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Buildings & Environment

The Feng Shui of all buildings, no matter what they are used for, is very much the same--as is the Feng Shui of gardens, parks, and seating areas outside offices. So, overall and looked at in very simple terms, there are two basic types of Feng Shui, indoor and outdoor. Workplaces tend to be rather more difficult than homes because of the mixture of people who work there and because of the eclectic blend of their styles and personalities with the building.

The building then, should try to be within the supporting arms of the Dragon and the Tiger, whilst protected by the Tortoise at the rear, and in front of the building, the 'footstool' of the Phoenix. As I always say at this point, this is the perfect positioning which a Feng Shui consultant would recommend for the building of commercial premises in somewhere like Hong Kong or Taiwan. We, in the West, often have to 'put up with what we are given' and this is where Compass School Feng Shui can be useful in helping overcome any difficulties and 'poison arrows'----sha chi.

Flow of Chi

The flow of the chi around and into the building is vitally important. It should be a steady, constant, meandering flow, neither rushing through as in 'gorge and rapids,' nor stagnating in dark pools.

The history of the building should be checked, as you can do with a house. Were the previous occupants happy, successful and healthy--or were there problems, bankruptcy and illness? Knowledge is power, and these problems can be overcome, either by using the Eight Remedies, or even through Space Clearing and Cleansing, a ritual to 'frighten away' any really bad luck which remains.

Pa Kua Planning

Once the Pa Kua sectors have been realised, you can then begin to work out the best possible positions for types of staff, i.e., marketing, sales, accounts etc. But, when you know their personal Pa Kua numbers as well, this can be done with pinpoint accuracy, taking into account their inate personalities.

As a general rule, 'bosses' and managers are well located in the North Western sector, which symbolises the 'Authority Figure' as well as mentors, networking, important meetings and helpful people.

The South East, the wealth corner, would be best for finance, accounts and cash register operatives in shops, whilst those workers specifically dealing with personnel functions would be best located in the South West.

Each time, colours, elements and ornaments would all be taken into consideration, plus the placement of desks, furniture, pictures, electrical equipment, lights, spotlamps and shelving.

Active Energy

Business premises are active, busy sites and the energies to be encouraged are very yang. Any empty spaces within the building or immediately around it, like empty offices, warehouses and derelict ruins would have to be considered as 'pools of decay' and protected against. Inside the building, there is going to be lots of necessary movement and activity as well as loads of angular office furniture, mainly metal plus all of the electrical equipment and so, without much help, the site will already be very yang. It is important that with the decor and the remedies, that this highly powerful yang type energy does not go 'over the top' and become too oppressively yang and so disrupt the workplace and, more importantly, the staff who are working there. If the public are often there as customers, it is very important that the atmosphere comes across as 'friendly and helpful.'

Main colours can be neutral, even bordering on pastel, with bright touches and splashes being brought in where they are appropriate. Metal is supported by brown, orange, terra cotta, yellow and strengthened by white, cream, gold, bronze or grey. Water is supported by blue/green and strengthened by black.


Desks are best made of wood whenever possible. There are precise measurements for desks which will bring strength, support and authority. A good sized, very large desk, recommended by Feng Shui experts [see books by Lillian Too], for a 'top boss' would be 33 inches high [3 is a strongly yang number, symbolising the East, growth and ambition], 60inches long [6 is wealth, power and authority, symbolising the North West] and 34 inches wide [3, already mentioned, 4, number of the South East--wealth and riches, together making 7, a very magical number, linked to the stars and constellations]. A smaller desk could be 33 inches high by 48 inches long and 32 inches wide. L shaped desks, so very popular these days, are not very auspicious, rectangular shapes are far, far better.

Computers on desks will give out a great deal of yang energy in the form of electro magnetic fields. This is good in the office environment as long as it does not become overpowering because of all the other yang energies already there. Yang energies, and remember in Feng Shui, we are constantly striving for harmony and balance, can be harmonised with the introduction--as mentioned earlier--of yin [near pastel] shades in the decor.

Whilst at desks or computer work stations, office workers should never, ever sit with their backs to the door. The desk should be placed diagonally opposite the door with a clear view of anyone who enters. The back wall behind the desk should be solid with no windows; on this wall, place a picture of a mountain, symbolising support and strength. If a window does back a desk, then it should be protected--vertical blinds will do the job very well indeed.

A manager's office and anyone in rank above manager, should ideally have their office(s) well into the 'heart' of the building, but never at the end of a long corridor, especially if the corridor has three or more doors in it.

All offices, as with all rooms in a house, are best if they are regular with few corners and no alcoves. offices near toilets, especially right opposite toilets are not good Feng Shui.

Open angular shelving should not threaten desks. Glass fronted shelves are best, or protect them with trailing plants or with books, or files brought right forward to the edge of the shelves.

office Organisation

Front doors and entrance/reception areas need protection from any external 'poison arrows', such as T-junctions. Front doors and entrance areas for one person business or small businesses are often, if possible, best aligned with the Pa Kua number of the boss. General good directions for office main entrances to face are South, which would fit into the Form School ideal site location of the 'Phoenix footstool', backed by the protective armchair. Also remember that South symbolises Fame, Public Recognition and Reputation. The Southern entrance is excellent for shops or any premises dealing directly with the general public.

Another good location for the main entrance is South East, representing Wealth and Richness of Life. Reception areas or offices near the main entrance need to be as spacious as possible with excellent lighting.

Do not let mirrors face the main entrance, so that chi would be reflected straight back out again. Broad leafed plants and attractive colours in this area would be excellent. Tie them in with the elements and colours for the Pa Kua locations. Reception and initial 'Hello and How are you?' meeting rooms, for visitors to the company are excellent in the South, or in the North West, the sector of mentors and influential, helpful people.

