5 Tips to Cheer Up Your Sad Workspace This Winter

 Disclosure: The following post is in partnership with the Staples Business Advantage program, where Staples has everything to keep you healthy and organized. 

I have gotten sick more in the last two years than I have in my whole entire life. I moved to Atlanta and have been getting beat up by ear infections, sinus infections, colds, flus, a red ant attack (I wish I was kidding) and quite a few sore throats. When the Staples Business Advantage program asked me to partner with them to bring you guys tips for cold and flu season, I jumped on it, because nobody knows cold and flu like this girl right here. 

My cubicle and the countless co-working spaces I have been to over the last few months, all have one thing in common: they are incubators for germs and disease. According to a survey conducted by Staples, more than 73 percent of people catch the flu at work, and office managers can be the first line of defense this flu season. If you've noticed things like fluorescent lighting and stuffy conference rooms, a conversation with your office manager or receptionist wouldn't be out of line. See, if you aren't feeling your best, you cannot do your best work.

Beyond following simple hygienic recommendations from trusted sources such as  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are a few simple tricks to improve the health and well-being of the office. It can be as simple as pairing common activities like disinfecting surfaces with Feng Shui principles such as decluttering desks and switching the energy flow. Winter is dreary enough on its own, switch your style up with these tips.

Why Feng Shui for the Office?

Our energy, or chi, is affected by internal and external elements.  Your space is a manifestation of how you feel inside. Feng Shui is all about keeping the energy flow in a space smooth by finding balance and taking into consideration the 5 elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Balance and energy in a space boosts your mood so you are more positive and productive. You have to create a comfortable environment in the place you spend the most time in outside of your home: the office. To make sure you are your best self this flu season, I interviewed Feng Shui expert Susan Chan on how to enhance the energy in your office space. 

  1. Fresh air is key. Consider air purifiers, open a few windows, or add plants (since they are natural air purifiers) to your space.Explore replacing fluorescent lighting with full spectrum lights that mimic natural light, or add a full spectrum lamp to your desk. 
  2. Add green and purple office accessories which are considered wood elements and bring the energy of vibrant health, vitality and growth to a workspace. Even something as simple as changing the screensaver on your desktop can help boost your mood. 
  3. Incorporating red in small doses can boost your health and focus. Try adding a back pillow`to your chair or a red frame for a picture of a loved one. 
  4. Manage the Feng Shui of your personal space.  You want to be able to see the door and see the flow of the room. While some cubicles and offices don't give you many options, you can try something as simple as turning to face the entrance or add a mirror in front of you so you don't have to turn around to see what's going on behind you. 
  5. Help others by decluttering your desk and common spaces that will help in keeping your chi up. It will help and improve the vibes of the overall space. Less sick coworkers and more sanitizing means you are less likely to get sick yourself.

Susan's tips will help you elevate your office’s energy to best promote health and wellness, and Staples can help you with your office design needs as you contemplate the space’s layout with their design expert services. Staples has everything you need to fight the flu, from simple design tips that can impact office energy and productivity and is a one-stop-shop to purchase everything you need to increase total wellness. For more flu-fighting facts and tips, visit Staples Health & Wellness Center here

About Susan:

Susan Chan is a Certified Feng Shui Consultant and Coach based in NYC. Using signature techniques, she works with individuals to help them find optimal flow in their spaces and lives using the power of Feng Shui and space energetics. Susan has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Asian Americans and other renowned international publications and shares her love of Feng Shui in her monthly newsletter at www.FengShuiCreative.com/blog.