Stress & Wellness: Tips for a well workspace

By Emily Harrison With spring time comes the phrase ‘spring clean’ …where we turf out wardrobes, dust off exercise equipment and create space for all the exciting projects and ideas ahead.

Well in an ideal world that is what would happen.

I myself was lucky to find the keyboard to write this column under what I would like to defend as a “system of organised chaos” …but really is just a cluttered workspace.

And so with some spring-time vigour I took a look at what aides a healthy workspace. To help me I had a chat with a lady who knows more about feng shui than I and with her French accent and full hand gestures, Christiane taught me a lot more than just tips for workspace wellness.

“You know Emilleee, clutter on ze desk means clutter in ze mind” (hmm clearly she wasn’t aware of my extraordinary touch typing abilities under forests of paper…but she could be on to something).

“To be able to create, you have to be organised in life,” she continued. Lucky the CWC have a columnist dedicated to ‘Organise Me’.

So what practical steps could one take to help bring a sense of harmony and balance to a workspace?

  • Step 1 is to de-clutter. Clutter is stale energy so start moving it, literally. Clutter or mess adds a heavy weight to your environment so when you de-clutter you create space for positive energy to flow in. Place everything into its own spot (and if it doesn’t have one then do you need it?).
  • Create time to clear…regularly. We know what it’s like to become absorbed in a piece or find “the zone” … but we can forget to create time to clear and find we’ve become covered in piles of thread, material cut-offs, or in my case…a forest of paper. Give yourself 30mins to refocus and create space to allow the creative genius to flourish.
  • Let’s talk lighting. Aim for natural lighting where possible and consider supporting lights and/or using a magnifying glass for fine tasks such as needlework.
  • Cleanliness – it goes without saying. We’ve all heard the revealing reports on keyboard hygiene. Pick up the tea-bags, clear off the crumbs. Stat.
  • Work in nature - while I was tempted to move my office to the park, Christiane was referring to incorporating natural elements in to your office or home– or in her words “humans cannot be at peace unless nature is present” (think earth, water, stone, wood, metal elements etc). Which is why plants or flowers in a vase of water are great to have around. Plants, while also looking good, help to absorb negative energy. They also seem more manageable than goldfish for me.
  • Work in inspiration – someone once said to surround yourself only with things that are useful, beautiful or that uplift. Wise words whether you apply it to the home or the office.

Sometimes we need to start small

So with that in mind, I am armed with helpful tips (and no more excuses) for tweaking my workspace to let the energy and creativity flow to its best potential.

I’d love to hear your tips or ideas?

With thanks to landscape architect and feng shui expert Christiane Seletto for sharing her wisdom.

Emily Harrison is a writer and yoga teacher with an interest in what makes us healthy, thriving creative beings. She also finds herself stuck under piles of paper at times. You can read more at