Can your Office Be Affecting your Work
What does your office look like? Working in a somewhat miserable and dreary looking office can have significant negative effects on our moods, and more often than not, these feelings will consequently rub off on our concentration or the standards of our work. The environments we work in may have a bigger impact on our working performance then we may have initially thought; a correlation has certainly been observed between ‘positive spaces’ and positive outlooks in the workplace.
With this in mind, we naturally must ask ourselves if negative work attitudes and poor work outputs are a reflection of the spaces we work in. We’ve all heard of those idealistic offices where there are slides from floor to floor and that have exceptionally cool ‘break out’ areas kitted out with Tv screens and table footballs, but how many of us sit in an office 9-to-5 starring at a concrete wall or the back end of a sad building? A few too many, we think.
Passing the blame or creating excuses for low productions of work can be easily done, and if we can blame our work fatigue or lack of motivation on the surrounding area, then why not? This may not be as ridiculous as it seems, and although it’s definitely up for debate, we ask the question: can an office design really affect how we work?
We have some research that claims it does. Take what you will from this, but there are interesting ideas that could perhaps be the answers to all of your work-related nightmares. Are you struggling to meet deadlines? Is your work lacking in substance? Do your colleagues drive you up that concrete wall you stare at all day? If so, read on.
Have you ever heard of Feng Shui? Feng Shui is one of those terms which is often thrown around but not always solely understood. The Cambridge English Dictionary’s definition of Feng Shui is ‘an ancient Chinese belief that the way your house is built or the way that you arrange objects affects your success, health, and happiness’. Classical Feng Shui is becoming increasingly put in practice, not only in houses but also within the spaces of an office. The idea behind this method is that this ‘energy’ will potentially up the morale of staff; think about those offices with slides mentioned above – would you be sad working there? Perhaps office slides are a far-off dream for most of us, but there are small adjustments which could make a notable difference.
The Feng Shui Agency has worked with some of the biggest companies and recognised household names to transform their offices for the better, and they’ve been kind enough to share their top four Feng Shui office secrets.
1. The first tip is to address your reception area. If you’re a small business, this can be the entrance area. This is the first part of your office that potential employees, partners, clients etc will see, so a good first impression is vital. To improve your repetition, make sure it is well organised and completely clutter free. Once this is done, light it up! Not in the pyromaniac sense (as tempting as this may be), but so that space is welcoming and encourages good energy. A dark, cluttered welcome area can cause confusion and make your guest feel uneasy, whereas a spacious, bright space will promote positivity.
2. Their second pointer focuses on fatigue. We reckon the yearn for a bed is universal in the workplace, so how can Feng Shui help those nodding heads and drooping eyelids? Electro smog, that’s how. Electro smog is the term used to describe negative electric energy which can be released by computers, printers, wifi etc. We understand that most, if not all, business won’t be able to function without these necessities, so The Feng Shui Agency has a solution: add magnets. Apparently, having magnets around your desk, in your chairs or in your accessories can protect your body from the electromagnetic stress.
3. As the months get colder, the dreaded flu has the tendency to catch up with us and circulate around the office. The Feng Shui Agency suggests that colds and coughs are almost always due to poor air quality – we don’t disagree. The solution to this is to simply clean the air and their recommended tool is an air ioniser. This is a device, much like a fan, that essentially converts negative electrons into positive electrons through the use of a high voltage (just google it). They also give us a heads up that exercise will circulate our energy, and that we should do it frequently.
4. Feeling undermined in a workplace isn’t exactly breaking news, however, The Feng Shui Agency has proposed a theory to reduce this nasty feeling, and we quite like how matter-of-fact this is. Move your desk – simple. If you have any particular conflict with somebody, simply move your desk, or if this proves too challenging, rearrange your desk by moving your seat, screen, or tall tray organiser to block them out. Having a high back on your chair will make you sit straighter, therefore – apparently – protecting the kidney qi energy making you more relaxed. Relaxation equals confidence.
So there we have it, four tips to optimise your working space to better your personal energy and your interpersonal relationships. They offer some interesting thoughts; whether you consider following just one or all four of The Feng Shui’s Agency’s office secrets, it’ll be intriguing to see if you reap the rewards.