Free Feng Shui Tips: Office Arrangement Advice

Large or small, your office can become a more pleasant and profitable space if you employ fundamental common-sense feng shui principles.

One American bank executive, asked to explain his investment in a feng shui-based redesign of his office complex, explained it simply: "Look, it's three thousand years of common sense and experience!" Feng shui principles are based on the ancient Chinese philosophy of universal interdependence, a philosophy that says interactions between humans and their environment influence each other in an endless cycle that ultimately determines destinies.

At its core, feng shui strives for a peaceful, harmonious and balanced co-existence between men, women and their surroundings. But peace and harmony may be hard to come by in the typical work day world. Is your office the least peaceful environment in which you find yourself each day?

Whether at home or in an out-of-home office, large or small, wide-open or more along the lines of a narrow closet, you can arrange your office space to achieve the positive energy flow and harmonious environment for which feng shui designs are known and practiced the world over.

Here are a few tips that work to revitalize your office the feng shui way:

1. Let there be light!

Natural light is most beloved of feng shui experts, especially window-light that also provides an outlook onto pleasant scenery. If your office offers windows, you can enhance the flow of positive energy through your space by adding mirrors that reflect the views.

Interior lights and lamps enhance the flow of ch'i throughout your space. If at all possible, don't use fluorescent lighting in your office, as its flickering and buzzing are likely to distract you. The cycle of unluckiness will flow from the distraction, which makes you less able to concentrate on your work, thus less effective, thus reducing your potential for wealth and career advancement.

2. Desks and the door

In feng shui's logical progression of influences, your desk is the single most important element in your office, just as the bed is in the bedroom and the stove is in the kitchen. It's the place where the primary purpose of the room is fulfilled, the living and achieving aspects of the room's interactions with its occupants.

Your desk should always face the door, and ideally, be placed catercorner from your office door. This provides you with a commanding view of your entire space, and enhances the ch'i that gives you command of your workplace and tasks. Through this sense of empowerment and control, you'll feel more confident and capable at work.

A desk with full view of the doorway also prevents you from being surprised or startled at your work. Unexpected interruptions bring a negative aspect to ch'i, which can lose its balance when you're startled. Not surprisingly, an unbalanced ch'i destines you to upset, anxiety, distraction and ineffectiveness. The disharmony results in lost wages, depressed career opportunities, even physical ailments. If your desk can't face the doorway, then use mirrors placed to reflect the doorway so that you'll see anyone who's planning to enter your space.

3. Dealing with small spaces

If your office space is small and cramped, remove all unessential items to open the room up and allow your desk area as much space as possible. A small office usually leaves little selection for desk placement. Place your desk as far away from the door as possible. A desk too near a door coveys a poor self-image and takes your attention from your work, causing you to be distracted by the door and preoccupied with leaving.

Have no choice but to have your desk near the door? Feng shui has some cures for unfortunate placement:

a. Block your line of vision by placing a mirror on your desk between you and the door.

b. Choose a crystal paperweight to adjust the ch'i in your small office and alter your perspective.

c. Place a living object -- consider a small, water-filled fishbowl or a living green plant -- between you and your door. Plants placed next to a doorway are a good-ch'i magnet!

4. Walls and windows

If your desk faces a wall, you'll find the flow of ch'i restricted and your work will suffer. Cure this common arrangement problem by placing a mirror on the wall. Remember that in feng shui, the larger the cure, the greater the curative benefits. While in your office, you shouldn't work with your back to a window -- an internal window, or a window facing out -- as this arrangement creates uncertainty and subtle anxiety. If you can't avoid the arrangement, then hang a piece of reflective material around the window and place a wind chime above it.

5. Creating profitable seating arrangements

Chairs and sofas in your office should be arranged to form a triangle facing your desk, turned inward to simulate the revered ba-gua shape in feng shui. Such an arrangement says clearly that your desk is the center of power in the room, enhancing your positive ch'i.

Seats that face each other slightly also improve the office's positive energy by encouraging comfortable conversation and information exchange between and among the room's inhabitants.

Don't fret if your office arrangements are out of your control. Feng shui offers different cures (eight general cures and a ninth cure personalized to the troubled situation) for design problems. Employ them to correct whatever unlucky flaw exists in your office:

1. Bright and reflective items, such as lights, mirrors and crystal balls

2. Life-giving and peaceful objects, such as water, fish, flowers and plants

3. Sounds, such as wind chimes, bells and beaded curtains

4. Objects in motion, such as small waterfalls, mobiles or anything powered by the wind

5. Heavy objects, such as boulders, rocks and fountains

6. Bamboo, especially musical flutes

7. Mechanical or electrical simulations of a desired environment, such as videotapes of a peaceful forest or audio of a gently babbling brook

8. Colors, such as yellow, green and blue, and sometimes black and red, for what they represent in the meaning of the specific environment.

The ninth feng shui cure is always specific to your unique problem, and includes things such as plants placed to conceal an offending beam, or a strong object placed above the desk of a powerful politician. Because its long history is time-tested and its principles are logical, feng shui is adaptable to any environment and any lifestyle. You can start today to make your office a more pleasant and profitable place.

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