An orderly office can be good for business |

An orderly office can be good for business

Kimberly Nicoletti
High Country Business Review
HCBRA messy desk is more than unsightly ...

In 2005, Kathy Jones, then the owner of Alpine Natural Foods in Frisco, hired a pair of “intuitives” ” specialists in the Chinese art of feng shui ” to help her increase profit and create a better experience for both her customers and employees.

Although Jones felt a little tentative hiring Anne Salisbury and Greg Meyerhoff, she knew them previously as clients who hired her to cater their wedding. So she gave feng shui a try.

The first thing Salisbury and Meyerhoff asked Jones to change were posters on the front doors that prevented customers from looking into the store. But that was only the beginning.

Using the advice from Salisbury and Meyerhoff, Jones ended up moving displays that blocked aisles, adorning cafe tables with flowers and windows with fabric and transplanting the salad bar to sit next to soups.

After the changes, sales jumped 10 percent, and employee morale soared, Jones said.

Patricia Grinnan, a feng-shui consultant based out of Boulder County who comes to Summit and Eagle counties about once a month, works with “energy flow.”

The type of feng shui Grinnan practices, called bagua feng shui, considers nine main areas of an office or home.

Certain areas of the map, or bagua, Grinnan uses relate to specific qualities of the space. For example, the back-left side (using the front door as a reference) of an office is the “abundance area.” Therefore, an owner would want to make sure nothing blocks the flow of abundance ” or metaphorically flushes it away, such as locating a bathroom in that area.

However, feng shui practitioners have “cures” for poorly placed bathrooms. One involves wrapping red tape around pipes to contain energy, Grinnan said. Other cures may include writing down an intention for a specific quality ” such as abundance, career, reputation or relationships ” and hiding it in the area.

Bringing in the element of water ” whether in a picture or a water feature ” can help a career flow, and the element of fire ” which red symbolizes ” can ignite one’s reputation in a positive way, Grinnan said.

She helps business owners write down their intentions and then performs a ritual to enhance each one.

Probably the biggest feng shui no-no involves the entryway, as Jones discovered. If it’s hard to find or uninviting, it can discourage guests from coming in.

Grinnan suggests clearing pathways of clutter and plants so that the entryway looks clean and inviting. She said when a person walks into a space, they immediately get a feeling ranging from, “I can’t wait to leave” to “Ah, I can stay here forever.”

The feeling also works for home sales. Grinnan just sold her home in Boulder in two weeks. She said there are specific cures and energy-clearing rituals for homes, and shifting the placement of items also helps. She recommends such services for homeowners or real estate agents who are having difficulty selling a home.

“For me, it’s creating the sacred in your home or business,” she said. For Alpine Market, creating sacred space translated to increased sales.

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