Take control at work by using our step-by-step guide to the right feng shui for your office. Helen Oon offers tips and advice to make the most of your opportunities in the workplace
The Chinese often referred to Wealth Luck as success in business. The office where you work is instrumental in determining your success or failure. An auspicious office is conducive to increasing sales and productivity in that it creates an ambience for better health and motivation for the occupants. For this particular exercise, we will examine the layout of an individual’s office as opposed to an office building.
Shape of Office
Choose a regular shaped office space for the accumulation of ch’i in the room and to ensure that the most important aspects of the Eight Aspirations are present. If you happen to occupy an irregular make it regular. Minor missing areas which make up less than 10 per cent of the room are not harmful. A person occupying an irregular shaped office could face obstacles in their career or they may experience difficulty in exerting authority over staff or colleagues if the relevant parts of the office are missing. Sharp edges from the ‘missing’ corners could emanate ‘poison arrows’ at the adjacent desks.
If you are the head of the company, make sure your office is located in an auspicious location in the building, which means well protected and a considerable distance from the main entrance. You can also use the Flying Star method to determine the best area (check with an authentic Chinese feng shui consultant on the Flying Star School). Avoid having an office near the toilets, kitchen area or directly opposite the lift.
The most important aspect of the office is the site of the desk. Calculate your Best Directions for positioning your desk and sitting position. This is where your energy fields are that will exert an influence over your personal well-being. Position your desk to face your sheng ch’i or Prosperity Direction wherever possible, based on your kua number (see page 81). If the desk cannot be adjusted, orientate your chair when you work, perhaps at the key board or answering the telephone, to tap in any of your four auspicious directions.
Make sure your desk is not facing the door directly, adjust it to face diagonally to tap into the flow of energy. Definitely do not sit with your back to the door. Try not to have a window behind you, as this indicates that your efforts at work might be sabotaged or suffer lack of support. If you have a window behind you, place an ornamental tortoise or the dragon-head turtle on the window sill to symbolise support at work.
Clear Your Desk
A cluttered desk leads to stagnant ch’i around you. It will create confusion and irritation that could lead to making mistakes in your work. So clear out the drawers and desktop. Clear a space in front of you to simulate the ‘bright hall’ effect which invites benevolent energy to accumulate. Put away files you are not working on and make sure the pile of work on the left (the dragon side) is higher than the right (the tiger side) to create a suitable balance of energy.
Feng shui tenets dictate specific dimensions for the furniture you use at work or in business. Ideally the back of the chair should measure to a height of 109cm (43in) for Prosperity and Mentor Luck at work. An ideal feng shui desk might be 152cm (60in) long, 84cm (33in) high and 89cm (35in) wide. Use a feng shui ruler to check. Sit on a chair with armrests and a high back to indicate support both for physical comfort and auspicious Luck.
The interior design of an office is instrumental in influencing the luck and energy in the room. If you have the good fortune to have a desk with the North, East or South-east in front of you, hang a waterscape picture here to enhance your Career, Health and Wealth Luck, respectively. Similarly if you have a wall behind you, hang a picture of a mountain with a gentle gradient to simulate a turtle hill (as opposed to Fire mountain with a jagged edge) to indicate solid support in your career from your colleagues.
Adjust your phone and computer to orientate so you face your sheng ch’i direction when using them. Acquire a set of triple Chinese Coins and tape them to your cash till, phone or computer to generate wealth-enhancing Luck, particularly if you are running your own business.
To get ahead in your career, activate the North corner of your office. This is the sector for Career and is ruled by the Element Water which has wealth-enhancing qualities in feng shui. If space permits, install a small water feature here like a miniature fountain to stimulate and attract benevolent ch’i to boost your career.
Beware Of ‘Poison Arrows’
Ensure your sitting position is not in the line of sharp corners from the edge of furniture or open shelves. Avoid sitting under a beam or a single protruding structure on the ceiling that will yield sha ch’i energy which may well cause headaches and lethargy. If it cannot be avoided, suspend two hollow bamboo flutes tied with a red string from the beam to disperse the suppressing energy.
Your office is your private domain and should be kept sacred – free of clutter and dirt, and should be filled with an abundance of yang energy to create an ambience which encourages you to work productively. However to strike a balance of energy, excessive sunlight in the room should be controlled with blinds. Keep your waste paper bins out of sight, and no dirty cups or ash-filled ashtrays lying around to attract yin energy. Fresh flowers or office plants placed in the South-east or East corner would help enhance Health and Wealth.
Good Fortune Symbols
Wealth-enhancing symbols are propitious for offices. Place popular good luck symbols in the office such as the three-legged toad of Wealth, Chinese calligraphy for the prosperity sign of fook either as painting or wall pendant, or use a miniature wealth ship loaded with simulated gold ingots or semi-precious stones sailing into your office to indicate Abundance and Wealth Luck. A picture of a crimson phoenix or birds with red feathers placed in the South, will activate your Fame sector promoting recognition of your achievements and contribution to the company. An ornament or picture of a galloping horse will have the same effect.