Interestingly, certain colours and colour
schemes seem to boost productivity at work while others don’t. That
means it is definitely possible to improve workplace productivity by
simply changing the colour of the walls. Here’s why.
The Psychology of Colours
According to psychologists different colours make us feel different things. Some colours fill us with energy, or make us feel sad, or make us feel relaxed. And interior designers agree with them. That’s why it’s a good idea to design your workplaces at home and at the office with the right colours, otherwise you might inadvertently be hampering productivity instead of increasing it!
Here are the different colours suited for the workplace, and how they affect a person’s mood:
Blue has been found to increase
productivity in workers, who produce work at higher levels. In fact,
it’s also been found that wearing blue often to the workplace increases
your likelihood of getting a promotion, because blue signifies loyalty.
The great thing about the colour blue is
that there are lots of different shades out there that work on walls. If
you’re designing an office, find a shade of blue that fits the
corporate theme, and have the general work area’s walls painted with it.
White is another colour that’s been found to increase productivity. It makes crowded places feel more airy and spacious, and it generally fills workers with a sense of optimism. Even better, it’s a shade that goes well with most other colour and furniture schemes, so it’s used often in corporate environments.
White also denotes cleanliness and sterility, and it’s very often used in hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and other “sterile” places of work.
Yellow is an “energetic” colour, as many
consider it as a universally “happy” shade. Work-wise, it has been found
to aid in concentration, which makes it suitable for areas where the
work to be done is very detail-oriented, precise, and fragile.
You might want to avoid using yellow in
workplaces with many people, or with very loud and annoying noises, as
it also has the bad side effect of making people lose their temper in
Ever heard of the term “green room?” It’s
a real room in TV studios and movie sets where actors go to relax and
focus, and the walls are painted – you guessed it – green. This is
because green is the most relaxing and calming of all colours.
Knowing that, it may be best to think
twice about painting a workplace’s walls green. It might actually reduce
productivity by making workers feel lazy, sleepy, or sluggish. That
said, it does have its place in the corporate environment – it’s the
best wall colours for lounges, anterooms, and other places for rest and
If yellow is an intense colour, red is
even MORE intense. Red has been found to increase heart rates, making
for more energetic and enthusiastic work.
The disadvantage of red is that it can be
distracting and overpowering. It’s best to use red in highlights and
accents, and use other less powerful colours for the main walls.
How to Choose the Perfect Colour For the Workspace
The key to choosing the right colour is
to first of all know what kind of work is going to be done in that
space. After all, not all kinds of work are the same – some require
focus and concentration, while others require freedom and creativity,
while still others require monotony and routine.
For areas where the work being done is
monotonous and routine, or in general work areas that accommodate many
different types of work, blue is the best colour. It’s the perfect
balance between productivity and relaxation. It is, in a way, the colour
that “has something for everyone.”
For work covering long hours, green is
the best colour. Its relaxing qualities make it easier for thoughts to
wander and creativity to flow. Just make sure to counterbalance the
soothing power of green with a stronger, advancing colour (like orange
or tan) somewhere.
If you’re not sure what colour would be best for certain work areas in your home or office, ask your architect or interior designer. They’ll help you come up with the right colour schemes for the different work areas and activities.