To increase the positive energy in your office space, and be more productive as a result, consider taking advantage of feng shui. This is the ancient art of aligning our external world to support our internal journey, explains Lorrie Webb Grillo, certified feng shui practitioner and owner of Thriving Spaces Feng Shui.
“Feng shui operates around us whether we’re conscious of it or not,” she says.
Grillo points out a feng shui office:
- Supports you mentally and physically
- Enhances your financial goals
- Serves your current needs and goals while keeping you open to future possibilities
Consider these simple options from experts to create better feng shui:
1. Love your desk. Grillo advises treating yourself to a desk that is the right height, constructed of material you admire, and shaped to allow easy access to everything you need.
She also recommends positioning it thoughtfully.
“Place your desk in the ‘command’ or ‘power’ position,” she advises. “You’ll feel safe, comfortable and primed for work.”
The power position ensures you can:
• See the doorway
• Avoid energy flow from the door
• Have a solid wall behind you and another barrier at the side
2. Banish clutter. Feng shui consultant Rodika Tchi cited the old adage “a cluttered space creates a cluttered mind,” in The Spruce .
“This does not mean you have to go Zen with nothing on your desk,” she says.
But it does mean only having items on it that you’re working on that day.
“Let your desk breathe,” recommends Tchi.
Grillo advises using open and closed storage to mitigate clutter. Open storage, such as bookshelves, invites new energy (like future clients). Closed storage keeps work confidential and secure.
Of course, take advantage of law practice management software so you can store client and matter information in the cloud to significantly reduce the need for paper files while simultaneously improving your organization and workflow processes.
The recommendation to de-clutter is supported by the Journal of Neuroscience, which reports , in essence, that a cluttered environment restricts ability to focus.
3. Add some healthy plants. They help clean the air to make breathing easier, and add life and vibrance, Feng shui consultant Laura Benko explains in Entrepreneur . She says bamboo and philodendrons are good choices.
“Plants are a great way to fill in a corner, soften angles, or circulate energy,” adds Grillo.
This, too, is supported by research. The University of Exeter carried out an experiment which revealed that office plants can assist in:
• Boosting staff well being 47%
• Improving creativity 45%
• Increasing productivity 38%
4. Surround yourself with images and objects that uplift. This can include photos of loved ones, artwork you love, cards or pictures from your children, or other special mementos. Be thoughtful about what you select, notes Benko. She recalls a client who displayed a vacation photo and, while it appeared idyllic, it captured a stressful time.
“Subconsciously, she was feeling the stress and anxiety of that moment,” says Benko.
5. Decorate with cool tones. Benko warns that bold colors, especially reds and oranges, can promote anxiety and aggression.
“Offices that use this color will make you want to leave early,” she says.
Instead, she advises using:
• Pale green to inspire creativity
• Blue to promote calmness
• Gray to promote sophistication
Even if you’re so time-strapped that you don’t have a second to spare, take advantage of these simple tips for a once-and-done fix that will set the stage for a more productive, happier law office for you and your clients.
Want to bring that productivity into every aspect of your practice? Take a quick look at our Matter Management Checklist for Overworked Attorneys.
1. Tchi, Rodika. “Feng Shui Office Case Study.” The Spruce, Feb. 15, 2017.
2. McMains, Stephanie and Kastner, Sabine. “Interactions of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Mechanisms in Human Visual Cortex.” The Journal of Neuroscience, Jan. 12, 2011
3. Evans, Lisa. “Feng Shui and the Successful Entrepreneur.” Entrepreneur, Sept. 21, 2012.
4. University of Exeter. “Office Plants Boost Well Being at Work.” July 9, 2013