Whether you follow feng shui or common sense, the direction you face when sitting in your cubicle has a profound effect on your production and how you feel at work. Your working conditions affect your mental and physical health as well as your attitude. Privacy issues can be resolved in cubicle landscapes with proper placement and a company that allows workers to design their own cubicles is a drawing factor for new talent.
Toward the Light
While you don’t want to have sunlight glaring down on your computer screen, adjusting your cubicle so that you get to feel some sunlight and warmth as it passes by each day is both calming and uplifting. Even the U.S. government directs office designers to share the sunlight with the worker bees and not let the bigwigs take up all the window space on the floor. Ideally, your sitting position should be placed so that you can look up from your seat and see the outdoors, allowing the sun and light to wash over you by just lifting your head.
Many companies require collaboration among employees, which can be difficult to manage if you have to stand up and lean over cubicles to see your co-workers. Arrange your cubicle so it’s open and facing other employees, so that you merely have to turn in your seat to brainstorm or show each other the work you’re doing. Arrange a bunch of cubes in a circle with a common table in the middle so everyone can participate easily in a conversation. You’re going to hear each other’s phone calls and other noises anyway, so if your work requires collaboration, go ahead and share some space too.
Toward the Opening
Feng shui and common sense both dictate the difficulty workers have when their backs are to a door or cubicle opening. You can’t see who is sneaking up on you or watching you work. You may constantly be turning your head to see who’s walking by or what perceived dangers are approaching. Even when there’s nothing dangerous going on, it still can feel uncomfortable and you can get a stiff neck after a day of turning around to look behind you. Sit on the side of the opening so that it’s constantly in your peripheral vision. You won’t be able to situate your chair so that you face the opening in a cube, so do the next best thing and at least remove your back from the open space.
Toward the Power
Fung shui is the ancient Chinese art of placement. It follows what’s called a bagua to determine the power spots in a space. At the opening of your cubicle rests your career power, but you obviously can’t face that way. Consider placing your chair in the left corner, angled toward the door, so that you still have the peripheral view, but puts you square in the wealth and prosperity corner of the cubicle. You can always hang a crystal near the opening to increase your career power. If you need to draw on additional creativity to do your job, sit on the side that’s to the right of the opening and if your health is failing, face the left side of the cubicle.
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."