The Importance of Good Feng Shui in a Coworking Space

While many people have heard of the term “Feng Shui” when referencing different home or office design choices, there are still many individuals who don’t actually know where the term comes from.

Photo by Domenico Loia

Feng Shui is actually an ancient Chinese practice that goes back thousands of years. The overall goal of Feng Shui has to do with balancing the flow of energy, or “chi,” in various spaces. When applying certain principles of Feng Shui, individuals and businesses can create much more positive and productive atmospheres by reducing distractions and supporting an overall better state of mind.
For organizations that have established coworking spaces for their employees, Feng Shui can bring a variety of benefits to both the business and the individuals themselves.

The Five Elements and Their Significance in Feng Shui

The core components of Feng Shui are highly incorporated in nature. Feng Shui recognizes the five fundamental elements – wood, fire, earth, metal, and water – and each of these plays an important role in creating a conducive atmosphere to be in.

Below are what these elements represent:

  • Wood: The element of wood symbolizes personal growth and vitality. This element can also be representative of new beginnings and is often used to help certain types of creativity and expressionism. Wood is often incorporated in home and office settings through the use of furniture or plants.
  • Fire: Fire is looked at as a symbol of transformation as well as the ability to ignite a certain level of enthusiasm. Fire is often represented through the use of warm colors like reds, oranges, and yellows, as well as the strategic use of lighting in a space.
  • Earth: Elements of earth are synonymous with grounding or stability. In office settings, the use of various elements helps to improve concentration and focus. Incorporating this element into a design space can be achieved through the inclusion of earthy tones like brown or green as well as materials like stone or clay.
  • Metal: Incorporating metal objects into an office is said to improve mental clarity and help to promote more efficiency and structure in a design space. This can be achieved by using metal picture frames, lighting fixtures, or even sculptures around the office or on desk surfaces.
  • Water: Water is representative of life in many different cultures. In Feng Shui, the element of water can also symbolize communication and collaboration well with one another. Offices can incorporate the water element using features like fish tanks or decorating water fountains. The significance of this element is often why you see them featured in couples therapy offices and other settings where group discussions are necessary.

Feng Shui Tips for a Coworking Space

Although applying Feng Shui into coworking spaces might seem like it’s a complicated or nuanced process, there are actually several basic principles that any business can apply. 

Below are some helpful tips for incorporating Feng Shui into your office space:

Creating a Welcoming Entryway

The first step to take is to make sure you’re creating a welcoming entryway into the coworking space. To do this, it’s important to reduce clutter as much as possible and consider adding elements like a bright rug and eye-catching artwork on the walls.

Another important part of creating a good impression when someone enters the space is ensuring it has adequate lighting. Whenever possible, coworking offices should allow as much natural light through windows or skylights as possible. In buildings where this isn’t possible, businesses should try to incorporate warm lighting solutions as opposed to the harsh artificial lighting often seen in hospitals or other industrial settings.

Optimizing the Layout for Flow

The layout you choose for a coworking space can make all the difference when trying to create a working area that’s conducive to more productivity. A well-designed layout helps to ensure the flow of energy is unimpeded and is able to circulate the way it should.

One way to achieve an optimal layout is to arrange working stations so that they’re able to equally allow for better collaboration as well as provide a certain level of privacy when needed. Another thing you should try to avoid is placing desks so that they directly face each other or have their backs on the entryway. This can cause a certain level of stress or anxiety and can negatively impact output.

Harnessing the Power of Color

The color choices you make when applying Feng Shui principles in an office are very important. In a coworking space, the color palette used can enhance various aspects of the environment. For example, using neutral tones like white or beige can help to open a space up, making it feel slightly larger and even calming for employees.

In common areas, where team collaboration is often needed, using more vibrant colors like green or blue can help to encourage communication and be a great way to allow for more creativity. 

Balancing Light for Energy and Focus

Another important component of Feng Shui is making sure you don’t just have adequate lighting in a space, but also the right type of lighting.

Proper lighting is a critical component of staying productive in a coworking space. Having the right type of lighting can help regulate our circadian rhythms and help individuals stay more alert when they’re on the job.

Try to keep windows unobstructed wherever possible to let natural sunlight into the workspace and utilize light-colored curtains or blinds as necessary. Any artificial lighting you use should supplement natural sunlight by using full-spectrum bulbs or LED lights that have adjustable temperatures.

Enhancing Comfort with Ergonomic Furniture

In any working environment, it’s important to ensure employees are comfortable enough to do their jobs effectively throughout the day. This often starts by choosing furniture that can reduce physical strain or discomfort.

You’ll want to choose chairs that have adjustable lumbar support for the diverse group of employees that will use them as well as ensuring there is ample legroom at desks. Many times it is worth the investment to purchase more expensive ergonomic furniture that has a longer shelf-life and will contribute to the well-being of users.

Start Incorporating Feng Shui Into Your Coworking Space

Applying Feng Shui principles can be a great way to ensure your coworking space is as productive as possible. By following the guidelines discussed, you can help to ensure your employees are free from distractions day-to-day and are able to work in an environment that unlocks their creativity while supporting their mental well-being.