Element-ary Tips for Home Offices
Your home office workspace should be as pleasant and inspiring as you can afford to make it. You can achieve some measure of delight in your home office by looking at the five elements as they relate to your work and surroundings.
Form Follows Function
How you set up your home office largely depends on what kind of work will go on there, that is to say, with which of the five elements your work is associated. Feng shui employs the elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water in achieving balance, and each element is represented in a different bagua or section of the bagua.
Ideally, your office would be located within the bagua of your home representing the element associated with your work. If that is not the case, you can arrange your furnishings and décor according to the appropriate element to achieve compatibility with your surroundings.
You can have your office in unusual places throughout your home, as long as you don't disrupt the flow of positive energy in your workspace.
Many feng shui practitioners use a luo pan (compass) or intuition to determine the elements needed to bring about balance within a building. Ideally, you are building a new home and can consult a practitioner about the best placement of your home office. However, if you do not have this opportunity, or you do not have a choice about which room will be your office, then skip this step and move on to what you can control: the furnishings and décor.
Creative types such as writers and illustrators might want to include a tabletop fountain, or even an attractive bowl or glass of water, in their workspace since these are water activities. Creative pursuits require their practitioners to dig deep within themselves while remaining quiet and contemplative on the surface.
Other elements are associated with other professions, such as:
Metal–accounting and management. Use metal art, a trophy, or a metal desk.
Earth–medicine and social work. A small granite or clay sculpture or pot can represent this element.
Wood–marketing, selling, and teaching. Paneling, a wooden desk and chair, or picture frames are easy to incorporate into your office.
Fire–sports and public relations. A candle or two is great, especially with a stimulating scent that keeps you alert. (Use safely!)
Keep optimal direction in mind, too. Even if you can't do anything about which direction your office faces, you might be able to set up your desk in a favorable position. A feng shui practitioner can help you determine which direction is right for you.
Incorporating the five elements in some way when you decorate and arrange your workspace can boost your productivity.