The Quest for Enlightenment on Finding the Right Office Furniture
Time for another term from good ol’ dictionary.com: Feng Shui (“fuhng shway”), as you all know, is “the Chinese art or practice of creating harmonious surroundings that enhance the balance of yin and yang, as in arranging furniture or determining the siting of a house.” Literally translated, it means “wind” and “water”, arranged to control the patterns of your “chi” or energy. We thought we would expand on this concept to integrate our own notions of interior design and office space planning when it comes to new office furniture and used office furniture in the workplace.
To start out our quest for enlightened office planning, one must consult one’s inner self and ask, “What is my company’s chi?” The answer is not as hard to find as you might think, probably right under your nose. Your company’s energy is whittled down to a mixture of what propels you and what compels your clients. That takes into account the following marketing elements, the awareness of which will help you do good business in a satisfying work environment:
- Brand Image: What is your logo and slogan and how do others perceive it?
- Company Personality: A bit different than brand image, this is where you ask yourself, what is at the heart of your unique selling proposition? What makes others do business with you instead of the competition? How are you positioned in your industry?
- Product Personality: This is like the tangible form of your chi. When your product or service moves from one hand to another, it translates into dollars that motivate and affect your workers and clients alike. So what ideas and connotations are attached to your product(s)?
- Client Personality: Are the people you work with like you? Do they share your energy level and type or do they come to your office with different expectations?
- Office Personality: What are your co-workers like? Social demographics like age and vitality might play a factor in determining their impact on the atmosphere in your office.
- Office Surroundings: Are you a metropolitan, suburban, or quaint countryside business? How much of your surroundings do you want to reflect with your presence?
These questions can be pretty tough. Take some time to think about them, and then you’ll be better prepared to think about furnishing your “feng”. Ask yourself which office furniture category below should your company fill its office with. If you need additional help, contact our CubeKing expert office space planners by picking up the phone and calling toll free 1-888-399-7025 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll be adding to this article as time goes on, so check back soon for more advice on how to decide on the right new office furniture and used office furniture for your workplace. In the meantime, check out CubeKing.com for great ideas on new and used furniture an unbeatable prices.
The quest for finding the right office furniture continues as we discuss the importance of incorporating feng shui principles in your office work environment. It’s important to think about how your office space is arranged and balanced because ultimately your office furniture — whether it’s new office furniture or used office furniture — not only says something about your company to visitors, but also affects the overall energy level of the company, on conscious and subconscious levels. This can impact employee motivation, productivity and retention, the creativity, focus, and quality of your project output, external and internal perception of your brand, and even bottom line results.
In part 1 of this series, we suggested choosing office furniture that takes into account your company’s chi, the mixture of motivating factors and ideas that propels your company and compels your clients. The office furniture that you purchase should consistently amplify the image that your company creates through its brand and slogan, its location and employees, its type of product and industry, and its positioning as to whether it conforms or deviates from the status quo in that industry. Sometimes it takes a little bit of a balancing act to decide what kind of office furniture to buy. For example, if you are a high-impact, super-energized, vibrant company but your client base is mostly on the conservative, frumpy side, it may be more appropriate for you to get black or green leather chairs which can be just as energetic as those swirly and polka dotted couches you were considering. You might also want to hold off on installing that zip line in the office too. Or, if you are repositioning your company as “more personable, more hi-tech than the competition” and/or if you have an influx of younger tech-savvy employees, you may want to pump up the chi level in the office by switching from grey to orange or chartreuse on the furniture or surroundings.
To provide a better understanding of what office furniture suits your company the best, here is a general rundown of typical company and appropriate office furniture categories:
Looking primarily for functional and economic value in your office furniture? This office furniture will help you maximize space AND lower cost.
|Small businesses, low price tag consumer commodities, telecommunications, computer services|
Some businesses bank on the cozy, personable factor: being able to make your clients and employees comfortable to help stimulate creativity and sales. New and used office furniture can offer the right quirks and styles for a trendy look with a lot of character.
|Creative / design firms, outdoor and extreme sports, niche consumer products, arts and entertainment, media|
Breakaway rooms, VIP lounge-like lobby areas, or desk areas designed to mesh work and play and make visitors feel at home.
|Sports, design firms, casino, high-end retail architecture, hospitality / tourism, airlines|
Conservative but classy, the companies in this category remain seriously focused on their work and still conscientious about their presentation.
