Ideal for those looking to inject some positive energy into their office.
Whilst not wishing to generalise completely, too many office designs in the UK tend towards the haphazard and chaotic. Perhaps it’s time we cast our gazes Eastwards, to admire the sense a sense of order channelled in the workplace through a unique perspective of layout.
Yep, we’re talking about feng shui, the ancient practice which saw its beginnings in feudal China. Feng shui uses energy forces to create harmony in the individuals and objects of an interior or exterior. It’s such a powerful force, in fact, that feng shui was used to determine the skyline of Hong Kong, with reparation settlements made to residents who claim buildings or objects have caused a disruption in the harmony of objects around them.
This art isn’t the preserve of megacity planning, however. Indeed, a working sense of ‘feng shui’ in an office environment can promote efficiency, productivity and enhanced employee satisfaction. Often, if an office is haphazardly designed and chaotic in nature then its residents will too be haphazard in their output.
We are all a reflection of everything around us. As such, minimalist furniture that is built with efficiency in mind, according to design experts of Marvable, can really boost performance in your workplace. With that in mind, here are 5 key elements of a motivating workplace design, IDEAL for those looking to inject some positive energy into their office.
CREATING A SPACE THAT IS HARMONIOUS
There are many ways to create harmony in your office and nurture a more inviting space for company employees. In accordance with traditional feng shui, objects are arranged to assist and owing to the flow of energy. This involves the use of particular materials, the layout of (and respect for) space, and the channelling of specific colours to create a harmonious working environment.
For your office, the principles of feng shui can promote success and productivity in the work of your employees. Though pseudoscience to some, proponents of the philosophy believe there is a great deal of benefit to be derived here. Regardless of proof, it’s clear that an office which is aesthetically accommodating will make your workplace more efficient and fun.
There are five elements of feng shui one should consider when designing an interior.
- Fire is the most powerful element in the table of feng shui. It is passionate, vibrant, and transformative. You can incorporate fire with candles, which may seem inappropriate in the workplace, so the colour red on a few objects should suffice.
- Water is the opposite of fire and is linked to calmness and inspiration. Moreover, studies suggest that blue boosts creativity. Water is blue and can be represented by furniture or a water feature, such as a fountain installation, for instance. We’re not sure the water cooler channels this energy, though.
- Earth colours represent stability and a sense of grounding; the earth can be incorporated in carpets, old books, or things that are brown or tan.
- Metal is the universal elemental unifier. Metal brings everything together; use items grey, silver, or white in colour.
- Wood has been said to harness the power of creativity and represents growth, birth, strength, flexibility, and intuition; it’s extremely easy to incorporate with indoor plants, wood furniture, or even cotton or other natural fabrics.
According to the principles of feng shui, you should place furniture so that they are in power positions; this is the furthest spot from the door and the window. What’s more, you should always have your desk arranged so you can see the door when sitting down.
Feng shui places great emphasis on a strong foundation and backing. As such, chairs should always be positioned so your back is against a wall. Desk chairs should be comfortable with high backing, since this creates protection and a feeling of support.
Introducing plants and water features can both be therapeutic and contribute to the sense of feng shui, too. A live plant will also produce oxygen and improve the quality of air. What’s more, the walls should be adorned with artwork, preferably depicting scenes from nature, though not too overtly, we might add. No frolicking kangaroos or random pictures of sharks, thank you.
While you may think that white, representing purity and cleanliness, is a safe bet for any office, it can be boring and uninspiring in the workplace. And the last thing you want is bored, uninspired employees, right?.
According to feng shui design principles, a room’s ideal colour should align with the direction it’s facing. So, for example, if your office is facing north, it is associated with the water element (each point on the compass represents a different element) so blue would be the best colour to consider.
Natural lighting is always advised in a feng shui environment, but if absolutely necessary, artificial light should only illuminate certain elements of the room via spotlights and lamps.
Aromatherapy and feng shui have something of a symbiotic relationship, and each’s powers are enhanced by the other. In fact, you can harness certain energies via aroma in accordance with the feng shui of a room. Aside from those fragrant, air-purifying plants we already mentioned, try burning some incense, too, if it is not offensive to the allergies of any employees.
Go further and evoke the power of mood influencing scents with a delicate, dextrous touch for best results. Chamomille and lavender are said to be particularly adept at inducing relaxation. First, determine how that would affect the energy of your office; if you’re a fairly laid back bunch, this might make things too chilled. Instead, perhaps the scent of rosemary – thought to alleviate mental fatigue and stress – might be a better fit?
HARMONY & MINIMALISM
The most important aspect of feng shui is harmony; everything must have its place and it must appear appropriate. Any unnecessary items of furniture should be removed and everything that detracts from the sense of peace and tranquillity should go. With an increased feng shui presence in your office your workplace can become more efficient; almost as if your employees were in a state of perpetual meditation.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The ideal, motivated office environment can be achieved through channelling the ancient practice of feng shui. This is a discipline which deserves respect, so consult with a feng shui expert prior to your office makeover for best results.