by CareerActually contributor, Peter Luscombe

Do you feel a bit stale and flat at work sometimes? You might even feel you’re stagnating. Adopting the principles of Feng Shui  (pronounced fung shway) can re-energize and balance your life in the work space you call – my office.

The basics of Feng Shui

The Chinese characters Feng Shui translate into Wind and Water. Wind and Water are natural energy forces. Both flow creating vitality, harmony and balance. Everything around us, including ourselves, consists of energy. The Chinese call such energy – Chi.

feng shui

Feng Shui  is a system of balancing our physical environment to promote harmony and a sense of well-being. This particularly applies to your work space where lay out and positioning can promote a better flow of energy so you’re more productive, feel more in control and ‘freed up’ during the day. Maybe your work Chi is blocked? Change the interior design of your office to a Feng Shui office layout and let the Chi flow.

Feng Shui Desk Placement – a starting point

Where you sit during the day has an influence on your work productivity and workplace relationships.

Move your desk into a “command/power position” in your office. Here’s how you do it:

1.  Position your desk so that you are facing the door and there is a wall behind you. Do not place it directly in front of the door because this places you directly in the path of Sha, also known as bad Chi, which is  negative, a drain on you, stagnant energy.

power desk

2. If you cannot change the position of your desk, place a plant either on the floor by your desk or a smaller plant on top of your desk. This will help to block the Sha from reaching you and your work.

plant3.  Hang a picture of a landscape on the wall behind you. This will give you the supportive Chi you need to be more productive and successful at work. Alternatively, a scene that relaxes or that’s just aesthetically pleasing.


Next, get organised and de-clutter.

This is an absolute must. A cluttered desk means a cluttered mind. Clutter also blocks the flow of positive Chi.

1.  Clear everything off your desk that you do not use regularly or do not need

2.  Clean out your filing cabinet. Throw away any paperwork that you do not need or is considered useless

3.  File away paperwork you still need. Storing unneeded paperwork creates clutter.

4.  Place all sharp objects in desk drawers. Some common examples: sharpened pencils, scissors, staple removers and if you have a cactus in your office, take it out. Cacti do not promote the flow of positive Chi because they are sharp and pointed plants.

Personalize your work space with affirmations and belongings

Every object in your office has an influence on you — the renowned psychologist Carl Jung called this numinosity. Make sure your office is having a positive and uplifting effect on you!

Include  items that have personal meaning. Personalize your blank wall with pieces of artwork that you absolutely adore or place a picture of your loved ones on your desk. These items promote positive feelings, and therefore, promote positive Chi.

Affirmations can be anything that has meaning and value to you. For instance, frame a favourite motivational quote. Most anything applies. Think of Einstein, Buddha, what your mother said to you that resonated, think of that ‘ah ha! moment’ which now guides you onwards. Here are two examples from e.e .cummings to get you started. The first is great if you are just beginning your career or are questioning your career choices.

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

“To be nobody but yourself in a world that is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human can fight; and never stop fighting.” 

Finally, avoid overdoing matters.

The way of Feng Shui is about balance, harmony and vitality. Having too much or too little of any one-type of item is counter-productiveFeng Shui is all about balance.

Good luck!