I recently had the opportunity to volunteer at the Veteran’s Administration for their employee Diversity Day 2012 “Perceptions, Stereotypes and Conversations Leading to Understanding”. Topics were wide-ranging and fascinating from What Our Names Say About Us to a display on how to raise Koi (with live fish)! For those employees who stopped by my table on Feng Shui, I learned that many were interested in how to energize their cubicles. Office cubicles offer both opportunities for ease in working and problems to solve for the Feng Shui practitioner.
What’s great about working in an office cubicle? Office cubicles have been designed and arranged to maximize storage and optimize workspace. Most cubicles are built with plenty of storage space above and below the desk so you have clear space to work without having to store your files on your desk. Another great option in cubicles is open, useable wall space either with a built-in bulletin board making it easy to place artwork that supports and enhances your workstation or a white board for making notes and keeping organized. Plenty of storage and a built-in art or planning wall are two good Feng Shui reasons to enjoy working in a cubicle.
What about the challenges of cubicle office space? Most challenges revolve around feeling uncomfortable and dealing with noise. We are at our best in terms of creativity and productivity when we are spatially comfortable and confident. This can be achieved when we are seated in, what’s called in Feng Shui, the power or command position. This is the place where, when seated behind your desk, you can see the door. It’s also preferable to have a wall behind you or next to you for support. In most cubicles you are facing one of the walls with your back to the open doorway when seated – exactly the opposite of the power/command position! And, because it’s all built-in you can’t change the location of the desk. What do you do? With Feng Shui there usually is a way to “fix” an arrangement problem. The fix is to place a mirror on the wall where when you look up from your work with a quick glance you can see if someone is coming into your space from behind you. This easy fix can immediate give you the confidence of having control over your space – and you will be able to work more productively. In addition to using sound cancelling headphones or placing a sound machine or water fountain on your desk (if allowed), mirrors can also be helpful to mitigate noise. A mirror placed facing away from you toward the wall where the noise is coming from is a way to intentionally “reflect” back the noise away from you without negativity or judgment. Obviously it’s also important to speak to your co-workers about keeping the noise down!
It’s always rewarding and fun to share Feng Shui and I particularly enjoyed meeting the open-minded, enthusiastic employees working at our local Veteran’s Administration during their “Diversity Day” many who said they’d be putting these Feng Shui recommendations into practice!