I recently got a desk plant. It’s more of a shrub actually. Okay, it’s a tiny succulent but it still makes my desk 70 per cent greener than it was previously (my mini golf pen set complete with felt fairway makes up the other 30 per cent).
Apart from the time spent potting it (and uploading a photo of it onto Instagram), I actually feel like it’s boosted my productivity. One might argue that the opposite could have occurred given that I’m usually very easily distrac… squirrel?
Nevertheless, it makes me smile and as our good friend Aristotle once said, ‘pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work’. Now I’m not saying that the purchase of desk flora will instantly make you better at your job, but it does beg the question of how your workspace affects your work.
I used to have a job that required me to process a lot of paperwork. So much so that my desk began to look more like the scraps bin at the Reflex factory than an actual workspace. The only thing that environment produced was dirty looks from the office’s WHS officer.
Now my desk is mostly white space. Literally. I have small clusters of sporadically placed items but it’s by far the most visible desk I’ve ever had in a job. According to feng shui experts, clearing out clutter is the first step to enlightenment – go me! It’s something I’ve already experienced with my new uncharacteristically clean work surface. So how can you feng shui your work space?
Feng shui principles state that you should be able to see the door from your desk. Despite an ill-placed wall in our office, I still have some visibility of the entrance. At least I’m not facing away from it, which seems to be the most important positioning faux pas. By seeing people coming and going you will gain authority through your ‘commanding view’. Feng shui also recommends you have a window with a ‘pleasant’ view from your desk. Check.
My desk is white, which apparently energises the mind but drains the body. Given I rely on my brain more than my body to get me through the workday, I can definitely live with that. Another colour (well, technically a tone) said to focus the brain, but not the body, is grey. You will get the opposite effect with brown, and bright colours will make you restless. Green, however, balances the mind and body. Well-played, desk succulent.
The rectangular shape of my desk is said to be good for concentration – clearly a positive for me. Circular desks assist brainstorming and creativity, a closed front will establish boundaries and an open front feels more intimate – perhaps a little too intimate when I occasionally stretch my legs out and accidentally play footsies with my colleague whose desk faces mine.
Feng shui bagua is the energy map of your space, relating specific areas to different areas of your life. When it comes to your bureau, it can be broken down into the following:
There are plenty of ways to align your occupation chi, so try these feng shui tips to get the most out of your workspace.