|Information technology, accounting, education, manufacturing, healthcare|
A step up from the rest, this designer office furniture says “savvy,” “stylish,” and “sales.” Highly focused on differentiating from the other high-end competitors.
|Large media and entertainment firms, apparel and jewelry, fashion, internet, biotech, automotive, energy, engineering|
Posh meets experience. This office furniture is designed to instill the feeling of credibility, trust and customer loyalty.
|Military / defense, government, banking, investment, consulting, finance, real estate, law firm|
Of course there is no clear cut answer to communicating your company’s message through office furniture. Your company may even go against the grain — a “fun” bank or a serious style surf shop, for instance — to better stand out. It is also important to consider that different areas of the same office with their different uses may be designed to contribute a different atmosphere in their setting, a topic which we will discuss in further detail next time.
Whatever the look you’re going for, remember that CubeKing has the best selection and the best prices for office furniture. In fact, CubeKing will beat any legitimate price on used office furniture, GUARANTEED. CubeKing even offers office space strategic planning and liquidation services for a complete office makeover to match your company’s chi with the right feng shui choices for new office furniture and used office furniture.
Check back soon for another update on feng shui office furniture!
Back by popular demand, we continue our exploration of the principles of feng shui as applied to office furniture and the office environment. Last time we discussed in further detail how to define your company’s chi and mirror that energy through the substance of your work environment, your office furniture. Now let’s talk about how to strengthen that energy most effectively through the arrangement of the stuff in your office.
The traditional time-tested teachings of feng shui tell us that to reduce stress and encourage effectiveness and prosperity, we should arrange our surroundings according to the bagua, a sort of map that translates the metaphysical energy around us. On the practical side, it also helps us get organized and very logistically oriented for better control over our work and work relationships. To better understand the bagua and start incorporating feng shui techniques into your office, simply draw a tic-tac-toe grid and fill in the following:
Office Space Feng Shui Bagua Arrangement
As you can see, feng shui is very particular about where areas with certain functions are designated within the office. By the same token, it also makes it very clear, sensible, and easy for us to benefit from it. The top row has to do mostly with actualization and higher tasks associated with managing the company. The middle row has mostly to do with creation and fulfillment of project work and maintenance of the company’s activities. The bottom row has mostly to do with support, incoming or new ideas and people, and hospitality. One may think of the overall structure as a body, with head at the top, heart and hands in the middle, and legs bolstering the bottom. The columns also make sense in their relationship to each other. Chief Executives will need to show off their work and have a place to meet and greet, so they should not be far from the fame and family sections. The right column deals mostly with the progression, through work of people and project ideas. The middle column deals with the status of the company in the past, present and future. And the left column takes care of the corporate philosophy and drive behind it all.
Part of feng shui’s success and effectiveness is that it works on a micro-level along with the macro- office level we discussed. That is, you can even apply feng shui techniques to style your desk space for productivity, too. See the chart below for an example of keeping a sensible, neat, and stimulating desk area.
Desk Space Feng Shui Bagua Arrangement
|Good Luck charm, Bulletin||Awards, Inspirational Poster, Best Work||Project Folders|
|Photo of Family, Plant||Computer Screen & Keyboard||Mouse, Favorite Action Figure, Desk Fountain|
|Reference Books, Computer Tower||Desk Chair||Other Helpful Resources & Supplies|
While you may not be a believer in the seeming mysticism behind feng shui principles, the pragmatic would be impressed by the results in how feng shui and its structure pans out, or the things in life that may seem to be organized in similar fashion. Applied to the micro-level even more, one may see in the mapping of the human brain that there are similarities to the energies associated with feng shui bagua. The left side is associated with logic and strategy, the right with creativity and emotion, the bottom or brain stem with vital functions, growth, and motor skills — not unlike the skills region, the human resources, the reception / helpful area. Again on the macro-level, one may even associate the international regions of the world in similar vein, with most wealth concentrated in the upper left (America), creative activity in the far right (China and Japan), international stability and concerns dominated by events in the Middle Eastern nations, the traditional cultural values of Mexico and Central America being centered around family, Australia as one of the consistently leading travel destinations, the long history of Europe in the north, and so on. (However, it should be duly noted that the bagua map, or lo shu grid actually corresponds to cardinal directions rotated 180 degrees with south at the top and north at the bottom.)
The best bet? Give it a try and see how feng shui can help increase productivity and organize your office. To get started, contact our strong>CubeKing expert office space planners by calling toll free 1-888-399-7025 or by emailing us at email@example.com.
