Feng Shui Can Change an Entire Office’s Workplace Habits


time tracking for staffing companiesFew things can have such an impact on our workplace habits as our surroundings. Quiet, peaceful, serene, relaxing—the right environment can be stimulating, fostering creative thinking and a productive workflow.

One approach to creating that environment of creative and productive bliss is simply through some much-needed feng shui. In case you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, Emily Shoemaker writes, feng shui “is the ancient Chinese practice of arranging physical objects to attract positive energy.” While “there are few to no scientific findings that look at the effectiveness of feng shui directly…some research backs up the practice’s basic principles. One study suggests that getting more organized can improve time management, which helps boost productivity at work. And psychology research found that adding natural elements—such as sunlight, green plants, and physical movement—to the workplace can boost employee health, happiness, and productivity.”

If a little re-arranging can do all of that, how much would it benefit your office and boost your workplace habits to shake things up?

Location, Location, Location

One common piece of advice is to properly orient your desk. And really, this is no new news. Ideally, your desk should be in a commanding position, facing the entrance to your office or workspace.

Practically, this position offers a couple of benefits. For some individuals, there is a sense of security being in a “protected” stance, being able to see their surroundings rather than have their back facing them. This also helps keep an individual aware of, and engaged with, their surroundings.

Not only that, but according to this recent article from Bloomberg, in a study that, “compared the self-reported sleep patterns of 49 day shift employees, 27 of them working in windowed offices and 22 in windowless environments…the window workers scored better. They also rated better on a standard health survey in two categories, including “vitality.””

It was also further discovered that, “Even on free days, workers with windows got more rest, sleeping better and longer. “Light exposure in the workplace,” the researchers conclude, “may therefore have long-lasting and compounding effects on the physical and mental health of the workers, not only during but also beyond work hours.””

Spring Cleaning is a Requirement

Another important element is a clutter-free workspace. While many may claim to rely on “creative chaos” to channel their inner work ethic, it’s estimated that the average worker spends 4.3 hours per week searching through office clutter.

The key to eliminating clutter is to find a method that works for you. Whatever method you choose, however, as a general rule you should “keep everything that you use daily within arms-reach” and “try to leave your desk clutter-free and organized at the end of the day.”

Add Some Vegetation

Few things can have such a calming effect, and boost productivity, as adding plants or flowers to your workspace. Studies have shown that being around flowers and plants “can reduce anxiety, negativity, and depression and might even improve memory. The best news is that flowers seem to be equal-opportunity Happy Makers — research suggests they’re helpful for men, women, the elderly, and young’uns alike.”

Focus on Air Quality

An often overlooked area is the quality of the air in your office or workspace. The EPA estimates that “indoor levels of pollutants may be 2 to 5 times – and occasionally more than 100 times – higher than outdoor pollutant levels.” The solution? Open a window or take a lunchtime walk to get some fresh air and liven the senses.

In today’s hectic life, applying some of the commonsense principles behind feng shui can have a profound impact on your workspace habits. With a little effort, you may be able to improve your overall outlook, reduce stress and increase your productivity.


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