10 months into the ongoing pandemic, and many people find themselves still working from home.

But as times goes on and energy undoubtedly starts to wane, could your home office do with a revamp in order to help you regain your spark of productivity? Rachel Manning certainly thinks so.

East Anglian Daily Times: Rachel Manning, who has been practising feng shui for 20 yearsRachel Manning, who has been practising feng shui for 20 years (Image: Rachel Manning)

Rachel is an expert in all things harmonious, and has dedicated the last 20 years of her life to helping people find harmony within their lives through the practice of feng shui. But what exactly is feng shui, and how can you harness it in your home?

“Feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy that focuses on achieving balance. The traditional meaning of the word is ‘wind and water’, but in modern times, it typically refers to looking at different elements within the home or office, in order to help restore balance in a person’s life,” she explains.

Contemporary feng shui in particular focuses on where furniture is placed, with the aim of creating a more positive and calming environment.

“Feng shui certainly seems to have had a resurgence over the last year, as people are becoming more aware of their surroundings. People are still spending so much time at home, and are now finding they’ve got the time and money to make their space more conducive to how they work.”

For anyone looking to make the most of their at-home work space, Rachel has a number of tips and suggestions that can help you do just that.

East Anglian Daily Times: Keeping your desk free of clutter is a quick and easy way to help boost your productivityKeeping your desk free of clutter is a quick and easy way to help boost your productivity (Image: Naphat_Jorjee)

Declutter your space

One of the easiest and simplest solutions to help you get your working space in order is to keep your home office clean and tidy.

“Doing things such as getting rid of old paperwork and anything out of date will enormously shift the energy of your space. Even things you might not have considered, such as having clean windows to let natural light in will greatly help increase your clarity, and in turn, your productivity. If you look at your desk and have piles of mess everywhere and cups you haven’t taken to the kitchen, it doesn’t help you think clearly. Regularly keeping your space clean and tidy is something that doesn’t take long, and can be done on a regular basis.”

Reposition your desk

If you’re able to, Rachel suggests moving your work desk, as having it face the room can help you feel more at ease as you get on with your tasks. She says: “With feng shui, using your common sense and intuition is one of the best things you can do. For instance, you’d never want to sit with your back to the door, so reposition your desk if you can. You'll always feel more secure when you’ve got your back to the wall and you can see the door clearly. But if you’re working in a tiny box room, try placing a mirror behind you so you can still see the door.”

East Anglian Daily Times: If you can, position your desk with the wall behind you and facing the doorIf you can, position your desk with the wall behind you and facing the door (Image: Halfpoint)

Work from a high-backed chair

Not only is sitting in a proper chair good for your back physically, it can actually help you feel focused as you work. “From a feng shui perspective, you need a solid mountain behind you, so sitting in a proper chair will give you that support and help you feel more settled as you’re working.”

Brighten up your space with positive artwork

Anywhere you spend a substantial amount time should be somewhere that makes you feel positive, even if it is your home office. Rachel suggests investing in a few pieces of artwork for your walls, adding: “Having inspiring wall art is beneficial, as it will help lift your energy and make you truly feel comfortable and familiar with your surroundings.”

READ MORE: How a near-fatal accident spurred a baker onto a more mindful way of life

Create a vision board

With people spending a lot of time thinking about the things they can look forward to once lockdown is over, having something aspirational to look at can really help inspire you throughout the work day. That’s where a vision board comes in.

“The subconscious mind is very receptive to imagery, so making a visual representation of what you wish to achieve is a great way to help you manifest your goals and intentions – whether that’s a promotion, a new job or even a new house. This can be done by cutting pictures and words out of magazines, collating them and putting them somewhere where you can see them clearly.

“If you put your vision board in the north west of the room, or somewhere where you can see it all the time, it will continuously drip feed into the mind, helping your subconscious give you the solutions on how to get to where you want to be.”

East Anglian Daily Times: Minimal clutter, natural light and plants are some of the key elements that can really help lift a home office, according to RachelMinimal clutter, natural light and plants are some of the key elements that can really help lift a home office, according to Rachel (Image: time99lek)

Bring the outdoors indoors

Introducing natural materials to your home working space, such as wood, water and plants can really help add a calming energy to your day-to-day surroundings, according to Rachel.

“Plants bring a vibrant energy to the space they’re in, as long as they’re healthy and well-looked after. Having water nearby can also be very soothing – I have a water fountain behind me in my home office, and the sound of trickling water really helps me feel calm.”

Pack your work away

For anyone who doesn’t have the space for a home office and is having to work from a communal area such as a dining room or living room, there are a handful of things you can do that will still allow you to disconnect from the working day when it gets to clocking out time.

“For instance, if you’re working from a desk in a dining room alcove, one idea would be to put up a curtain, where you can shut off that area when you’re done with it. It’s all about putting those boundaries in place, helping you shut off when you’re not on the clock.

“However, if you’re working from your dining room table every day, ideally you want to pack up your work when you’re done. Putting it into a bag and moving it into a room where you can shut the door will symbolically let yourself know that you’re now in home mode, and firmly puts up that mental barrier.”

To find out more about feng shui and the work that Rachel does, call 07780 612625.