Why the Office Workplace Needs Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is a philosophy about harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment. An office workplace is an ideal environment to apply Feng Shui principles since the office is simply a collection of people that need to work together. Furthermore, many businesses invest significant capital into their employees and workplace. Employees spend an equal if not larger amount of their waking hours in their workplace as opposed to their home. This makes it vital that a workplace be positive, inviting and comforting while generating a sense of well being.
As rents are rising and the footprint of space per worker diminishes, designing an office around Feng Shui principles becomes more critical to business operations. The average amount of space per office worker in North America dropped to 176 square feet in 2012, from 225 in 2010, according to CoreNet Global, a commercial real estate association. When cramming more people into less space, the office environment is more susceptible to imbalance.
Key Benefits of Feng Shui in Business
Often times people confuse Feng Shui with over accessorized or superficial devices that often detract from a design. When done right, it actually should not be immediately detectable but work at a deeper more subliminal level. When you walk into an office designed with Feng Shui, you should not notice it. But the benefits are measurable and undeniable. The primary benefits of Feng Shui when done right are actually quite practical and essential for any business:
- Enhance Business Identity
- Promote Employee Happiness
- Customize Space Optimization
Enhance Business Identity
Every business wants to attract new clients and customers while retaining existing ones. Reviewing a business identity from a Feng Shui perspective can help enhance the identity of a business, promote reputation, encourage communication, and increase brand recognition and customer loyalty.
Promote Employee Happiness
For every business, their assets walk out the door every day. Employee retention and recruitment are paramount to business growth. Reviewing the Feng Shui aspects of an office workplace can improve health, relationships and prosperity of both the employees and business. Measurable benefits include productivity and staff satisfaction.
Customize Space Optimization
Every business is unique in their culture, operations and work processes. The workplace should be customized to the business and both complement and balance the unique attributes of the business. The overarching theme of Feng Shui is design in harmony with its environment. Balance can be achieved through flow, placement, aesthetics and materials. The result is a practical, efficient and straightforward space that best represents the business.
Designing Feng Shui to Work Discretely
Now that you realize the benefits of achieving and maintaining harmony with our workplace environment, putting Feng Shui to practice is actually quite simple and logical:
- Know your Productive Sectors and Challenging Sectors
- First Impressions, the Mouth of Qi and Ming Tang
- Qi Flow and Containment
- Commanding Position
- Business Support (Arm Chair)
Know your Productive Sectors and Challenging Sectors
Every building and workplace has both good and challenging sectors. Every individual also has sectors which supports or challenges you. Placement and spatial recommendations can draw out the resources of a person needed in order to achieve the success they desire in life. By matching the productive workplace sectors with productive individual sectors of key business leaders, you can utilize the most productive sector.
First Impressions, the Mouth of Qi and Ming Tang
The entrance to your office is a key component of Feng Shui because it is what allows energy (Qi) to flow freely into and out of your space. Since the space is a transition from outside to the inside, it should act as a buffer or decompression zone that allows an individual to prepare themselves for the change in environment. Therefore, it is important that this space is calming and free from clutter with clear direction about where to go next.
Qi Flow and Containment
Qi is the discrete force at work that makes Feng Shui come to life. There is both positive and negative Qi. Once you’ve attracted energy into your workplace, the key is to contain it, while blocking out potential negative Qi. Start by looking at the current flow of the workplace, particularly the placement of open space, enclosed space, common space, public and private space, transitional space, and employees and teams. Qi flow and containment solutions can be as simple as putting up or removing a wall, rotating desks, relocating people and modifying furniture.
Containment of Qi is most important from the commanding position. The leader(s) of the business should be positioned where they can leverage the energy contained, allowing them to be in complete control of the operation. Poor placement can potentially isolate a leader from a team. Good placement can integrate a leader within a team and improve communication and workflow.
Business Support (Arm Chair)
Ever feel comfortable and secure when you relax on a lounge chair? They are designed to feel comfortable by providing support to your body with a seat, back and arms. The same principles apply to Feng Shui: the arm chairs concept reinforces the importance of the commanding position and Qi flow and containment. The goal is to create a layering of arm chairs such that a leader, team and workspace is able to balance and contain the energy flow.
Feng Shui comes in many forms, sizes and interpretations. There are many practical aspects that can be easily implemented. For a business, customization of Feng Shui design can maximize the potential of success. Consider engaging an experienced architectural firm with a Feng Shui practitioner for your new construction or renovation design.
Dennis Wong is the founder of Aetypic and is a business entrepreneur in the architecture, engineering and real estate industry. After starting his career in construction management, Dennis found a deep passion for integrative design, interactive communities, and re-envisioning underutilized space. His thriving business is an example of best practice using Feng Shui principles and design.
Katie Tse is the founder of Qi Advisors and is a Feng Shui Advisor providing consultation services to executives, architects, contractors, traditional healers, spas and business owners. Started her career as an engineer in the Silicon Valley, then as a business professional, Katie followed her passion for helping people and obtained her profession certification as a Feng Shui practitioner.