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Put It In Its Place

Keep your business strong by following these tips for creating a productive work environment.

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This story appears in the August 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

You spend at least 40 hours a week in your workspace-for some of you, it's more like 60 or 70 hours-and besides being tired, you may find yourself headachey, cranky and generally unhappy. It may not be the workload that's got you down, but the environment you're working in. Feng Shui can help. Its basis is about creating health, harmony and prosperity. Combine that with Bau-biologie, the German science of the effect of the built environment on humans, and you have a working system to maximize the health of your company. Carol Cannon, founder, CEO and president of Environmental Placements Inc. in Boca Raton, Florida, combines these disciplines to create productive environments for her clients. She recently shared with us her insight on keeping your business strong.

  • Know your history. Buildings are like countries: The settlers that came first have a direct impact on you. In other words, a business that was in your space before you leaves its emotional imprint. "Try to find out who was in your space because their energy [can] linger. What happened to them has a good chance of rubbing off on you," says Cannon. Sound like hocus-pocus? Think good karma. Rather than inherit space left by a bankrupt business, wouldn't it be better to move in to a space because your predecessor did so well, they had to move on to better things?
  • Use your senses. When you first walk into the building, keep track of what you see and smell. Does it smell musty or unusual? "That could be a sign that the air quality is suffering because of mold and things," says Cannon. Also be mindful of what you see on the outside of your building. Is it beautiful, with a fountain and lots of healthy greenery? Or is it all dead plants, a barren wasteland? "There should be some color and a sense of aliveness when you're walking into your office," adds Cannon.

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