With extended circuit breaker restrictions in place, home offices will continue to be the hub for most people to continue business as usual. Until now, “working from home” for most people may have meant a desk in a small corner of your apartment or even a kitchen table. However, now that remote work is the new normal until at least June 1, 2020, making a distinction between business and home life is an added challenge given you may be sharing the space with a housemate or family members.
Your home office set-up can be integral to your wellness and productivity and adopting some basic Feng Shui principles may be all that’s required to re-energize your space. Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art of designing spaces and arranging objects to achieve harmony and balance. It is an important aspect of Asian culture and many iconic monuments and buildings in the region, such as the Merlion and Marina Barrage have been designed specifically with Feng Shui elements in mind. So, with several weeks of remote working ahead of us, creating a home office that is both pleasant and productive has never been more important.
Here’s how to apply some basic Feng Shui principles to get you started:
1. Separate home life from work
An important Feng Shui guideline asks that your workspace be as far from your bedroom as possible. However, living in city apartments makes this difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. You can still attempt to conceal your work area with large plants or a folding screen – luckily, these items are still available for delivery via online retailers! If space is tight, position your desk so you face away from the bed. When you’ve finished work for the day, turn off your computer and all connected devices and clear your paperwork from sight.
2. Let in light and air
A well-lit and oxygenated space will improve mental clarity and energy flow. Maximise your exposure to natural light or use lamps with warm lighting to support your work, but avoid bright, fluorescent lighting. Bring nature into the room with a range of air-purifying plants to refresh and brighten the space. For an extra aromatherapy boost, use a small plug-in air purifier or diffuser with your favourite essential oils.
3. Control the clutter
There is a belief that a cluttered desk can cause a cluttered mind, leaving you feeling uninspired and overwhelmed, thereby lowering productivity. Instill some order to ease your daily workload: establish a filing system for your paperwork, reuse old jars, tins and containers to keep your pens and stationery tidy, get rid of old Post-It notes and ‘to do’ lists as soon as your tasks are completed, hide wires and charging cables when not in use. Clutter creates ‘stagnant areas’ and blocks energy flow. Given the increased focus on hygiene and cleanliness, create new habits by giving your desk a wipe-down with antibacterial spray at the beginning and end of your work day.
4. Get the right view
Be mindful about the positioning of your desk – a standard Feng Shui belief is to assume the ‘command position’ by arranging your desk to face the door and not have your back to it. If this is not possible, placing a mirror so you can see behind you at all times is said to ease subconscious tension. Facing an empty wall creates a lack of vision and perception, remedy this with a single piece of art, words, or symbols that inspire and empower. Ideally, arrange your desk so you have a solid wall behind you, in Feng Shui this creates a feeling of stability.
5. Add some colour
If you’re going to be spending long hours in your home office, make it a space that you can enjoy working from. Feng Shui principles suggest adding touches of colour to your surroundings for associated wellbeing: earthy tones create an inviting atmosphere, blues promotes feelings of safety and security, white symbolises focus and cleanliness, green represents renewal and growth. These can be easily done with soft furnishings such as cushions, pictures, plants, or a rug under your desk.
Try out these tips and use whatever Feng Shui practices are possible for your workspace. Creating a comfortable area to work from will mean that your home office becomes not just a space for productivity but also a personal sanctuary in these times.
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This article was written by Dani Boekel-Charles.