Using Feng Shui at Work: Private Offices and Cubicles
Arrange your personal office or cubicle according to the tenets of feng shui to get the most possible work done with the least amount of stress and frustration.
The continuous corporate emphasis on cost-cutting and profit maximization has led to a related yet unfortunate drive to squeeze the maximum possible usage out of every square inch of office space — not to mention out of the employees.
Corporate settings use two general seating arrangements: individual offices (one room per worker) and the dreaded cubicle (or office isolation tank). The move to more people sharing space, whether in cubicles or not, contributes to an admirable flattening of hierarchies within the corporation. However, the downside is sterility, a lack of privacy and personal space; you may feel like a unit in a machine rather than a person with individual needs and desires.
Having a room of one's own
The ideal office is a room of your own with a regular shape (preferably square or rectangle), natural lighting (at least one window), a solid door you can close, and a good position for your desk. One of the great advantages of having your own office is that you can usually perform more decorative Feng Shui adjustments than if you work in a cubicle. Of course, not every company can afford, or desires, to put every employee in his or her own individual space.
If your office deviates from these ideal conditions, try these cures:
- Irregular room shape: Use a faceted crystal sphere, mirror, or plant to correct the space. If your office is extremely irregular, you can have inexplicable setbacks and continuous frustrations at work. If you can't switch offices, you can apply the special nine green plants cure: Add nine healthy new plants to your space all on the same day. The plants should be purchased new for the purpose of this cure. If convenient, you can place the plants near particular irregularities in the room, such as strange angles, posts, cramped areas, and so on. Otherwise, just stick them where they fit best. For full results from this cure, visualize that your job and career are going very well.
- Projecting corner, post, pillar, column, soffit, or duct work: Many offices contain features that break up the energy flow of the room or, worse, shoot "poison arrows" at your sitting position at the desk. Place a sizeable plant in front of the troublesome feature, or hang a faceted crystal sphere between the feature and your sitting position at the desk.
- Solid versus glass walls: If your office contains one or more glass walls that make you feel even a little vulnerable, try to hang mini-blinds to cover the glassed-in area. Blinds are effective even if you don't often use them; their presence gives you added protection. If you can't perform this solution, hang faceted crystal spheres from the ceiling with red ribbons cut in 9-inch multiples. Use one sphere for every 5 linear feet of window space.
- Improper lighting: Like the majority of office workers, if you suffer under fluorescent lighting, you can use a couple helpful hints. You may be able to replace the tubes yourself with healthier full-spectrum ones (also called "grow lights") from the hardware store. If you can't replace them, bring in some supplemental incandescent light in the form of floor or table lamps. Working solely with overhead light is uncomfortable for the eyes, and supplemental lighting is a source of relief for your eyes and mind.
Surviving and thriving in a cubicle
A cubicle is a much trickier Feng Shui situation than an office room. Cubicles are unfortunate paradigms of vulnerability for the individual worker. One of the chief problems is that you don't use a real desk but work from a countertop, unless you work in one of the large manager type cubicles. However, you can do plenty to improve your situation. By judiciously applying Feng Shui cures, you may find yourself in your own office sooner than you imagined. (See Figure 1 for cure placements.)
- The first and most important priority is to make sure you can see the entrance to your cube from your desk. Try to move your sitting position first, but don't seriously cramp your work style. If you can't move — you can't.
- If you definitely can't move your sitting position, you can place an 8-x-10-inch mirror in a picture frame or on a small stand to reflect the entrance of the cube to allow you to see if anyone is approaching. Many people subconsciously use the reflections in their computer monitor to see who's approaching them, because seeing the entrance is a basic human need. The problem is that the reflection in a monitor's screen is distorted, unclear, and unreliable.
- The second priority is bringing living and flowing energy into your workspace. These features are important ways of compensating for the small size of your space and the constant traffic flows that pass by your cube. If you can bring an odd number of healthy plants into your space, you can stimulate more-active, vibrant energy. Also, a nice fountain near the entrance of your cube can work wonders. Not only can it stimulate more salary coming your way, but also it can help uplift your mood and diffuse any negative flows of chi (human or environmental) in the vicinity of your work space. If space or social realities preclude a fountain, you can get some of the same benefits from a photo (the larger, the better) of flowing water, such as of a waterfall or river.