Feng Shui, plants are particularly important as they represent growth and vitality. They can also improve air quality and add a touch of color to your workspace. As for furniture, try to avoid having any that have sharp edges or corners facing directly at you, as they can create negative energy in your space. Instead, opt for curved and rounded shapes which promote a more positive flow of energy in the room.
Place Mirrors Carefully
In Feng Shui, mirrors can be considered powerful tools as they represent the water element and reflect energy. However, when placed incorrectly, they are often referred to as “poison arrows” and can significantly disrupt the energy flow in a room.
Some places you’ll want to avoid hanging mirrors include behind your desk, facing your bed or directly across from a doorway. These placements can create an unsettling feeling and can be distracting. Instead, try to hang mirrors on the side of a wall or in areas where they can reflect natural light and enhance the space.
Choose a Positive Color Scheme
The colors you choose for your office are another important aspect of Feng Shui. It is believed that certain colors can evoke specific emotions and energies, so it’s essential to choose a color scheme that promotes the type of energy you want in your workspace.
Some positive colors to consider include:
- Green: symbolizes growth, balance and new beginnings
- Blue: represents calmness, tranquility and communication
- Yellow: associated with creativity, optimism and mental clarity
- Purple: embodies spirituality, wisdom and prosperity
You’ll want to avoid using too much red or black, as they can be overpowering and may create a sense of unease. Incorporating certain types of artwork can also bring in specific energies to your space. Although art therapy can be a great mood enhancer, be mindful of the colors and images you choose as they can impact your mindset and either help or hinder your productivity.
Use Feng Shui To Give Yourself More Productivity At Home
A major advantage of working from home is the liberty to design your workspace according to your preferences. It’s an opportunity to fill the space with your distinct flair and your favorite tunes. However, by weaving in Feng Shui principles, you can optimize the layout of your workspace, building a more focused and effective work environment.
A licensed Psychologist by training, Dr. Hannah Yang loves creating new possibilities in the world of mental health and wellness. Dr. Yang established Balanced Awakening in 2015 as a niche psychotherapy practice for women. As Balanced Awakening flourishes in Chicago, and soon Miami, she also loves to tap into her passion for design and Feng Shui to create fabulous environments for herself, her team, and clients.