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Feng Shui Office Design: Do’s and Dont’s

So it’s the peak of summer and you are sitting indoors, under fluorescent lights, the sound of the copy machine droning behind you, “NEEEEEE, NEEEEE, NEEEEE” (or whatever sound your particular model of copier makes). And you look around and ask yourself: “How would I improve this place, if I could?”

Well, you may or may not have any influence on your office design, but who cares! It’s the middle of the summer and you are sitting in an office, so let’s fantasize, shall we?!  Here are some Feng Shui Office Do’s and Don’ts. While the photos are of conference rooms, the tips can be applied to all areas of the office:

DO: BRING THE OUTDOORS IN (see photo above)

Ok, this room is over the top, but wouldn’t it be fun to sit here on a cold gray day in February? The colors and graphics allow for creative thinking, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Plants (ideally real plants, but faux if necessary) have invigorating qualities, and the color green is energizing. The oval table promotes collaboration. This is a nice environment for thinking outside the box.

DON’T: TURN YOUR EMPLOYEES INTO PRISONERS

As if the office didn’t already feel like a prison cell to many people…did they really need to place bars on the conference room windows? This design is intimidating and cold. Furthermore, the horizontal metal bars create what is called “cutting chi.” It slices the energy, which can lead to arguments. (If you work here, call me for a free consultation – you deserve it!)

DO: USE SOFT FABRICS AND TEXTURES

This helps offset the hard surfaces and harsh angles typically found in office environments. It allows people to breathe deeply, which allows for clearer thinking and better ideas. A soothing office design like this can also lead to more understanding between colleagues.

DON’T: PLACE YOUR STAFF IN A FISHBOWL

One of the key aspects of good office feng shui is ensuring that each person feels safe and secure in their environment. This means, among other things, not sitting with one’s back to the door (which creates a feeling of insecurity since they cannot see someone coming up behind them.) In this picture, everyone’s back is to the door! Over-exposure like this can lead to a feeling of guardedness, which does not lend itself to open communication or long term effectiveness. In my experience, offices that don’t give their staff adequate privacy usually suffer from high turn-over rates. Allowing people to have a little space of their own is a sign of respect that could lead to staff loyalty.

DO: LOOK TO THE HOME FOR INSPIRATION

Everyone feels good when they’re sitting on their comfy living room sofa or their favorite chair. When the lighting is soft and the temperature is just right, its easy to feel at peace.

These things can be incorporated into the office without sacrificing a professional look and feel. Think about using a standing lamp or beautiful pendant fixture, instead of the sterile office lighting, a beautiful rug instead of industrial carpet, and drapes instead of metal mini-blinds (a real feng shui no-no).

Creating an office that replicates some of the comforts of home can lead to a happier staff (who might not be so eager to bolt at 5pm, sharp).  And it tells your clients that your business is a good feeling, welcoming place…which is great feng shui for attracting wealth!

In my dream office, there would be a gorgeous fire place. What would be in your dream office? Drop me a quick comment!

1 comment

1 Devidas { 08.17.10 at 1:35 pm }

Reiko, I think my dream office would have a majestic view. I guess ideally, the view would be of a lake or ocean or river. But I'd also take a soaring view of the city. I suppose I want to feel “above it all” 🙂
– D

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