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Home working and flexible working are here to stay. And whilst home working offers plenty of advantages, it can present new challenges, such as organising your home office to maximise productivity and reduce stress and distractions.
Feng Shui, the traditional Chinese practice of designing living spaces to facilitate energy flow, can be immensely helpful in setting up your home office. Here, we give you nine essential tips based on the principles of Feng Shui. Now you can arrange your home office to enhance harmony, balance, creativity and productivity whilst minimising its impact on your non-working life.
1. Choosing the right location for your home office
Selecting appropriate locations is the very heart of Feng Shui practice. When it comes to home offices, opt for an area that’s well-lit and spacious or that at least has a sense of openness and doesn’t feel cramped and confined. You want a space that inspires creativity and free thinking, not constrains you.
A Feng Shui home office should seamlessly integrate with the energy circulation in your home; it shouldn’t be cut off from light and air flows. A location that receives continuous energy input will be inspiring and uplifting, not draining and tiring.
2. Effective chair and desk placement
Positioning your seating and desk is a crucial step in establishing the foundation of a productive and balanced workspace. And whilst this might be determined for you at the office, you have more freedom at home.
In Feng Shui, the “Command Position” is a place in a room that empowers you. It involves sitting in a position with a clear view of the room’s door but not in direct line with it. Setting up your home office to allow you to sit in the Command Position can give you a sense of control and authority and minimise the unconscious stress of sitting with your back to a doorway.
3. Balance the elements around you
Feng Shui emphasises the importance of balancing the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water, as each has complementary influences on you.
Try to integrate these elements into your home office and its surroundings using colour and selecting suitable materials. For instance, you can pick furniture that incorporates wood and metal. You can use desk plants to represent earth, soft colours or even water features to represent water, and bold colours for fire. Strive to find a blend of these elements that exemplifies harmony for you, where only some elements dominate.
4. Organise and declutter your workspace
Tidy desk, tidy mind. A clutter-free environment is essential for a productive and focused work area. Clear away unnecessary items and distractions that hinder the flow of energy and could distract you, especially any clutter unrelated to your work. A tidy space enhances mental clarity and allows for the seamless movement of ideas and tasks.
5. Minimise distractions to enhance focus
As well as removing clutter from your work area, seek to eliminate or reduce any other distractions or potential interruptions. Disturbances can impair attention and are mentally draining. It can also take time to get back into a state of focus after being interrupted.
Use furniture and other items, including room dividers and plants, to cover sources of distraction and to create a focused workspace. Find ways to protect against noise disturbances. Establish boundaries with other people in your home around how they can approach you when you’re working.
6. Personalise your home office with inspirational elements
Infuse your workspace with items, decor, furniture, and design choices that resonate with your values and your personality – that fire your aspirations and creativity. Aim to create a home office environment that harmonises with your unique character.
You want your workspace to be an area you love being in. That nourishes you, expresses your personality, and validates and supports who you are. Incorporate favourite items and decorations and meaningful photos and artwork. Even the smallest of touches can have a dramatic impact.
7. Make ergonomic and supportive furniture choices
Creating a Feng Shui home office should promote physical well-being along with mental. The importance of ergonomics can be considered in any working environment. If you’re sitting for long periods, you must do so safely to avoid injury and physical damage. This damage can manifest slowly over time and is only detected once it’s reached a certain level.
Invest in ergonomic furniture that supports good posture and comfort, including custom furniture designed specifically for your needs. Learn to use your furniture correctly and position it to ensure you sit and work safely.
8. Incorporate proper lighting
Light is one of the most critical energy flows in your home, and sufficient and balanced lighting is integral to creating a harmonious and productive home office. Good lighting will also minimise eye strain and ensure your home office is conducive to easy work. No more headaches as you stare at your computer screen.
Natural light is preferred, as it brings energy and invigorates the workspace. If natural light is limited, opt for soft, warm artificial lighting to create an inviting and energising atmosphere. Use brighter lighting on dark days and when working in the evenings.
9. Boost productivity with Feng Shui enhancements
You can add simple touches or ‘enhancements’ to your working area to improve balance, the sense of mood, and the impact of your home office area. Adding live plants and flowers can inspire and invite growth. Sculpture and touches of art can stimulate creativity and thought. Mirrors can be used to give a sense of space and to add light. Experiment to find which enhancements and in which positions work best for you.
Bespoke home office furniture from Neville Johnson
We have designed and crafted handmade furniture for over 35 years at Neville Johnson, including our custom home office furniture range. Find out how we can help you best use your space to create your ideal home Feng Shui-inspired office.