What colour should your work space be?

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Colour is used in every context in public life, business and industry, to boost morale, motivation, increase concentration, focus and helps with creativity. Research found every colour, tone, tint, hue has psychological effects, on our mental, physical and emotional sense.

On a personal level - colour (whether we are consciously aware of not), affects our mood, self-esteem, confidence and perception of how we see ourselves and how others see us. For your home work space how you want to feel and behave? See below the colours that could give you positive feelings and work for you personally.

The power of colour

Brands have long recognised the power of colour to connect their brand to its market. Spending billions to ensure their message is effective connecting with us to use colour to evoke emotion - known as labelling. What do you think about the brands shown – are they aligned with the right label?

If you are self-employed or work for yourself look at your brand colours – do they tap into your customers emotions?

Not stock magnolia!

Now the standard colour for landlords or builders or people trying to sell their property (they don’t really like it but hope others will). Thought safe to appeal to wide number of people and takes the hassle out of making a colour decision. Developers think the homeowner will change the colour when they move in to personalise the space. But homeowners don’t want to make a decision either so just live with it.

.If you have magnolia in your work space - its yellow based - so can look cold. If you can’t change it, introduce pictures, artwork, mirrors, plants or bookshelves.

Is blue the best colour for your workspace?

Blue is thought to stimulate the mind, aid concentration and have a calming effect which triggers natural tranquilizers in the brain. It has the opposite effect of red as it slows heart rate. This slowness is perfect if you need to concentrate for long periods as it increases productivity.

Blue is used for staying focused in repetitive industries e.g. accounting offices use blue to increase productivity to keep employees focused

Colour psychologists believe yellow and orange encourages innovation and creativity.

Yellow is a sunny, positive colour exuding energy and optimism. It evokes feelings of happiness and brightens spirits. But use sparingly as it can overwhelm. Orange elicits fun and playfulness, stimulate creativity or have brain storming sessions. It’s said that orange increases the oxygen supply to your brain.

Mixing two primary colours, e.g. yellow and red making orange combines the happiness of yellow with the passionate energy of red! Disney/Pixar creatives start off in blue room to inspire ideas and then move to an orange room to spark creativity and fun.

Black is connected with authority, intellect, stability, and strength, but can be overwhelming and can make a work space look heavy and oppressive.

It works well for high end, luxury products, if this is your business you may want to use a bit of black as it has that feeling of aspirational unattainability.

White has a clinical appearance, so preferable to use an off-white, to soften the look. This colour is easy to decorate and design around, but inject some colour for warmth and balance.

Green is predominantly associated with nature, tranquility and balance. Good for personal healthcare and conservation environments..

Interestingly it can be found in any industry where decision-making is important. So if you work in the financial industry, green may work well at your office color (think of Lloyds Bank).

We think of green as the color of money, and in a way it is. Green is all about balance, calmness, and reassurance.

One of the quickest, easiest ways to bring colour into your workplace is to introduce plants. Great stress busters and gives an injection of colour to a white scheme.

Bright colors are associated with energy

But they may not represent the right energy. A Psychology study at the University of Rochester found red increases the speed and intensity of emotions. Makes us feel as if everything is urgent, leading to anxiety and worry. Red is used commonly in call centres, not ideal for a productivity and in retail for signage to represent urgency, emergency plumbers, Fire Brigade etc.

Grey is a mix of black and white is now a common neutral. But different shades evoke different psyches. Classic Grey is subtle but can make you and employees feel down or depressed if all day in a grey office. If you go for grey, go for a blue/grey to give a little boost.

So what colour should you choose?

Choose one main colour and an accent colour to complement your business and your space aesthetic. I use blue for focus and concentration and orange as I work in a creative industry, works for me!

Contact me for a chat about colour!


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