The following post is part of a series on living the Catholic faith in the workplace.
The layout of a space matters. Just look at the time companies spend designing their headquarters. From cube farms to wide open areas, offices are designed to create a particular culture at a company. You too can create a specific culture focused on Christ within your work space. Since a typical office worker spends more time in the cube than in the pew, it is important to structure this area to bring us closer to God. While our cube may not look like a cathedral, we can set it up as a place to encounter God. Here are a few suggestions of making your cube more Catholic.
A Daily Prayer to a Saint on Your Work Desk
Right next to my computer I have a plaque to St. Joseph the Worker which contains a prayer to begin the work day. I start every work day by praying that prayer to St. Joseph, asking him to help me to work well for the Lord that day. This helps me stay grounded and mindful that my work should be an offering to God. When I get into a tough problem, the plaque reminds me to ask St. Joseph to help me through the situation. I have experienced great power through his intercession and highly recommend praying to him in time of distress.
Turn Your Desktop Background into an Encounter with Christ
Instead of using the generic background on your desktop, add in a picture of Jesus, Mary, a Saint, or your favorite story from the Bible. If you want to be creative, you could change the background each liturgical season to remind you of what feast the Church is currently celebrating. That way, every time you close your program and return to the desktop, you are instantly drawn closer to Christ, instead of yellow tulips, goldfish or whatever picture currently graces your desktop.
Sticky Notes on the Laptop
Placing a quote from a saint or a Bible verse on a laptop is another great reminder. It just takes one glance down from the computer screen to that note to allow God to speak to you. While you may not have five minutes at work to read a meditation, you can take five seconds to read a quote that draws you back to Christ.
HR Policy and Religious Items
One company I used to work for had a policy of no religious items on the desk or on the cube wall, though I could have them in my desk drawer. I was rather frustrated when I was told to take my crucifix down in the name of inclusion and diversity. However, I became creative in the ways that I displayed my faith in the cube. I placed a couple of push pins on the wall in the outline of a cross. I kept my desk drawer open a crack so that I could see the crucifix inside it. If HR restricts your expression of the faith, find some creative alternatives. The early Christians used symbols like the fish to show their faith, why can’t we?
The possibilities of customizing your work space to focus on God are endless. In this season of Easter joy, find one thing that will remind you of that joy to place in your work space.
Bob Waruszewski is a cradle Catholic from Pittsburgh, PA. He graduated from St. Vincent College with a bachelor’s degree in both mathematics and economics. Currently he works in the regulatory department for a natural gas distribution company in the Steel City and is enjoying life as a married man. In his free time, which will be cut dramatically when his wife gives birth in May, he enjoys playing sports, hiking and reading a good book. His favorite saint is St. Joseph.