Designing a new office space certainly has its challenges and considerations, not to mention its practical issues such as space and proximity just to mention a few. But one key factor at the top of everyone’s mind, whether it be the designer, CEO or employee is always the task of increasing productivity. Trying to increase productivity at work is not a new concept nor is it a principle short of expert advice, just ask productivity expert David Allen (author of the 2001 book ‘Getting things done’) and he will walk you through his 10 steps to greater productivity at work. But one key element when it comes to design and productivity, particularly in Office Workstations, that many overlook is the ancient Chinese practice of Feng Shui. This ancient practice known as Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway) considers the arrangement of physical objects and their energy flows. The overall idea is depending on where objects are placed around the office work-space, home, kitchen or bedroom certain energies are created that affect your environment. Since the daily nine-to-five makes up a big part of our lives, improving the chi in the workspace by creating a comfortable space is imperative and will help you in the rest of you life. This means eliminating uncomfortable chairs, ensuring correct lighting and creating the perfect office work-space environment (wherever it may be) that creates the least amount of distractions. Thus if implemented correctly, Feng Shui can help create positive and good energy and ultimately increase productivity.
Enter the workstation Feng ShuiBasically Feng Shui isn’t just about putting in place systemised planning or bringing in a professional office interior designers to create comfort in the office work environment, but rather encompassing all these elements with a psychological component. According to expert Laura Cerrano of Feng Shui Manhattan, “Your surroundings have a deep and profound impact on your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being.”
How to Feng Shui your Office Workstation?One of the basic tools for a feng shui practitioner is the bagua map. This nine-part grid depicting the different areas of a space (home, desk, office etc) show how they correspond to the different areas in life. In order to let the energy flow, follow these basic guidelines. Orient Your Office Workstation Desk the Feng Shui Way! It makes sense that when a security guard is on duty at a concert their backs are faced towards the stage and they awkwardly face the audience watching for any intruders or misconduct. Their job is to eliminate any danger that should present itself, become aware of any danger before its too late. Now consider the situation if the security officer had their back towards the audience and kept an eye on the stage, they immediately put themselves in a vulnerable position and should something occur they would be caught off guard if anything should occur. This same principle can be applied to your Office Workstations using feng shui. The placement of your desk in your workstation environment is beneficial to your productivity levels and therefore should be facing the front door. Obviously in an office work-space environment this isn’t possible so placing a small mirror on your desk to reflect the office entrance is recommended. According to Feng Shui structuring your desk in this power position ensures you are not disturbed when clients/ employees walk into the room as well as offers protection and empowerment.
Ergonomic ChairsSelect an ergonomic chair for your office desk / workstation that is strong, comfortable and stable. A chair should support you, help instill concentration and soothe your chi. At JasonL we offer a range of entry to high end ergonomic chairs to suit not only the value conscious clients but also those that appreciate good design ensuring the perfect environment.
Desks? Done!It is often said that your desk is the best reflection of yourself and an cluttered mess on your desk creates a cluttered mind. Spend each morning and each night de-cluttering your desk to ensure a stress free environment. This means getting rid of anything that is outstanding, unfinished, rubbish and most importantly anything that is sharp. Eliminate or store sharp objects like scissors, envelope knives, staple removers etc from your desk in our JasonL Office Storage Products to ensure the flow of chi as any sharp objects prohibits this. De-cluttering and organising your office workstation can boost productivity and allows the flow of creativity so remember at least 50% of your desk should be clear at all times.
Lastly- Map it the JasonL way
Now its time to bring all these elements together. The bagua map as mentioned is the basic tool for Feng Shui and is divided into 9 sections (as seen above). This energy map demonstrates how spiritual aspects of your life correspond to physical areas and the way energy flows through them. Each square corresponds to a spiritual aspect of your life, a colour and an element.
Print out a Bagua map and place it onto your desk for better visualization. Focus on 2-3 areas, which are most important to you (these will always shift) and place items (only the decluttered ones) in each corresponding area. For example: Top left corner is the ‘Abundance and Prosperity’ square. Element: Wood, Colour: Purple (blues and reds). Anything that is associated with bringing money into your business should be placed into this area. A plant could be placed here representing the growth factor as well as extra brownie points for a purple flower. Middle Left: Family Zone, Element: Wood, Colour: Green (or black and blue) Perfect excuse for a family photo and again extra brownie points in a wooden frame.
Despite no scientific findings proving the effectiveness of feng shui directly, some research backs up the suggestion that getting a more organized office workstation can improve overall health. Thus Feng Shui rather serves as a visual reminder of the areas of life which hold value or areas for which one is looking to improve that can ultimately boost productivity.