While definitely a space saver for employers, the productivity from their employees could suffer, not to mention their personal Chi compromised, if cubicles and the people in them aren’t positioned correctly. Often placed back-to-back, face-to-face, this pits people against each other. A desk facing a wall with a toilet on the other side is a problem as well.
Here are a collection of tips I’ve given to my clients over time, and new ones I’ve picked up along the way.
- Take Compass Direction. Know the direction your building faces as well as the direction you face at your desk and the entrance of your cube so that you can place appropriate things in the corresponding areas. For example, photos of your children are great in the east or west. See the bagua map for more ideas.
- Know Your Kua. Everyone is different. It is based on the Eight Mansions Formula of Feng Shui, and is calculated by using your birth date and gender. Once you know your number and what “group” you fall into, you will know what compass direction is your personal “Sheng Chi” or most beneficial to face and occupy. It could be as simple as a small adjustment of your chair!
- Back support. Whether your back is to the wall or not, in a workplace with others it is important to have “support”. Enhance this with a firm, tall-backed chair with arms and a photo of a strong mountain behind you. Add a Dragon Tortoise to your space (look it up online, they’re awesome!) but don’t place it directly in front of you.
- Try not to face a wall. I know, in a cubicle it is almost impossible not to face a wall. If you have a wall directly in front of you, place a picture there of an open landscape. This symbolically creates space. You can also use a picture of a phoenix to represent the missing “bright hall”. A wall with a toilet on the other side? Slide a mirror between your desk and wall (facing the wall) to reflect back that negative Chi.
- No surprises! If you are set up in such a way that your back is to the entrance of your cube, this suggests surprise attacks, encourages backstabbing and blocks possibilities of advancement or promotion. You can place a mirror on the wall in front of you so that you can easily see the entrance of your cube in it. I recommend the tall-backed chair again as this allows for the support at your back that you are lacking having your back to the entrance (this is true for a window at your back as well).
- Watch for poison arrows. Sharp edges pointing at you, including anything from wall or desk corners to bookshelves, are not only harmful for your career, but also your health. Smooth them out by pulling books forward on the shelves so that it is flat, and putting a plant or a crystal in front of the edge.
- Let There Be Light! If you have a basement office, you’ve probably got a lot of yin energy. Use bright lighting to lift the Chi. It is similar when you have no windows at all. Use sufficient lighting, and bulbs that mimic natural daylight are great too in any workplace. If you do have windows, take advantage of the natural light.
- Clutter! We have got to come to a new understanding: the fact is that we must not have more stuff than we have sufficient space for. Storage in cubicles is scarce, so be careful not to create stagnant energy by having piles of paper or books just sitting out on your surfaces if they are not in active use. Do not store anything underneath your desk if you can help it either. It should remain clear for Sheng Chi to circulate around you. Clean out drawers and files periodically so it stays neat and maybe this will allow for the things that normally sit out to be put away.
- Amulets. While I discourage lots of knick-knacks, here are a few things to consider having at your workplace. Choosing any of these will surely be a wonderful addition to your space: The aforementioned dragon tortoise is wonderful for success and longevity. The faceted crystal beautifully disperses and elevations Chi around the area while a smooth crystal ball takes care of negative energy. A very strong looking rooster keeps harmony between co-workers and dispels office gossip and politicking. One of my personal favorites is the victory banner. It is the symbol of knowledge over ignorance and helps lead you ahead of your peers.