The Top Five Energy Drains in Your Office

OfficeWorkerAt the end of the work day, do you feel like you’ve been digging ditches rather than sitting in an office for nine hours?  Perhaps it’s time to take a Feng Shui look at what’s around you when you work.  Here are the 5 top energy drains in an office environment:


1.  Lighting—the ideal light is a lamp with a full spectrum light bulb.  If your only sources of light are incandescent bulbs and overhead fluorescents—which emit high levels of electromagnetic radiation—you will feel tired and listless by the end of the day.  EMR exposure drains your energy, and if you get enough of it, can cause major health concerns. 


So when possible, turn off the overheads, especially that flickering yellow overhead light that makes you feel you’re in 50s prison movie.


2. Proximity to large office equipment—if your desk is nestled near the office copier or other large equipment, you are near a another major source of electromagnetic radiation.  Ask—if necessary—beg to move your desk!  A copier (and any large appliance) should always be against an outside wall to minimize EMR exposure since you can be affected even on the other side of a wall. 


And don’t make a nest of smaller printers and electronics all around you.  Move equipment at least 6 feet away if possible, and add plants to soak up radiation!  Peace lilies, for example, are great plant barriers between you and sources of EMR.


3.  Clutter—as you know by now if you’ve been reading my blogs, clutter slows and stagnates energy—I’m talking about a desk and counters stacked with files, soda cans, chip bags, and memos going back to 1999.  Avoid clutter like boxes or wiring around your feet underneath the desk, and remove those Post-it notes stuck all around your monitor and covering your bulletin board. Research shows visual clutter can actually trigger migraines! 


4.  Desk facing the wall—if you face a wall two feet in front of you all day, you’ll start to feel limited in your job and eventually depressed.  Plus you will feel out of control and insecure since you can never tell what’s coming up behind you.


If at all possible, turn your desk to face the door or the flow of traffic.  It’s criminal that so many cubes have built-in furniture forcing occupants to face inward.  If you truly have no choice, add a mirror so you’re prepared when your boss strides to your desk with grim determination.


5.  No windows—Studies in biophilia (love of living systems) indicate that human beings perform better when they have access to a window—with exposure to sunshine and views of trees and grass—yes, nature!  Research with workers performing the same tasks in rooms with and without natural sources of light show that productivity soars in rooms with windows.


But if you are stuck in a windowless workspace, definitely get a full spectrum light bulb for your lamp, add some bright, soothing nature scenes if you are able to hang up artwork, and take a 20 minute walk at least once a day outside.  Sunshine stimulates the serotonin in your brain and lifts your mood. 


By making a few simple adjustment in your work environment, you’ll feel less cranky, work more productively, and you won’t collapse like you’ve finished a day of hard labor when you get home!  Gabriele Amersbach, Lucky Path Feng Shui


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