September 19th, 2010
10:31 PM GMT
Hong Kong, China (CNN) - Where's the best place to sit at work? It's a simple question. But when I asked a local feng shui expert, I didn't get a simple answer. More on that in just a moment.
Feng shui literally means "wind water" in Chinese. It's the ancient belief that energy flows through your surroundings and it is up to you to harness the "good energy." Several years ago, I was intrigued enough by this philosophy that I took a beginner's feng shui class in Texas, where I was living at the time.
I quickly realized it was complicated. Not only do you have to use your birthday and a formula to determine your element, there was also something about a tortoise shell, compass directions and more calculations. I don't remember anything from that class except that my element is "wood" and I need to avoid placing fire elements (e.g. red vase or red carpet) in my home. Red symbolizes fire and fire burns wood.
Fast forward to today. I live in Hong Kong, where people take feng shui pretty seriously. You only have to look around the city to see that architects often include feng shui in their design. In Repulse Bay on the island's south side, there's a well-known apartment building with a large hole in the center. The hole is to allow the dragon (the Chinese symbol of good fortune) access to the sea to drink water.
You can also apply feng shui to your office.
That brings us back to the question, where's the best place to sit at work? Feng shui Master Raymond Lo says that first, a feng shui expert needs to come to your workplace to evaulate the energy flow. He emphasizes the boss needs to sit where the best energy is.
"If the boss is happy, the company makes money," Lo says. Then the middle managers should be assigned the next most "auspicious" spots in the office. Lastly, the rank and file take up the remaining floor space. Lo also says there is also something called "money energy" - and no one should place their desk where money energy intensifies. This is where the conference room should be - a place where strategy is planned out.
To make things even more complicated, Lo says good energy is dynamic and moves around. So over time, the most auspicious energy can migrate to different locations in your office. I told you, feng shui isn't easy.
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