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spike bullet June 2002 - Feng Shui in the Workplace

Chi'wards in the Workplace
Tips to Start
Balancing the Elements: Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal
Pay Attention to Hidden Messages
Resources (links, books, articles, humor)

Practicing Feng Shui in the workplace allows energy to flow naturally and in harmony with nature.   

Creating a balanced and efficient workplace enhances productivity.

Feng Shui, pronounced "foong swee" or "fong shway" or "fung shway," is the Chinese art of arranging buildings, objects and space in the environment to achieve energy harmony and balance.  The English translation of Feng Shui is "the way of Wind (feng) and Water (shui)" or "the natural forces of the universe."  Energy  is called "chi."

color bulletChi'wards in the Workplace

by Barbara McNary

The Chinese art of Feng Shui has made its way into Western homes over the last decade.  The energy within a workplace should be no less scrutinized.  

In the workplace, Chi (or vital energy of all things) can be harmonized for success or ignored and allowed to run chaotic � usually ending in failure.  

The work environment should also support and reflect the hopes, dreams, goals and intentions of the business � thereby carrying that energy into the conscious minds of all employees and clientele.

color bullet Simple Tips to Start

  • Begin office space clearing with a good old-fashioned spring cleaning.  
  • Freshen up every corner and desktop.  
  • Throw away files that are no longer useful.  
  • Organize storage areas so that they are pleasant spaces of their own. � 

There!  Doesn�t that feel better already?  Your space now shines with the pride of being cared for.  There is nothing left that is not needed or wanted.  And everything that remains is easily accessible.  Half of the stress is gone.

Check for Safety

Now take a look at safety within the environment.  

  • Are there sharp corners in traffic areas?  
  • Loose carpet or extension cords to trip over?  
  • Unstable shelving?  
  • Not only should you look for real threats of safety, but be aware of what the subconscious might consider threatening.  
  • Floor to ceiling windows in a high-rise building might produce feelings about being unprotected or unsupported.  
  • Spike-leaved plants may appear sharp and knife-like.  
  • Whatever thoughts and feelings a person has adds to the energy of the environment.  
  • Remedy all safety hazards and another portion of stress is removed.  

The unconscious mind is no longer preoccupied with the safety of its body but is free for the flow of creative genius!

color bullet Balance the Elements

The next step is more complicated.  It is the balancing of the 5 essential elements of our universe: Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal.  

The chi of each element brings with it its own auspicious energies.  One element without the others may produce strength in one attribute of business, but weakness in others.  Carefully survey the materials in the environment to determine which element is heavily represented and which is not.  Aligning all five elements in equal portions will bring harmony to work.

The Water Element

Water carries the qualities of flow and relaxation � allowing for synchronistic events.  

Too much water in an environment might lead to passivity and inconsistency.  And too little water tends to cause anxiety and inability to handle stress.  

The chi of water is recreated in today�s materials through the use of fountains, reflective surfaces such as mirrors and glass, in art that depicts waterscapes, the use of black and dark-toned colors, and in freeform and asymmetrical shapes.

The Wood Element

Wood manifests the qualities of trust, open and progressive thoughts, flexibility and continual growth.  

Too much of this element may cause over-expansion and feelings of being overwhelmed.  Too little will inhibit any kind of growth.  

The chi of wood is present in wooden furniture, paneling, columns, beams, stripes, natural textiles, plants and the color green.

The Fire Element

Fire brings forth the qualities of vitality, enthusiasm and originality.  

Too much of this element in an environment may lead to aggression, impatience and impulsive behaviors, while too little may bring forth a lack of motivation, warmth and creativity.  

The chi of fire can be found in any spectrum of red, triangular shapes, representations of animals or people and all electrical equipment and lighting.

The Earth Element

Earth enhances the qualities of practicality, stability and organization.  

Too much of this element will cause seriousness and conservatism.  And not enough earth will produce a feeling of being disconnected from all things and spacey.  

The chi of earth is in any earth-tone colors, squares, rectangles, flat surfaces, brick, tile and landscapes of deserts or fields.

The Metal Element

The last element, metal, emits the qualities of strength, clarity, determination and perseverance. 

Too much metal may bring about excessive rigidity.  And too little may be represented in weaknesses, procrastination and lack of mental sharpness.  

The chi of metal manifests in all metal surfaces, white and pastel colors, circles, ovals and arches, and in marble, flagstones and gemstones.

color bullet Pay Attention to Hidden Messages

The last step in accessing the auspicious energies of your workplace is to pay attention to what the environment speaks.  

For example, if you have recently downsized and have many empty cubicles, the environment is saying, "Business is not good.  We do not have enough work to fill our space."   

If you took that same space and gave the remaining employees double cubicles, the environment would be saying, "Business is so good we can afford some luxuries."   

What you think, is what you are. 

Blessings for success in all of your endeavors,
Barbara McNary

� 2002 Barbara McNary,  used with permission of author.  Barbara McNary is a Feng Shui consultant in Colorado.  Thanks Barbara!  

World Wide Web graphic  Internet Resources

book graphic  Books   -  Disclosure: We get a small commission for purchases made via links to Amazon.

  • Feng Shui at Work: Arranging Your Work Space for Peak Performance and Maximum Profit, Kirsten M. Lagatree. Random House, 1998 ISBN: 037575010X 
  • Feng Shui : Back to Balance. Sally Fretwell. New World Library; 2002 ISBN: 157731221X  
  • Feng-Shui : The Ancient Wisdom of Harmonious Living for Modern Times.  Eva Wong, Kendra Crossen (Editor).  Shambhala Publications; 1996 ISBN: 1570621004

world wide web - articles  Articles

smiley graphic  The Lighter Side (Humor and Satire)

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Page updated: October 16, 2023   
Institute for Management Excellence, Copyright � 2002 All rights reserved

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