If adding some candles, plants and a fountain to your workspace could increase sales and profits, would you be game? Then consider feng shui (pronounced “fung shway”), best defined as the ancient Chinese art of placement. It’s founded on the belief that where and how building structures, furnishings and even the smallest of items are placed within a room can greatly affect the flow of positive and negative “energy.” In the business environment, the application of feng shui can translate into a more pleasant, efficient and comfortable place in which to work, along with happier staff and customers.
Sound flaky? Some business owners say it works. Ali Moledina, a Montreal convenience-store owner, recently hired Marie-France Dayan, owner of Laval, Que.-based Feng Shui Dynamics Inc., a consulting firm and school. Within one year of introducing some minor changes to his premises, sales increased by a whopping 70%, and his profit margin grew by 25%.
If your curiosity is piqued, follow these basic feng shui tips to help get you on your way:
- Keep your desktop, office and building free of clutter. Clutter distracts the mind and impedes productivity. Store files and other equipment neatly out of sight when not in use.
- Never sit with your back facing the door. You may find yourself startled by an unexpected visitor when you can’t see who’s coming. If your layout requires that your back be to the door, install a small mirror in front of you so you can see over your shoulder.
- Represent the five basic elements of feng shui. Ensure that the five key elements — metal, fire, water, earth and wood — are represented and in balance in your place of business. Black metal furnishings are acceptable. Represent fire with candles. Add a fountain or fish tank to represent water. A few live plants will represent the earth. Add some wooden accessories and you’re done.
- Display personalized art and accessories. Choose pieces that make you feel positive about your life and business and that symbolize your successes. Display them within your clear view for inspiration.
- Keep the air moving. Use fans to move stale air and stagnant ch’i (energy) out of the area. Electric circulating fans are preferable to ceiling fans.
- Be patient. Just as every situation is different, so is every feng shui cure in terms of the length of time required for it to take effect. Generally, positive effects will be noticeable anywhere from two weeks to six months following implementation of the cures.
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© 2003 Doreen Pendgracs