Work Space

8 psychological effects of color in the office


Productivity is key in the workplace. But did you know the way you decorate your office may affect how well your employees are performing? In addition to space planning, you may want to reconsider pops of color when decorating your office space – after all, different colors may have different effects on your staff.

1. Calming blue hues

Blue tones produce a calming effect on the body, and it’s not often you’ll find someone opposed to the color. In fact, most people will respond with blue when asked what their favorite color is. The soothing effects of blue shades are also often associated with trust. In fact, according to California State University, Stanislaus, many U.S. banks designed their logos with this in mind, wanting potential customers to see them as a trustworthy resource.

2. Relax with green

Much like the color blue, green can inspire feelings of calm and reassurance. Of all the shades of green to choose from, many of the most popular are found in nature. Grass green is reminiscent of the outdoors, which can relax and refresh one’s mood. Dark forest green is great for allowing individuals to concentrate, which can be ideal for an office. However, layering your entire office in greens limit your decor options or muddy the effect.

Use potted plants to bring some green into your office space.Use potted plants to bring some green into your office space.

3. The energy of red

Red is often associated with authority and power. As a result, the color is commonly avoided in office interior design. Other emotions evoked from shades of red include love, aggression and warmth. While red may boost energy, it has been found to be a short-lived boost. In fact, Forbes explains that the color red can reduce analytical thinking. However, in Eastern cultures, red translates to joy when paired with white.

Furniture can offer a great opportunity to add a pop of color to your office.Furniture can offer a great opportunity to add a pop of color to your office.

4. Basic white

Giving off a hygienic and clean vibe, the color white is associated with simplicity. As a result, it can lead to boredom – meaning your employees may find distractions other than their work. While crisp white walls will likely provide patients with comfort during a doctor’s appointment, they’re not ideal for an office environment. Instead, the decor may come off to clients and employees as unfriendly and even cold.

5. Back away from black

The color black has a sleek appeal to it, and can promote feelings of sophistication and security. However, the darkness of the hue is best suited for attire, when it is seen as slimming and glamorous. There are a number of negative psychological responses people have to black: unhappiness and depression. Additionally, a black wall may even make it more difficult to see in a poorly lit room.

Wall color can really liven up a conference room, just make sure to pick the right color.Wall color can really liven up a conference room, just make sure to pick the right color.

6. Don’t go gray

Similar to black, the color gray is often viewed negatively. However, there are no known direct psychological responses to the color. Gray is often thought of as dull – think black and white photography, where most images are some shade of gray. Much as a cloudy day can bring down your employees’ moods , it’s likely that using too much gray in your office layout will negatively impact productivity.

7. Peaceful purple

What first pops into your mind when you think of the color purple? For many, it relates to a soothing feeling. However, purple has also been used to signify royalty. As a result, it can evoke confidence in people. Additionally, purple may help your employees give more thought to their work, as it can lead to reflection and contemplation. Keep in mind that too much of the color may give off a cheap vibe, so avoid going heavy on purple.

8. Orange is valuable

If you’re trying to speak to the value of your company, orange may be the way to go. Forbes points out that corporations such as Home Depot have used this loud color in their logos to signify to customers that they offer valuable goods at a low cost. When paired with white, it may even evoke a cheerful response in people. Orange can be a fun way to brighten and liven up a space.

While a more colorful decor may not turn around the morale in your office overnight, it might just give you a push in the right direction. If you need help with color, Office Designs provides space planning, and allows you to consult with an office designer about which colors may work best for your company.

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