Feng Shui is the Chinese philosophy that seeks to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environments.
The workplace environment greatly affects worker productivity, wellbeing, and creativity–it’s one of the reasons why workplace design is currently experiencing the metamorphosis it’s going through today.
Surprisingly, not many workspace providers are looking at feng shui to draw design inspiration for their spaces. Productivity, wellbeing, and creativity are all qualities that feng shui attempts to harmonize and nurture; which is why some designers incorporate feng shui elements into the spaces they create and put together.
Though much has been researched and analyzed regarding feng shui in the conventional workplace, there isn’t enough information of how feng shui elements and principles can be incorporated into flexible work environments like coworking and business centers.
GetVoIP, a cloud communication advisor, has put together the complete guide to Office Feng Shui. We’ve outlined it below to help you get a jump start, and we’ve included a detailed infographic on the next page.
Why feng shui matters
The environment around you in the workplace subtly influences how you feel and think throughout the day. A poorly designed workspace can be a huge hindrance; it can feel cramped and stifling, having a negative impact on energy, clarity and productivity.
Feng shui aims to establish order and harmony in your environment in such a way that this harmony is positively reflected in your mind and body.
Implementing feng shui
A lot of progress has been made in recent decades on feng shui in the workplace, ranging from making simple changes to your desk to enacting widespread changes in the workplace as a whole.
In coworking and business centers members might be restricted on how much they can influence the wider and communal environments. However, this does not prevent them from incorporating feng shui ideas into their private offices, dedicated desk space, or other shared workstations.
Workspace operators can contribute to this by informing themselves on feng shui and how members can use it to be their most productive and creative selves.
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One of the dominant ideas in feng shui is eliminating all clutter and excessive objects, as these can cause the mind to feel cluttered too. A clear desk space is vital and can be easily achieved; feng shui advises that 50% of desk space should be clear, meaning you should only have the very essentials with you on your desk at all times.
In the modern era where most employees are working on computers, it’s important to keep wires out of sight to successfully maintain order and harmony. One way to achieve this is by feeding your wires through a hole in the desk, or simply around the back of the desk with cable ties.
Structuring the environment
Aim to always keep chairs facing towards the door; in feng shui this signifies being open to new possibilities.
Additionally, you place a small barrier (such as a plant or short dividing panel) in open and shared desks. Direct face-to-face arrangements can cause lack of focus and a small barrier can help your members maintain peace and privacy without withdrawing too much from the shared environment.
Ordering your day
Feng shui goes beyond bringing harmony to the surroundings, it also aims to establish stability and serenity in each individual’s personal and professional lives. A key tenet of feng shui thought is to avoid being overburdened by trying to juggle too many tasks at once.
In this aspect, feng shui thought recommends compartmentalizing tasks each day, rather than attempting to get to them all at once. This means setting a time to do paperwork, another time to have meetings, another one for creative work, etc.
This last piece of advice is of particular importance for workspace managers, as they are constantly drawn into the various activities and tasks that require the upkeep of a coworking or business center.