One of the most important things for an office design is that it enables productivity. Designs that are congested, cluttered and inefficient do not help achieve the goals of your business. One of the ways to get an efficient design and layout for your office space is to follow the principles of Feng Shui. Feng Shui may be an ancient Chinese design technique; however it is still widely practiced today and can benefit your office space in many ways. The main purpose of a Feng Shui design style is to promote balance and harmony in the space you apply the design to. Any work place can definitely benefit from harmony and balance.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
The Feng Shui Ying Yang symbol represents the translated meaning of Feng Shui, which is “wind” and “water”. Feng Shui office designs incorporate the basic ideas of having a clutter free and organized office space, but they go beyond that and include many design factors that psychologically and metaphorically influence the people who work in the office and the clients, customers, and guests that visit it. Using Feng Shui principles of design includes incorporating the 5 elements of Feng Shui, colors, and plants into the layout map, or Baqua.
5 Feng Shui Elements
- Water: Water represents free flowing of ideas, and thus helps promote office communication. If you deal with many different people, having a small water fountain or perhaps even a fish bowl will help aid with your communication with them. If you are not able to use an actual water feature, glass can be used as a good substitute. Beware about mirrors. Even though the can represent the water element too, Feng Sui experts believe that mirrors can reflect the negative energy of others, so use caution with them and they are likely not a good thing for office spaces. In addition to glass, the colors blue or black can be used to represent water. Those colors also promote trust, wisdom, and learning. Water elements, or their representatives, should be placed in the north corner of and office, where Feng Shui experts say they can promote concentration, focus, and intelligence.
- Metal: If you are hoping for a raise or looking to close a big business deal, metal elements should be put in the western corner of the room and can be used to bring on an increase in financial success, income, or profits.Metal objects can be made of metal or just colored to represent them. Design elements made of stone, metals, or marblewill give the impression of professionalism and success.
- Earth: As with one of the meanings of “earth” this element can help you stay grounded and stable. It also is said to create grounds for stable relationships as well as job stability. Designs with earthly tones (light browns, yellows, oranges and sandy colors) will help you especially when used in the center of the office. Paintings of landscapes can represent the earth element so can ceramic or clay decorations.
- Fire: Of course, fire is the most powerful element and should be used with caution so that no one gets burned. This is true in both the literal and figurative sense with Feng Shui office designs since using actual fire elements can often be dangerous. Therefore, you can use red objects to represent the fire element and should be place in the south section of the room, office space, or building. Lamps and unique lighting can also be used to represent fire elements for the office.
- Wood: Wood elements are usually easy to incorporate into office spaces because desks and other office furniture is readily available in all different types of wood. The wood element represents loyalty and also promotes creativity and inspiration.Your wood element is best positioned in the eastern corner of your office. If you do not have actual wood furniture, you can also use brown or green colored decorations.
Feng Shui Mapping of the 5 Elements
Below is an image of a Feng Shui Baqua map that shows where the elements and coordinating colors should be located in a room or a building. A good representation of all 5 elements should always be present, but if there is any one area that you want to focus on for a special business deal, time of the year, or to help out with a weakness, that can be played up in your designs to help achieve short term goals.
Photo Credit: CarpetColorSolutions
Feng Shui and the Influence of Colors
Below is a color image that shows what colors go along with certain traits that you want to emphasize. Different characteristics might be emphasizes depending on the different goals of your company and each employee individually.
Photo Credit: CarpetColorSolutions
Feng Shui and Plants
Plants may be just one element of Feng Shui, however they can play a major role in office environments in addition to covering the natural and health aspects in Feng Shui. Plants can buffer noise in an office increasing the amount of privacy felt in open floor plans. Plants, in general are known to make people happy, although this might be intangible, the extra added health benefits of having plants in an office are not. Plants increase oxygenation and filter out impurities in the air reducing the amount of bacteria and germs that are usually present in any shared environment. Therefore, office spaces with plants statistically have fewer employees that need to take sick leave. A perfect idea if you are adding plants into your office space is to give them to your employees and even to clients as promotional gifts or business gifts, this will not only help achieve the Feng Shui goals with plants, but will lead to further satisfaction since everyone loves to receive a gift.
Reducing the Clutter and Organizing
Here are before and after images of how an office desk is organized, not just to reduce clutter, but also by implementing different Feng Shui applications.
Photo Credit: http://ergoindemand.com
Overall Benefits for Employees
Employees that are in an organized work environment feel less lethargic, more invigorated and inspired to produce efficiently. The increase in productivity also leads to an increased level of satisfaction and leads to a domino effect of positive outcomes for the employees, management, and the company as a whole. If you are unsure about implementing such an old style of design and think it might just be a bit of superstition, why not try adding just a few elements of Feng Shui at your office today and see what outcomes it produces over the next week?