Who Moved My Chi?
Looking to “feng shui” your office? Feng shui helps you become more aware of how your office space and office furniture affects your state of mind. The benefits of the ancient eastern teachings of feng shui are widely known, and are becoming increasingly practiced in western culture, especially trendy office buildings looking to maximize productivity, go green and integrate with nature, and harmonize their overall energies. In our previous office feng shui articles, we discussed:
- the background of feng shui (part 1)
- how to better define your company¿s chi, or energy, stemming from your brand image (part 2),
- and how to apply feng shui to the choosing and arranging your office furniture for overall balance and prosperity in the office (part 3).
Now that we have an understanding of the philosophy and structure of feng shui, it’s time to talk about moving your chi, maximizing the flow of your corporate energies. From the corporate standpoint you can think of your chi as connected to:
- the product and brand that your company sells,
- the people that sell it and their personality,
- and the ideas that flow through your company and the overall gestalt mood of the workers in your office.
Employee communication, company morale, team collaboration and individual performance all stand to benefit when your company’s chi moves in the right direction. Here are 10 tips to configure your office and office furniture to maximize and harmonize the flow of chi.
1) Bubble it Up:
What is your source of chi, where your corporate energy makes the most impact, where the center of attention is in your office? Water is said to be an especially good source to stimulate chi and spread throughout the office. Windows, inspirational posters, and other flowing shapes may also not only help attract attention to the more beautiful parts of the office but also relax visitors and employees and instill more thriving, peaceful chi energy. Larger corporations may consider a fountain in the lobby or atrium; desktop waterfalls are also fun and a good idea for your chi. (Be sure to keep it a good distance from your keyboard and computer.)
2) Comfy Curves:
Add some softer, rounded organic shapes to your office to offset the plethora of harsh, geometric shapes that are common in offices — some yin to balance out the yang. Curved edges also make reception desks less confrontational and more inviting. Desktops and desk chairs become more ergonomic and more comfortable with curves, too. As a general rule of thumb, the more curves in your office and office furniture, the more natural (and trendy!) the overall look and feel, and the more comfortable your chi. Plants are a good way to incorporate truly flowing, organic shapes, keep the air fresh, and feel more at one with nature. Plants with sharp leaves like cacti and tea trees are said to ward off or absorb bad chi, too.
3) Clear the Clutter:
Clutter operates on similar principles as positive and negative space. The more clutter the more distraction and overwhelmed feeling of tension. The less clutter, the cleaner and healthier the environment and the more freely your chi energy can move about. The work environment also looks cleaner with less clutter. Consider it to be the cholesterol of the chi bloodstream, and use office furniture to declutter your office. You will be amazed at how much stuff you can make disappear and how organized you can get the place by purchasing monitor arm mounts, phone organizers, storage units, shelves and other office accessories.
4) Mirror Mirror on the Wall:
Feng shui recommends two great interior design ideas to move and balance your chi by using mirrors. First, if you can’t have your desk turned to face the door, use a mirror to see it and to be better prepared when people enter the room. The effect on your chi will be that you will feel less stressed and in greater control of your office environment. Secondly, placing mirrors at the end of short hallways can help extend the perceived space and thus make even narrow hallways feel less claustrophobic. One thing to note when using mirrors: placing a mirror where it reflects clutter or your work may subliminally double your work. However, decluttering your office with the appropriate office furniture should prevent this from happening.
5) Traffic Flow:
One of the most obvious ways to get the energy flowing around your office is to make sure that it’s easy for people to move through it, too. If a piece of office furniture is constantly in your way en route to the printer, don’t put up with it, move it! For two-way traffic down a hallway, allow 5′ to 7.5′ wide. If your halls or paths are 3′ or less, you’re bound to have bottlenecks and choke points, and it will be difficult for people to squeeze through. For areas that people (especially a large number of people) are going to spend more time in or pay greater attention to, allow for more space to take it all in. For example, for conference rooms, waiting areas, showcase areas, or lobbies, 8′ x 10′ is a minimum. However, if you allow for too much space, your chi may fizzle out and dissipate.
