The furnishings you choose for your home office – especially your desk and chair – can have a powerful influence on your ability to succeed and prosper. When setting up a home office, it can be tempting to use whatever extra furniture is on hand around the house or to economise with second-hand furnishings. Neither of these is a very good idea.
Ergonomics – how well the shape, size, and other design features of your desk, chair, and lighting work for you – is a very important consideration for any work space. Sure, using that extra kitchen chair is a lot cheaper than buying a new “executive-style” office chair, but if it is not comfortable it is not helping you get your work done. A lamp that’s fine on a bedside table in the bedroom may be woefully inadequate as task lighting for your workspace. If you are going to work from home, make sure your home office is working for you by investing in furnishings that make it easy and comfortable for you to focus on business.
Second-hand office furniture requires special consideration, as it often has terrible “predecessor chi.” Never buy used furniture from a business that went bankrupt, no matter how cheap it is – it will fill your home office with the energy of failure, anxiety, and disappointment. On the other hand, if you absolutely positively know for sure that the previous user of your second-hand desk chair made a zillion dollars in a legal and ethical manner and is now living a life of ease in Acapulco, go ahead and take it! All those good success vibes will help you prosper as well.
Family furniture hand-me-downs will have good or bad energy for you depending on the quality of your family relationships. If you have a great relationship with your Dad, for example, and consider him a good role model, using his old desk and chair in your office can help you feel looked after, supported, and inspired.
In general, a large desk provides energetic room for expansive thinking and growth. However, too much large furniture in a too-small room will stop chi cold, and you may discover that there’s no new business coming in.
A good desk chair can be adjusted to the correct height for your body and work-surface, is stable, and provides good back and arm support. Your desk chair represents your support and foundation, so make sure it is in good shape for the job.
Remember that the work you do is a form of self-expression. Although it is important that your office furniture be ergonomically suited to the work you do, don’t feel you have to give this space an “office” look unless it helps you concentrate on business.
THE VIEW FROM THE TOP
In the corporate world, successful entrepreneurs are often described as being “visionaries,” in reference to their ability to conceive and implement dramatically new ideas that transform entire industries. In feng shui, “vision” – both physical eyesight and imaginative power – is symbolically associated with the Fame gua, with lighting of any kind, and with the windows in your home or office.
An office that lacks windows – such as a home office stuffed into a corner of the basement – keeps you out of sight of others and can lead to feeling isolated and out of touch. For an entrepreneur working from home, awindowless office implies you could be out of touch with your clients and that you are unable to foresee where your entire industry is headed.
If your office has small, high windows or no view at all, use posters of landscapes with a far horizon to create the illusion of being able to see into the distance. If you overlook something unattractive – such as grubby garbage bins — keep the blinds closed (it’s best if you can use material that will allow light in while blocking an unattractive view). If you are fortunate in having a beautiful, inspiring view outside your office windows, a large wall mirror can reflect the view into the room and fill the room with positive chi.
Be aware that mirrors can be tricky in a home office. A mirror that reflects your desk can symbolically double your work. In terms of your income, this could be good. But how well will you handle the increased workload? Sometimes more work means more stress, contributes to family problems, and leads to physical or emotional exhaustion. And unless you keep your desk very tidy, that mirror will be doubling your mess and clutter as well!
To be in command of your business, sit in the Command Position: where you have a clear view of door, but are not directly in line with the door. If you are not in the Command Position in your office, this can mean that you are not in control of what’s going on in your business, and that new developments (and problems!) often take you by surprise.
If you can’t place your desk in the Command Position, use a mirror to provide a reflected view of the doorway. And keep in mind that a desk in the Command Position is only helpful if you are able to get in and out of your chair with ease, otherwise you may feel “backed up against the wall” by business situations.
Wherever you sit, make sure that you look at something inspiring: a photograph of your spouse and/or kids, a brochure for that exotic vacation you hope to take by the end of the year, or a mock-up of the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award you intend to win someday.
Stephanie Roberts is the author of the popular Fast Feng Shui book series, available at Amazon.com. Receive FR(EE) Feng Shui tips in every issue when you subscribe to the Fast Feng Shui newsletter. Visit http://www.fastfengshui.com for details.