Work can be associated with stress, constant haste and fatigue. We spend at least 40 hours a week, which makes 160 a month, in an office. If we're nervous and tense during the entire time, it will quickly impact our health. It isn't easy, or in fact possible, to distance ourselves from everyday responsibilities. So how to make our work efficient, effective and profitable while preventing it from draining the last of our strength at the same time?
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese study teaching of harmony and love. Despite appearances, it fits perfectly into current trend of caring for the environment and ecology. It is because it bases on a holistic perception of the world, coming from the assumption that everything in the world is interconnected – human, his environment, building, interior design. Feng Shui ( literally wind and water) is an exceptionally developed discipline, but it has established several basic concepts, which help in applying it in practice.
Changes, changes, changes...
It will be difficult to introduce Feng Shui principles into our office with no previous knowledge on the topic. We can seek help of qualified consultants or corresponding literature, treating on application of Feng Shui concepts in office arrangement. Even if we don't want to conduct a radical metamorphosis, just a few changes will be enough to improve the well being of people in a room. As Feng Shui says – every change is a good one.
Feng Shui experts claim, that this discipline helps in realising our dreams and objectives. It organises space, creating a perfect place for work through conscious use of colours, shapes and symbols. The energy of life – chi is the basis of Feng Shui. It is invisible, yet manifests itself through all symbols, forms, elements, shapes and leads to balance and happiness.
Yin, Yang and the five elements
Feng Shui teaches about harmony. Its quintessence is the concept of Yin and Yang – a female and male element. Yin can be associated with earth, winter, night, calm, black, shadow, softness and emotions. Yang on the other hand with sky, summer, day, light, white, heat and rationality. In order to bring harmony into a room one has to create a balance between these two elements. A work space requires stimulation of creativity through more intensive colours and appropriate shapes, for example triangular accessories.
Another important element of the Feng Shui techings is the knowledge on five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. By knowing their attributes we can notice their influence on the building and people, as well as balance the disharmony.
How does it look in practice?
It is easy to mention basic concepts of Feng Shui, but it's more difficult to find a practical application for them. Thomas Froeling and Katrin Martin, authors of ". Feng Shui. Dla początkujących i zaawansowanych" give a practical example regarding the rule of five elements. The office described by them is arranged in modern style. Walls are painted white, floor is covered with light gray tiles, decorations in black predominate. The desk and furniture are metal, while the table is made of glass. A person working in this room shows no will to work, their motivation for developing business is very small. Feng Shui says that the room lacks the element of wood, while it has metal and water in abundance. To improve the flow of energy and harmony one should bring in some plants, and replace the halogen lamp with a tall standing one, which will perfectly represent the wood element. Fire and earth are harmonized thanks to plants' shapes.
A few easy rules
In order to introduce Feng Shui concepts into the office one has to follow a few basic rules. The key thing is taking care of cleanliness, also among cables which cannot run over a table, as it leads to loss of concentration. Desk placement is incredibly important. Its back shouldn't face the doors, since it makes us feel uncertain and lack concentration. Placement with the back facing a window can also lead to distraction. Its best if it is placed with the back facing the wall, with cabinets or wall on the sides for support – it will help to feel safe. The computer should be placed in the north-western part of the desk.
The building's configuration is also important in Feng Shui principles. Natural light plays a large part. The owner's or managers' rooms shouldn't be placed at the end of a large corridor, or be separated with such a corridor, as it could lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. It's best if the room are in the shape of square or rectangle, are decorated with plants, painted in happy colours, with pictures and decorations evoking pleasant associations.
Balance is most important – there should be no lack of both light and dark colours, smooth and angular shapes, hard and soft textures. Optimistic colours, yellow and orange, have good influence on creativity, while red is associated with wealth and success – all should find a place in the office.
Applying few easy Feng Shui rules shouldn't be too difficult in any work place, but it might have a positive influence on improvement of employees' concentration and effectiveness.