Also, think about the direction of traffic. If visitors tend to stay by the door and barely leave the waiting room, your office may seem less hospitable or even boring. When you give the tour, it may be nice to pass some other rooms before arriving at so-and-so’s office or the showcase area. If you have ever been in a grocery store, IKEA, or Toys “R” Us, you have experienced a carefully laid out interior design to help direct people through the aisles in a predictable manner and to focus their attention on point-of-purchase displays, kiosks, and aisle ends. Consider incorporating the same concepts in your office, but don’t make it a maze.
6) Mix it Up:Combining office furniture of variable height (tables, coat racks, desks, bookcases, cabinets, etc.) creates visual “rollercoaster” stimuli and also helps excite your chi. The height of your surrounding “horizon” over the furniture in the office determines how far you can see, which also impacts how much control you feel over your environment. If you have cathedral ceilings and don’t want to feel dwarfed, isolated, and vulnerable as you work, consider raising the desks and even getting some bar stool height task chairs.
7) Deeper is Better:
Create an inviting sense of depth by employing two interior design techniques. First, while mixing up the height of different office furniture in the room can stimulate, you can also keep the tabletop or desktop heights uniform and spread them throughout the office to create a greater perspective. It works the same way as row houses on a city street or railroad tracks — you know they are all of uniform width or height, so the eye interprets a greater sense of depth as they move into the distance. Second, using the triangulation method, which is basically drawing a triangle with office furniture on the floor (e.g. couch and end tables on sides with coffee table in front) or on the wall (e.g. overhead cabinets above desk). Not only does this spice things up visually, but it also helps to ensure that office furniture is easier to access.
8) The Height Dimension:
Watch your head! Flat, average to lower height ceilings actually work best for helping the flow of chi through the office. If you have higher ceilings, consider getting some taller office furniture (like bookcases) or banners to hang to offset the negative, empty effects.
6) Positive and Negative Space:
The openness or closeness of your office furniture and the actual and visual (perceived) space in your office is an inherent reflection on the mood of working for and working with your company. Closeness may either imply greater collaboration, relaxed personableness, or coziness, but also quite often generates a cramped, claustrophobic feeling of tension. On the other hand, with more open spaces, your workers and clients may feel less trapped, freer to do business with respectful space, freer to move up the ladder. Openness can create a sense of quiet contemplation, but can also be noisy if there are echoes. Too much space, however, can create a psychological sense of vulnerability and smallness.
10) Harmony and Balance:
Much of feng shui teachings revolve around achieving a balance in the surrounding environment. Using symmetry and paying attention to the gestalt, the totality of the room or office area will help give better form to the practical use of your office environment and shape your chi energies in a way that produces an effective and comfortable activity level. Balance can apply to space, shape, colors, motion, symbols and of course, the masculine and feminine.
If you need additional help coordinating your office and office furniture according to the best in feng shui and interior design principles, contact our CubeKing expert office space planners by picking up the phone and calling toll free 1-888-399-7025 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feng shui is no longer just an ancient eastern belief system, an architectural, landscaping, and interior design school of thought, an aspect of popular psychology, or time-tested practical way of rearranging your surroundings and regaining control of your life — it’s a part of the green initiative, too. How does feng shui help us reduce harmful ozone pollution and global warming, raise awareness of the environment, save energy, and make the world a better place? Read on to find out.
Integration with Nature
Feng shui literally translated means “wind – water”, describing its use of natural elements to balance universal life energy, or chi (aka “qi”). Feng shui principles of interior design as applied to homes and offices have an intensive focus on integrating with nature. Since the majority of us spend so much of our post-industrial lives working indoors, it’s important to our psyche, our physical health, and to our ecology around us to bring some of the outdoors into where you spend your 9 to 5.
Feng shui teaches that organic, flowing and curving shapes help to stimulate and channel chi correctly to avoid bad angular and accusatory energy (sha chi) from threatening and entering the workplace. When applied to office furniture, this means more ergonomic furniture, which we all know is proven to be healthier and which de-stresses the work environment. Sustainable materials such as desks made from recycled wood or aluminum, are also encouraged. Windows are heavily incorporated with feng shui to allow better connection with nature, let in and out chi energies, and to let in the fresh air too. Water, especially fountains and fish tank aquariums, not only stimulates chi but cheers up the workplace and brings attention to natural elements too. Natural lights with the full spectrum of light wavelengths are less stressful on the eye, energy efficient, and urged by feng shui. Feng shui also incorporates natural symbols for good luck, prosperity, and protection, such as pigs, tigers, dragons, tortoises, phoenixes, frogs, red fish, cats, and eggs (red or golden ones). Plants (especially bamboo) on the floor, window sill, or on your office furniture are used to clean the air, absorb bad chi, and restore your healthy chi.
