Feng shui, pronounced ‘fung shway’, is an ancient art that has been practiced in Chinese traditions for many, many centuries. Chinese tradition believes that certain placement of objects, whether it be at home, or the work place will have particularly positive or negative effects on your fortune. The balance created from positive placement of objects is called ‘chi’, and chi is the energy that flows through our universe. Feng shui translates to ‘wind and water’, and it is believed that chi flows through the nature of our world through wind and water and out into the universe.
You may be wondering what this has to do with business. Well, as you may know, many people practice feng shui throughout their homes as they believe that the positive balance created brings good fortune to their well-being, health and happiness, in actual fact this same practice is now being put into place throughout people’s offices, places of work and businesses all over the world. In fact in China, there is so much faith that feng shui can increase positive energy and bring good fortune to their businesses, that many Chinese architects and businessmen have designed entire buildings based on good feng shui practice.
Of course you may believe that where you stick that pot plant your secret santa bought you for Christmas will have little to do with your annual turnover, but you might just be surprised! So if you’re a little curious as to what feng shui could bring to your business, read on for a few tips on how to promote positive energy and chi in the workplace, and if not – at least you’ve had a bit of a tidy up.
The first step to practicing feng shui in the workplace is de-cluttering, and this means particularly your desk. The idea is that if your desk is cluttered and covered in unnecessary rubbish, there is no way that chi can flow through your work space. By establishing order, you are encouraging work performance and business wealth, so remove anything you don’t use or don’t need, and leave the bare essentials on your desk that you know you will use daily. If you are working on a particular project, leave only the documents and files you need for that project on your desk, and file everything else unnecessary away. The positive energy will focus on that one project you are focusing on, there is no disturbance and no other outlets for the energy to disperse.
Once you’re desk is in order, you need to focus on the energy that is within your office. The best placement for your desk is with your back to a wall. Sitting with your back to a door or window is thought to invite negative chi, or sha chi, into the room. Sitting with your back to the wall at your desk, with as much view of the room as possible gives you an open perspective of your work space and increases an open space for positive energy to flow through, and is increased if you also have a view through a window too.
Adding live plants and flowers to the workplace also encourages chi, not only because they make the office look nicer, but because they improve our air quality and help unite us with the nature we can’t be at one with when we are indoors. In feng shui, the color green is also thought to encourage personal and business growth, so greenery in the office is full of positive potential. Of course it’s important that these plants and flowers are kept healthy and nourished. Dead plants and flowers in the workplace is almost definitely negative chi, so remember to water it, and if you really can’t be trusted then a fake one will do.
One of the most powerful symbols in feng shui is water, and it’s the symbol of money. Flowing water in the workplace symbolizes the flow of wealth, but the energy provided through water is also extremely beneficial to your health and prosperity. Small water features and fountains are a good way to bring the flow of water into the workplace but if that’s not feasible then a small fish tank will bring the same energy. Goldfish are also a Chinese symbol for wealth and are considered lucky too. Again, if this isn’t feasible then artworks depicting the flow of water will also provide positive energy in this area.