Desks in reception areas, or indeed in any offices in the building which are too near doors may need windchimes to moderate the flow of chi. If, however, windchimes are considered 'too weird' for the business environment, then broad leafed plants can do the same job. If desks are near to pools of stagnant chi, hidden away in corners, near to alcoves or actually in alcoves,remedies need to be applied-such as uplighters/spotlights. But, lights right above people?s heads are not conducive to good chi.

Shelves and mirrors too near a desk would also not be good for the person trying to work at the desk. Clutter and untidiness, of course, also need to be avoided, especially on desks, but around them as well. Go back to thinking about the Pa Kua sectors, and remember what the South East represents-----------, so, clutter in that Wealth corner, or even worse, rubbish bins, waste paper baskets or paper shredders there would not be good Feng Shui!

Using Remedies and Protectors

Colours, elements, directions and locations should all be considered, especially remedies such as, electrical equipment, clocks, mirrors, lights, windchimes and crystals.

South East = Wealth

All businesses are concerned with wealth in one way or another, so the South Eastern sector of the Pa Kua applied to a business premises is usually the most important. If this sector is stunted or missing, or if this is where all the staff toilets and rubbish bins are located, obviously there will be problems that need sorting out using the Eight Remedies. I recommend the use of Chinese coins, tied together with red ribbon. Use three of them,and they must be Yang side facing upwards. This is the side of the coin with 4 pieces of writing on it. You can also use pound coins [Heads=yang,Tails=yin].

Put them in or near cash registers in shops, in invoice books, near sales figures, in the accounts department in offices. Cash registers in shops, or any offices or areas connected in any way with finance and accounts should never be close to, or even worse, facing a toilet or kitchen.
Mirrors reflecting the cash register or the account books are excellent Feng Shui, as are good luck coin balls tied with red thread hanging in the 'financial areas', or frog and/or fish ornaments.
Also remember that especially in the South East, water signifies wealth so a small water feature or aquarium with moving water would help, ensure that any water flow is pointing into the office and not, as with small waterfalls, facing the main door.

The Eight Locations - Business Implications

The eight locations can also be seen to have special implications to do with business life. The Centre, as you know, is an extremely precious and powerful area, symbolising earth and the number 5, where the chi swirls and can produce extreme change. It should be left as clear and as empty as possible. This is very important in shops, to allow the customer freedom to browse.
I once provided a consultation for an office where the rest area for the staff was in the tai chi. Needless to say there were many staff problems, arguments and no team building!

The North West, metal, number 6, is usally a good location for 'bosses' of any description including managers. The chi here is strong, powerful and supportive, helping with organisation, authority and leadership qualities. The boardroom or any important management rooms should be in the North West whenever possible.

The West, metal, number 7, is good for creative work and new projects or developments inside the company. It can be used very well for sales or credit chasing, finance, account records.

The South West, earth, number 2, symbolising relationships has a slow and staid chi energy but can be good for personnel work, good customer liaison and interviewing new staff, representing as it does, careful solid progress and strong physical relationships.

The South, fire, number 9, is Fame, Public Recognition and Reputation and therefore links in with improved sales and advertising/marketing, PR., and design departments. This is an excellent location for shops.

The South East, number 4 and wood element, has already been discussed at length being the Wealth corner.

The East is also wood, number 3 and is an excellent location for computers, technical design and where necessary-kitchens, toilets, rest rooms and training. It has a very active chi energy, where ambitions can be realised; any hi-tech equipment is well placed in this location.

The North East, earth, number 8, has a strong, sharp energy, symbolising learning, knowledge and inner self-growth. It usually is associated with hard competitive skills, motivation and getting difficult work and projects carried through to completion.
But always remember the chi here is unstable and can quickly change. Speculation, such as stock exchange trading, investments, are very often found in this location!

Finally, the Northern sector, number 1, element water, is strongly associated with career matters. There is great power and strength here, protection and support.

Siting of Departments in Small Businesses

The information given above could be applied to a small business, restaurant or shop occupying just one room, by placing the Pa Kua over that individual room. The power and strength of the application would never be as strong as that used for the whole building. The office environment of a small business is crucially important, since all the functions of the business may be crowded together. Feng Shui can be very helpful in bringing efficiency and progress into a business like this, and also helping with good working relationships between staff and the satisfaction they get from their jobs. It will also help to provide surroundings free from negative stress while enhancing the 'feel good' factor which is needed to help keep the company growing and therefore also ensure individual growth of wealth!

Energy Levels

The chi energies have to flow freely but not too quickly around the business premises. It should not be allowed to rush or to be blocked or become stagnant. The energies of the staff and how this impinges on and exchanges with the environmental chi is very important as well. often in modern office layout, there will be use of communal desks and the associated equipment with very little room given for personal space. With loads of yang energy zinging about, more rounded features, water influences, plants and softer colours are often needed to stop the overwhelming effect of 'being on top of each other'.

Personal, individual offices or work stations can have the opposite effect and so more angular, more yang colours and ornaments need to be introduced. Sometimes these very personalised offices can become too strongly identified with home with cuddly toys and photos brought in. This can often have an inauspicious effect, when 'home' is located in a workplace, making life a bit 'too comfortable' and alterations in enhancements would probably have to be made to counteract these energies.

Article written by Paul Darby. Paul Darby is a feng shui expert, a registered consultant with the Feng Shui Society(UK), who travels all over advising individuals and companies on homes, gardens and offices. 

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