I sat in front of my computer, preparing a color chart on a Feng Shui report but was distracted.
At any moment, I knew my dogs would hear a car door slam, shoot up from their sprawled out positions on our fluffy white rug, and charge the window with their barks, which are so loud, they shriek.
I knew we had painters coming I had to let in.
I remember thinking, “Why do I do this to myself?” If I were still working out of an office, scheduling work on the house wouldn’t even be possible.
But I did it. Often. I would try to be “at home” and “at work” simultaneously, and I did so by choice. This was pre-pandemic before the actual work-from-home era ensued.
I am blessed to work with clients worldwide, and it didn’t make sense for me to have a local office any longer, so I chose to move my practice from a sweet, little spiritual boutique to my home. Doing so taught me about the struggles associated with working from home—distractions, interruptions, noises from neighbors, technology challenges, awkward furniture setup, loneliness, demotivation, immobility, and even overworking, because we can.
People are working remotely more now, than we have ever seen. From my Feng Shui obsessed perspective, we work from nooks and crannies, fluffy, cozy couches, and ergonomically incorrect dining setups versus working from a place that feels super delicious and supportive.
I appreciate many were not prepared to work remotely, and we are each doing the best we can. While there is no “right” way to set up a work from home space, I have found there is an easier way, and I’d like to share a few Feng Shui focused tips I have.
11 Feng Shui tips for working at home:
1. Desk Placement. If having a room devoted to a home office is a provided luxury, setting the desk up using these tips will help ground the energy and bring in more opportunity.
>> The power position for a desk is vital. A desk placed furthest from the door, in the back left corner of an office, is optimal. If the door is on the left, then set it up in the farthest corner to the right. Caddy-corner if there is room.
>> Try to avoid placing the desk to face a wall. In situations where that is not possible, use a beautiful work of art on the wall in front of the desk to give the expansive feel of looking out a window.
>> It’s ideal to position the desk so the sitter can see the door but not be in line with the door. Bonus points if the person sitting at the desk doesn’t have to turn their head to see the entry. When possible, avoid having a chair that is arranged with the back to the entrance.
>> Ways to create a firm backing are a comfortable chair with a high back, a bookcase placed behind a desk, or a solid wall. When this isn’t possible, we can place plants behind our chairs.
2. Surfaces. Try to keep the surfaces in the office or around the workspace 50 percent clear. Clutter drains our energy and slows us down. Clear the work area at the end of each day, or at least once a week.
3. Location. It is preferable to work as far from your bedroom as possible. For the sake of love and well-being, please avoid working from the bedroom, especially in or on the bed.
4. Air. The quality of the air we breathe while working matters. If our brains want more oxygen, and we don’t honor that, our productivity decreases. Having a diffuser and dispersing high-quality essential oil in the office is my favorite way to cleanse the air. I also like to do daily breathwork, pause to move, and take breaks for short walks.
5. Light. When our bodies don’t get enough natural light, we can quickly become demotivated. If we are working under artificial lighting that is fluorescent, yellow, or too low, we can swiftly tire. A supportive choice for artificial lights are incandescent, full-spectrum light bulbs
6. Art. Surrounding ourselves with inspiring images and art sends messages to our subconscious minds regarding the goals we want to accomplish. It’s essential to consider what messages we may be receiving from our creative expressions in our working environments.
7. Elements. While I prepare Feng Shui reports according to someone’s personal element, we can all benefit by ensuring our workspaces are balanced with all five elements: water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. Here is a short example of each:
>> Water: fountain, images of water, glass, navy, black
>> Wood: plants, books, journals, green, blue
>> Fire: candles, lamps, leather, red, purple, orange
>> Earth: crystals, pottery, clay, landscape images, neutral colors
>> Metal: metal bowls, electronics, metal sculptures, white, cream
8. Ergonomics. No matter where we are working from in the home, ergonomics plays a role in our energy level and success for the day. Here are a few tips to aim for while seated:
>> Aim to keep an upright posture and arms at a 90-degree angle
>> Knee joints at or below the hip joints
>> Knees and ankles open slightly
>> Ankle joints in front of the knees
>> Have a three-finger width gap between the back of the knee joint and the front of the chair
>> Consider a standing desk
10. Hours and Schedule. Overwork (especially when we love what we do) and interruptions are everyday struggles WFH (work from home) can present. Others can view us as always available. I corrected this by using a lamp in my “career sector” (if the home had a tic-tac-toe grid over it, it’s the bottom center square of the floor plan). When the light is on, others know I’m not available, and I keep this boundary. It acts as my open/closed sign.
11. Color. In Feng Shui, recommended office colors are (light) blue, brown, (light) green, pink, or white. We can also use neutral tones, yellows, or lighter oranges, or gold colors. The goal with color is to create balance without creating overwhelm. If you want a guide to color by occupation, you can download my gift to you here.
If these resonate, I’d love to hear from you. If you have other WFH struggles you want help with, let me know in the comments!