There’s a number of steps, specifically using the ancient Chinese method of feng shui and interior design that can help us upgrade our space. It’s not just about what looks good, it’s about what subconsciously feels good and allows us to put the corona-chaos to the back of our minds just enough to get our day-job done *plays Fifth Harmony – Work from Home*.
Coronavirus has burst into our lives uninvited and if the news is anything to go by, it’s here to stay for a little while, hence the country has been advised to work from home where possible.
Up until now, working remotely has not been a reality for most office workers. Of course, it has its benefits but, when you do everything at home, it can feel like your office-standard productivity and creativity is slowly dwindling away.
If we’re spending just as many hours with our computer on our lap, as we are our head on our pillow; it’s crucial that one is as beneficial as the other. (Also, definitely do not work with your computer on your lap, but we’ll come to that.)
Essentially, your at-home workspace should be an area of focus, energy and balance. Here’s how to achieve it.
Command your position
While we may elbow our colleagues out of the way for any window-facing desk in the office; it’s actually one of the least beneficial positions. A window-view can consume energy we need to work; leaving you daydreaming (in my case about Anthony Joshua) for most of the day.
The method of feng shui believes that you should have the entrance to the room in sight; this is called the commanding position. This gives you visual control of your workspace, allowing you to be subconsciously aware if anyone enters the room.
Your computer screen should be at eye-level on a table or desk. It should be at arms-length away from your face and your wrists shouldn’t be bent when you’re tapping away at the keyboard. Using a laptop in your lap can seriously impact your posture, resulting in chronic neck and back pain. If your computer needs a boost, there are numerous trendy desk shelves available. Or you could stack a few copies of the latest issue of GLAMOUR.
Two other important factors are the room and the chair. You should try to avoid setting up your workplace in your bedroom, as the bedroom to be a place of calm and rest. The correct chair is vital when it comes to your position and posture. It’s really worth investing in a supportive chair that has a high and solid back. Stools, benches and floor-sitting are a major no no.
Find the light
Although facing a window isn’t healthy for your productivity, natural light is. Natural light is beneficial for a number of reasons: it reduces the risk of artificial blue-light, allowing us to sleep better; if it’s sunny it can boost vitamin D levels; it can even ward off SAD (seasonal affective disorder). If you’re a fan of a desk lamp, it’s best to opt for a warm-toned bulb and, according to the feng shui method, position it in the upper left-hand side of your desk.
Clutter around your workspace completely blocks the flow of energy. It increases stress levels and creates distractions therefore making it difficult to process usual tasks. By clearing any clutter you’ll achieve harmony with your surroundings, which , according to the feng shui methodology, is life improving.
I don’t know about you, but buying new stationary – like it’s the first day back at school – gives me a proper buzz. If you invest in a new notebook, a chic pencil pot or anything to spruce up your desk, it can provide a source of renewed energy that gives you that back-to-school feeling.
Create a zen-zone
Feng shui follows the powerful rule of bagua, which is essentially a map that details the best positions to balance the energy and create a stress-free workspace. For example, the upper left represents wealth and finance; the upper right represents love and marriage; the mid-left represents health and family; the mid-right represents creativity.
You could place a photograph in your family-zone; a growing houseplant in your wealth zone; light-up a table lamp in your love-zone; or ignite your imagination with an energising candle in your creativity-zone. Be creative with this and be sure to rotate the positions every so often.
Adding a few homely touches like this to your workspace will allow you to take short breaks from your screen. Aim to look away from your screen every 20 minutes, for at least 20 seconds.
Here’s everything you need to give your desk a feng shui approved makeover…