5 Tips For Arranging Your Home Workspace, According To Feng Shui
Suddenly, everyone who's able is working and learning from home. While some people may have a desk or workspace, in theory, this is probably the first time it's become a primary workspace from which we work for days on end.
Taking our home offices to the same productivity center as our usual workspace isn't necessarily easy, but thankfully there are some guidelines to help. Looking for a solution to our remote-work rut, we turned to feng shui expert Amanda Gibby Peters for her advice. She gave us these tips to help:
1. Assume the command position.
According to Peters, the best placement for a desk is facing the doorway and with our backs to a solid wall. "When we can't 'see' what's coming up behind us, our subconscious lives on high alert," Peters explained to mindbodygreen. The low-grade stress this causes can "lead to exhaustion; lingering uncertainty about what's coming our way; and/or constant feeling you're left out of the loop," she said.
If you can't set up this way, she suggests placing a mirror on or over your desk and anchoring yourself with a high-back chair. You can also try arranging the room so your back is to a strong piece of furniture, like a bookshelf.
2. Keep clutter to a minimum.
Tackling clutter may be on your social-distancing projects list, but there's a good reason to specifically check in with the clutter in your workspace. "Clutter slows business down and obscures potential opportunities," Peters told us. In particular, she recommends making sure these areas are cleared of clutter:
- Around your door: "Clutter here blocks new ideas, helpful insights, and incoming opportunity," she warned
- The rest of your floor: Extra things piling up here can weigh you down.
- In the cabinets, drawers, and closet: Yes, even your "hidden" clutter should be addressed. According to Peters, it can "interfere with our ability to act intuitively and clouds our clarity when making important decisions."
- In the middle of the room or workspace: This one is a bit obvious, but when you actually look at your space thinking about it, you may notice clutter you didn't before. Peters explains that in that location, "it affects our health as well as the health of our business."
3. Have a green chi buddy.
Research has suggested that a plant on your desk may help with managing stress, and with the current news cycles, a bit of stress relief (and something nice to look at) can't hurt! According to Peters, "Plants induce positive feelings, reduce concentration-induced fatigue, and lower blood pressure," if you needed further reasons. "Whether you buy a plant or introduce imagery of greenery, your office space needs at least one green chi buddy," she said. Brb, changing our desktops to flowery images.
4. Clear the desk every day.
Peters has told us the benefits of a clean and clear workspace for boosting productivity before, but this simple step is so easy, it's worth repeating—especially as our work and home spaces blur. Wrap up your day by cleaning up your work items so the space is organized. Not only does it put a cap on the workday and signal your shift to home: "Because we're transitioning to working from home," explained Peters, "it is worth noting that home office energy will now have access to influence your personal life, too."
5. Honor boundaries.
Worried about that leak of energy into your personal life? If you can, close off your workspace at the end of the day. "When you wrap work for the day, shut the door to your office," Peters recommended. "This will keep it from spilling into and overwhelming your personal life." Finding work-life balance now is almost more important than ever, so adding this end-of-day ritual may help you separate your energetic spaces, even if you're doing it all from the same home.
Finding our groove with new work arrangements may be the name of the game right now, but there's no reason it can't be as productive as our normal work arrangements. If you're looking to tackle some projects in your home now that your spending more time in your home, check in with this advice from an organizational expert to manage them.
Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine, TheTaste.ie, and SUITCASE magazine.