Guest Author - Carol M. Olmstead
Whether you work in the spare bedroom, the basement, or a corner of your dining room, if you work from home, a few Feng Shui home office adjustments can improve your career success, build your business, and increase job satisfaction. Feng Shui considerations become especially important when a home and workplace are linked because experiences at work can’t be isolated from your experiences at home. Many Feng Shui home office adjustments are inexpensive, involving simple actions such as re-arranging furniture, using color and texture, adding personal items, correcting the lighting, and reducing clutter.
Feng Shui, pronounced fung shway, is the art and science of arranging your surroundings in harmony and balance. Our surroundings have a powerful effect on what we attract into our lives. When the energy around us, called chi, is blocked or unbalanced, our relationships, prosperity, and family harmony can be profoundly affected. This is especially important for a home office or home-based business.
When setting up a home office, the first Feng Shui consideration is which room or area of your home to use. If at all possible, avoid locating your office in the kitchen, where it could symbolically interfere your health, or in the bedroom, which could interfere with your love and relationships.
The second Feng Shui consideration is where to locate your desk. The ideal location for your desk or work surface is in the upper left hand corner of the room, facing the entrance to the room on a diagonal. This is known as the power position. Also, try to avoid sitting directly across from the door or with your back to the door.
Here are some typical Feng Shui home office adjustments that can be made to enhance any space:
Problem: You don’t have a separate room to use for your home office.
Feng Shui Adjustment: Choose a separate, well-lit room with a pleasant view for your office. If your work needs to share space in another room, contain your work area in an armoire or similar furniture system where you can “close” your office at the end of the day. Or, screen off your work area with a divider, plants, or floor screen. If you work in a basement or windowless room, use ample desk and floor lighting and hang artwork that depicts nature and outdoor scenes.
Problem: Your back is to the door when you sit at your desk.
Feng Shui Adjustment: The most auspicious place for the desk is diagonally across from the door. Avoid sitting with your back to the door because you are vulnerable to being symbolically “caught off guard” by your clients or competitors. If you can’t turn your desk around, place a mirror or reflective object on your desk so you can see what is happening behind you. Try to avoid locating your desk under an exposed beam, under overhanging high shelving, or in the middle of the room far away from the walls.
Problem: There are sharp corners pointed at you when you sit at your desk.
Feng Shui Adjustment: When walls form corners that point into a room, these sharp edges are called “poison arrows" in Feng Shui. They can send negative energy that can make you feel disoriented, threatened, or insecure, and can lead to poor health. The best adjustment is to “blunt” any sharp corners by placing molding on the edge, or by placing furniture or bushy plants in front of them.
Problem: You are surrounded by electronics in your workspace.
Feng Shui Adjustment: Place a plant within 3 feet of your computer or other electronics to balance any negative effects from the electro-magnetic energy that these generate.
Problem: You are surrounded by artwork that is black and white, or has little meaning for you.
Feng Shui Adjustment: Surround yourself with art and images that represent where you want your business or career to be in the future, especially full-color images that make you feel successful, abundant, and prosperous.
Problem: Your desk is the wrong size.
Feng Shui Adjustment: A desk that is too small for the work to be done makes you feel that your ambitions and aspirations for your business are restricted. A desk that is too large makes you feel that you are not up to the challenge of the work. Choose the appropriate size work surface, and keep it clutter free.
Problem: Your desk is cluttered and your papers are scattered everywhere.
Feng Shui Adjustment: First clear the clutter, then prevent the problem from happening again by storing files in clearly labeled cabinets, boxes, or baskets. Use bright, color-coded file -- especially red and yellow -- to energize your business.
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