Everything Zen: Feng Shui for Your Remote Workplace

Is your home office a sea of tranquility, or a cluttered mess? Use these feng shui techniques to balance the energy in your space -- and increase your productivity:

Familiarize Yourself with Feng Shui

Feng Shui, which means "wind" and "water," is the Chinese art of placement. The way objects are arranged determines the flow of energy -- or "chi" -- in a room. Chi should be balanced, so that negative energy can be counteracted by positive energy. When you apply feng shui to your workspace, you can bring positive energy and increased productivity into your day.

Declutter Your Desk

Organization is essential to productivity, especially if you work in a small, windowless office or a cubicle. When your space is messy, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, distracted, and stressed.

  • Be sure that every paper, folder, pen, stapler, etc., has its own place.
  • Don't let things pile up, and when you use something, immediately put it back in its designated place.
  • Develop or purchase an organizational system to keep your desk free of loose papers, and don"t allow dirty lunch utensils or coffee mugs to sit out on your desk.
  • When you're finished eating or drinking, wash your dishes and tuck them away in a desk drawer.

Position Your Desk Properly (If Possible)

The ideal feng shui position for a desk is one in which you can view as much of your office as possible, with your back towards a wall. This is known as a "commanding position," which feng shui practitioners believe attracts strong and powerful energy. You should be able to clearly see a window and a door (if possible) but never be in direct line with the door, nor should your back be towards the door.

If your back must face the door, try to develop a way to see the reflection of the doorway, so that you can have a view of what is going on behind your back. Diagonal desk placement is optimal for feng shui.

Improve Your Lighting

If your office does not have a window to let in natural light, you'll want to do all you can to improve the lighting quality of your space. Overhead florescent lighting is very harsh and can sap your energy throughout the day, so try one of these alternatives:

  • Use a soft lamp to instead of your desk-issue fluorescent light.
  • If possible, use a lamp with a dimmer switch or purchase a three-way bulb so that you can adjust lighting throughout the day.
  • Look for brightly colored artwork to help lighten the space.

Add Flowers and Plants

Live plants help detoxify the environment while adding color and connecting you to the outdoors. In order to bring in positive energy, plants must be alive and thriving. If one of your plants is dying, replace it with a new one. For those folks who don't have a green thumb, a silk plant is better than nothing. Don't go overboard, as too many plants can create clutter, and can be stressful to care for.

Invite Happiness In

Look around your office or house. Do you have any photographs that remind you of happy times? They should be brightly colored and make you smile when you think of the day the picture was taken. Inviting happiness into your workspace helps create a positive energy flow. Again, don't go overboard to the point where you create clutter.

Include Water

In Feng Shui, water is the most powerful symbol of money, which is a driving motivator for all of us as we work. The water should be fresh, clean, and free-flowing in order to create positive energy. There are many small, desktop fountains on the market that are specifically designed for workplace feng shui. If your space is too small for a fountain, look for a small photo or piece of art that depicts water. You can also use a noise machine to mimic the sound of flowing water.

Do What You Can

It can be challenging to feng shui your space if you work in a small office. There isn"t much you can do about the arrangement of your desk, the level of lighting, or the existence of windows in those cases. Even if your options are limited, however, you can improve energy flow by decluttering and adding small elements to your space that promote positive energy flow.

Take the steps that your space allow in order to create an environment where positivity and productivity can flow.