Refresh Your Office, Refresh Yourself

You have probably heard of feng shui, but do you know what it actually is?

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy that seeks to optimize and harmonize ones physical environment in order to foster peace, prosperity, health, and creativity.

While maybe you haven’t called it that, you have certainly seen feng shui in action in your own life. Rearranging the living room furniture or painting the kitchen are western ways of incorporating that ancient Chinese idea that by creating a new external environment you can positively affect your internal environment.

Personally, I had that epiphany about a year ago. Although these days I am a writer and content creator and I no longer practice law (whew!), my current office still had remnants of my old law office – some old, blocky, cherrywood bookcases, a huge black filing cabinet, a brown leather recliner with rivets, you get the idea. The result was a horrendous mashup.

And the energy in my office reflected that. There was no flow. The feng shui was all wrong.

So, with the help of my interior decorator wife, we redid the place. A thorough, deep cleaning, some new furniture, a few plants and new art, and voila! I had a new office that felt, and looked, different. It was great. We all noticed both the physical, as well as emotional, differences immediately.

Refreshing the office works, for a few reasons.

First of all, as it did with me, creating a new working environment can revitalize you. While I knew that I would like having some new furniture, what I didn’t expect was that I would become far more productive as a result. But I am.

Why is that? Well, we all fall into ruts. Going to the same office with the same people doing the same thing means you likely end up doing things the same way. Mixing things up mixes that up. What we discovered was that the new paint, fresh smell, and new furniture has had a subtle, but profound, effect for the better on how we work.

But let’s not stop there. Re-designing your office and adding in some new elements will also revitalize two other constituencies vital to the health of your business:

Your staff: By refreshing the office, you are telling your team that it’s time to kick things up a notch. And, whether it’s a complete overhaul as I did, or just some fresh paint and deep cleaning, revitalizing your space can revitalize your team.

Your customers: One of the strongest words that can be used in any advertising is “new,” because, well, people like new. Even with a business that they have frequented for years, customers like to see something new. By redoing your office, you are not only giving your customers something new, you are subliminally telling them that you will not rest on your laurels. That’s good business.

Given all of these benefits, the question then becomes: How can you best create some new feng shui in your business?

Begin by taking out the old and deep cleaning what is left. After that, you can

  • Clear out the clutter
  • Paint areas that need painting
  • Change the layout of your store or office
  • Get some new furniture
  • Get some new signage

So go ahead, give it a shot. You, and your business, will be clearer, cleaner, healthier, and more creative as a result.

© 2017, The Strauss Group, Inc.


Steve Strauss

Steve Strauss is the senior small business columnist at USA TODAY, the Editor-in-Chief here at Small Business Connection, a speaker and spokesperson. He can be reached at

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