Feng shui also emphasizes cleanliness and a strict rule of no clutter. This in turn creates cleaner, more organized habits in the workplace where finding and reusing stuff (thus reducing consumption) is easy. The macro effect is that cleaner habits mean not only less waste in the workplace, but less wasteful, careless practices such as littering, taking unwanted items to the dump instead of reusing or donating them, and an overall greener mentality. Feng shui also considers leaving your computers on at night akin to a child leaving the closet door open for the monster to come out, or like a nagging to-do item that won’t go away–not good for your restful energy levels. While this may make sense for your chi, or for the superstitious, it also makes good sense economically and to conserve valuable energy and natural resources.
Feng shui methods are used to perk up the office environment by incorporating more comfortable and healthier office furniture materials, office furniture designs, and office furniture arrangements. This has a significant impact on increasing employee satisfaction, health, retention, and productivity. Overall, this is money saved, not wasted on going after new hires or lost by cramped productivity. When your employees leave their jobs at five o’clock satisfied, they are less likely to take a bad day out on the road, in a hurry, which causes more accidents, backups, sitting in traffic, and a vicious spiral of rush hour stress–along with more greenhouse gases emitted. While an indirect effect, less stress has a very real impact on productivity, especially when economical productivity seems at odds with environmentalist efforts.
Going Green Doesn’t Have to Mean Green that’s Gone:
One final note: the holistic, organic integration of feng shui into your office environment does not have to be expensive, like organic foods. In fact, CubeKing offers new and used office furniture, with discounts of up to 90%. If you’re into conserving resources and energy by reusing consumer goods, we will liquidate or outfit your office completely. Our space planners are also excellent at helping arrange your furniture correctly for growing your business efficiently. To find the right office furniture for your office, contact us today at 1-888-399-7025 or at email@example.com!
The art (or science, if you will) of feng shui has many rules, some of them which may seem contradictory to anyone but an expert feng shui master. Feng shui’s hidden traditions date all the way back to ancient Chinese teachings such as the I-Ching, so there is no wonder why there is so much to consider. As a blog focused specifically on providing information about finding the right office furniture, we have focused on some simple feng shui tips for the office and only just scratched the surface of the iceberg that is feng shui. Here are a few feng shui ideas to help you achieve wealth and prosperity with your office and office furniture.
1) Watch Your Back: Always try to arrange your desk space so you can sit in what is called the “command position”, facing the door. The area of the room farthest from the door is best. This gives you more line of sight, greater control over your surroundings, and more time to prepare and to greet incoming visitors, bosses, or co-workers. As a matter of hospitality and maintaining good chi energies, it is inappropriate to turn your back on guests or your business. Propping your back up against a flat wall is said to help bolster your business acumen and confidence. However sharp angles can exude negative chi energies, so turning your back to jutting corner (as opposed to a concave corner) may actually be detrimental to your feng shui. Facing windows is also good to stimulate your chi energy, but face away from a window and your energy gusts out the window. If facing the door is not possible, it is good feng shui to place a mirror so you can see behind you and/or the doorway. Likewise, if you cannot face a window, try to mount an motivational poster, your best work, or some other source of inspiration above your computer. One excellent way that CubeKing can help you achieve this command position setting is by selecting from our L- or P-shaped desks, which allow you to fit along a wall while facing the door.
2) Inspiration vs. Escapism: With feng shui, you must take a balanced approach to comfort so that it does not arrive at distraction. Some obvious examples are facing a television, a long hallway, the exterior of the office, the elevator or escalator. Leave your coats at the coat rack, not on your office chair. While working you should be able to easily concentrate on working, not on leaving the office or work area. Clutter is also a distraction; use storage units to declutter your office.
3) Balance is Key: Whether it’s the horizontal and vertical, light and dark, bright and pale, complementary colors, smooth and rough textures, organic and geometric, the moving and the still, the elements, or the cardinal directions, everything is to be carefully balanced in its placement according to feng shui. For example, you can balance your horizontal desk with filing cabinets, bookcases, and cubicle panels. For information on the most accurate regions of the office to place things, refer to the ba gua map section of our third installment on office furniture feng shui.
Again, these tips are just a start. To learn more about finding the best office design or office furniture, contact CubeKing at1-888-399-7025 or by email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read our previous articles on Feng Shui here: