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Feng Shui in the Workplace

written by: Sylvie Colette•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 7/20/2010

Use the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui to maximize your efforts at work. With these simple techniques you can alter the energy in your office and increase productivity and prosperity.

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    Feng Shui at Work


    The ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui has inspired numerous scholarly texts, highly complex diagrams and mysterious theories. If you are drawn to Feng Shui and are interested in how your surroundings affect you, these tips will outline some basic principles that you can put into effect immediately. Using Feng Shui in the workplace will allow energy to flow, which in turn will affect your level of productivity.

    There are many different schools of thought regarding Feng Shui. In this streamlined version, you will learn the art of placement and how to cure some common workplace problems. The fact that you have not been aware of the chi, or energy flow, of your office does not mean it hasn’t been influencing you. Just like radio waves or electricity, not knowing it’s there, doesn’t mean it won’t affect you.

    Ideal Office

    The ideal office is a room of your own with a regular shape (square or rectangle), natural lighting, a solid door you can close, and a good position for your desk. In general, you want your desk to be as far from the entrance of the room in order to have a “command" position. Do not sit in line with the door, as you will be in the path of negative energy. Seeing the door is the most important element of this power tool. Business will symbolically come to you through the door, so don’t turn your back on it.

    Do keep your back toward a corner or a wall for support. If a post protrudes from the corner or wall, correct it by covering it with a hanging plant.

    You definitely do not want to have any mirrors in your office as they can reflect negative energy from clients to other people in the room. You should always maintain control over the energy in your office.


    The best desk is solid and complete. A flimsy, weak desk will not support your career to the greatest degree possible. A wooden desk is preferable to a metal one. Problems can occur is your desktop is glass. A glass-top desk lets money drop right through, finding no solid support, in regards to energy.

    The area under the desk should be clear of all objects, including papers, books, and trash. Objects in this area can block your legs and trip up your career.

    Office Chair

    The best chair has no gap between the seat and the back of the chair. Ideally the height for the back of the chair should come to the top of your shoulders, or even better, to the top of your head.


    If you are applying Feng Shui techniques to your own business and haven’t settled on a location, here are some principles to keep in mind. Where your business is located is as important as the internal office Feng Shui.

    • When first setting up your business, choose an office of work space in a prosperous neighborhood.
    • Make sure the entrance looks inviting. A few simple cosmetic changes will have a positive affect.
    • The best site for a building is on a corner, with the entrance on a diagonal to the corner itself.

    Read on to the next page to find out how to use the Ba-Gua in your place of business.

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    Learn how the different sections of your office affect the energy in your workplace by using the Feng Shui octagon or Ba-Gua. With these tips, you can make adjustments to your business office that take full advantage of Feng Shui philosophy.
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    Using the Feng Shui Ba-Gua

    red fish 

    The Feng Shui Octagon, or Ba-Gua is an instrumental tool in doing Feng Shui analysis. It is a map that shows the energy qualities of an area. Using the octagon you divide any space into nine sections, or guas, each with its own corresponding set of influences.

    The nine sections are:

    • Helpful people: Located in the right front area of the space.
    • Career: Located in the center front.
    • Knowledge: Located in the left front.
    • Family: Located in the center left.
    • Wealth/Money: Located in the back left.
    • Fame/Reputation: Located in the back center.
    • Marriage/Partnership: Located in the back right.
    • Children: Located in the center right.
    • Health: Located in the center of the octagon.

    Ba Gua Increasing Wealth

    For a business, your main focus will be on the wealth and fame area. Stand in the doorway to your office and locate your wealth area in the upper left-hand corner of the room. Traditional Feng Shui aids to enhance this area include:

    • Place a picture of a waterfall or any other water scene on one of the walls in your wealth corner. Use an aquarium or small fountain if you prefer.
    • Place a green plant on a shelf in this corner, a jade plant with its smooth leaves is the traditional choice.
    • Other symbols of wealth include red eggs, a red envelope containing coins, a crystal on a red ribbon, a picture of red fish, a wheel or a bell, or a lotus flower.
    • Other obvious symbols of wealth would be your business or finance books, your computer, diplomas and awards. Inspirational quotes in this area also work well.
    • If you are looking to specifically increase fame, add anything red or made of wood; a conch shell representing a prosperous trip; a bell representing power; or a phoenix, rooster or peacock symbolizing good fortune.

    Continue to the next page to learn how to use the Five Elements to increase productivity and prosperity in the workplace.

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      The study of the five elements - water, earth, metal, fire, and wood - in the Chinese art of Feng Shui is an easy to understand practice that can quickly effect your prosperity in your place of business. Read on to learn how you can incorporate these teachings in the workplace.
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      The Five Elements

      Incorporating the Five Elements When incorporating Feng Shui into the workplace, there are also the Five Elements to take into account. They are the energy of wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Placing items in their correct sections of the octagon will empower the energy of that element to flow.

      The natural locations for the five elements are as follows:

      • Wood element: Center left side, Family area
      • Fire element: Center back side, Fame area
      • Earth element: Center of the space, Health area
      • Metal element: Center right side, Children area
      • Water element: Center front side, Career area

      In your workplace, applying this theory of Feng Shui will be the most accessible.

      • Focus on the area that your business needs the most help in and gradually expand to the other elements.
      • Wood is used to increase the growth, expansion and upward movement of your career. Elements of wood help you to reach higher, grow into new areas and put down solid roots while breaking through obstacles. To enhance your wood energy, place any of these items in wood's natural location, the center left side of your workplace; a lively green plant, any object of art containing the colors green or blue, or a rectangular object like a cabinet or stereo speaker.
      • Fire provides you with energy and movement, and can help you become more active, better known, and more powerful. To enhance fire's energy in your career use candles, a bright light, a red object, or something with a pointed top.

      • Earth creates balance, peace, connection and stability. Earth cures are good if you are experiencing changes and need to feel solid and grounded. People who work on the Internet can benefit from Earth elements the most. To ground yourself, use objects like an earthen item such as pottery, a ceramic statue or smooth stone, yellow or earth colored objects, or any square or cube shaped objects.

      • Metal is the force of communication, creativity, codes and keys. Metal unlocks doors and conducts energy from one place to another. If you need to make better connections with people, definitely employ the use of metal's energy. Enhance its power by placing anything made of metal – chair, lamp or art object – in the Metal area, the center right side. You can also make use of the color white, or circular objects.

      • Water is separated into two types, moving and still. Moving water brings money and people, making it a prime choice for any business. Still water improves depth, wisdom and clarity. To improve moving water, two great cures include hanging a fountain in the natural location of water, the center front, or hanging a photo or painting of a waterfall, river or ocean. For either type of water energy, use the color black or midnight blue and items with a wavy shape.

      Working from home

      Aside from the above ideas, other considerations to take into account when working from home include:

      • Separate your workspace from your living area in a different room. If that’s not an option, try to set it apart with a screen or large plant.

      • Take a walk before work and after work to separate the business and the personal aspects of your life, affording you the time to clear your mind before entering the area.

      • Leave space between your furniture and the walls – at least a 7-9 inch gap according to suggestions from Feng Shui experts.

      • The main key in office Feng Shui is to keep your workspace clutter free so as to allow a free flow of energy. Hide computer cords and keep the floor space clear.

      General Feng Shui Benefits

      Feng Shui will make you more conscious of how your environment affects you. Taking the time to consciously look around your workplace will help you stay focused. Eliminating clutter and taking care of the beauty of the office will help you reduce stress, which in turn will help you think more clearly and be more productive.