By Peg Donahue
Feng shui is the practice of working with your environment to enhance your life. It goes back thousands of years and it has been practiced throughout history by every culture. The words are Chinese. They mean Wind and Water … two vital elements that you need to nourish yourself every day. You can live without a lot of things, but you can’t live without air to breathe and water to drink. Feng shui is related to the overall energy of your workplace. It exists whether you work with it or not. I have found that feng shui brings much more synchronicity to my work and my life. Things come to me more easily and with less effort than before.
Your environment … your office, your home, your landscape … wherever you are, is a reflection of your inner self. Your personal space acts as a mirror, reflecting what is going on inside of yourself. When you are aware of this, you can consciously work with your environment to strengthen and improve your work and your life. You can consciously work to make things easier for yourself. You can work less and prosper more. You can also have a lot of fun doing so.
There are many cues within a business that indicate what’s transpiring. They include such things as how easy it is to find the business, the contour of the land and the overall outside environment, how easy it is to enter the business and once inside, how you travel around. Cues are also in the colors scheme, the pictures on the walls, how and where employees are located and much more.
Things to note the next time you walk into a business: Is the scenery beautiful? Are there plants and flowers nearby? Does it have a pleasant front door? Once you’re inside, do you feel happy to be there? Are you greeted in a pleasant and joyful manner? Do the people seem happy? Does the environment feel vibrant and uplifting?
Feng Shui Connects You to the Pulse of the Business
Feng shui can help you to achieve your business goals and objectives by connecting you to the pulse or the energy of your workplace.
Businesses have a life of their own and Feng shui has many tools that can assist businesses to prosper. In particular, we assess the overall energy of the business (chi flow), how the work place looks and feels (we look at the balance of yin and yang energies as well as the balance of elements such as water, wood, fire, earth and metal), and specific business objectives such as financial, employee, product and services, etc. and how they overlay on your space. Your work and life issues map directly to your workspace. There is an area related to prosperity, an area related to relationships and partnerships, an area related to career, public recognition and more.
We first analyze how a business environment looks and feels, from the moment you enter. How people approach your business and how they enter it, is very important. Is your company easy to identify and easy to find? As people enter, is the door easy to open and does it open all the way … or are things situated behind it? Do you have a lobby or a reception area where people can transition from the outside to the inside? How are employees and customers welcomed when they come in? What is the first thing they see upon entering? Does this reinforce positive aspects of your business?
People subconsciously make assumptions about what is going on within an environment as soon as they open the door. In a business, you want to motivate employees to do their best work and you want clients and customers to feel that they have made the right choice in selecting your company. Your business conveys messages all day long. Does your environment convey the messages that are most helpful to your business success?
We also look at the energetic feel of the environment, given the particular type of business. For instance, if you are a sales organization, a vibrant and fast paced environment would be supportive. However, a research organization may require a more subdued and quiet environment. Different departments within a company will have different needs based on the type of work they do. Some departments are very energetic and others need quiet and stillness. Creating the right environment for your business will help it to prosper.
Pay Attention To Key Areas
Three of the most important areas in businesses are:
- the front entrance
- the CEO or manager’s office
- employee workspaces
Your front entrance should be warm, welcoming and clutter free. You should reinforce the name and nature of the business upon entering. Employees, clients and customers should be happy to be there.
Second, the CEO should be situated in a power position within the workplace. Typically this would be away from the front entrance … in a back left or back right corner. These are locations of strength. The CEO should also be seated in a power position in his or her office. This is a position where you can see the door but you are not seated in front of the door and you have a wide view of the office. Sitting with a solid wall behind you provides the best support.
Third, employees should also sit in empowering positions. By doing so, they will be able to contribute most effectively. In many businesses, employees sit with their backs to the entrance to their cube. This is a very vulnerable position and it causes a lot of stress. Placing a mirror so that employees can see the entrance cures this dilemma. Common Feng Shui Problems Within Businesses Paper clutter is a significant problem in many businesses. Most information is stored on computers today, yet we also print so much on paper. Whatever paper is needed should be stored neatly away. Other paper should be tossed out on a regular basis. I used to work for a company where we had “corporate cleanup” days several times a year. This is a great habit to get into. Get everyone involved in keeping the workplace neat and clutter free. It will do your business so much good!
A second common problem is employees sitting with their back to the doorway. This is not an empowering position, so employees have to work harder in these environments. Seat your employees in empowering positions so that they can do their best work from the outset. Doing so will help build strong relationships and contribute positively to your bottom line. A third common problem is a general lack of awareness of the impact of your overall environment on your business and on your employees’ health. Many workplaces have lots of white walls, computers and electronic equipment buzzing throughout and florescent lights overhead. These are very stressful and very unhealthy places to be situated day after day. You can improve the environment by adding color, using full spectrum lighting, and having lots of fresh plants strategically placed near computers.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Applying the principles of feng shui to your business can help you to prosper with more ease and less effort. First be very clear about your objectives …what you plan to achieve. Second, create a supportive environment. Third, step out of your own way and let it happen. Let the synchronicity flow. When you put your mind to something and you reinforce it through your surroundings, amazing things can happen!
© 2004, Peg Donahue, Polaris Business Guides, LLC All rights reserved.
Peg Donahue is a certified feng shui practitioner. She is a graduate of the Western School of Feng Shui in San Diego as well as the New England School of Feng Shui. Her background includes over 20 years in direct marketing and an MBA. She’s worked with large corporations as well as small businesses in the technology, telecommunications, healthcare, and fundraising sectors. She enjoys helping people bring more joy and prosperity to the workplace. She can be reached at 877-524-8300 ext 411 , or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.