Can the colour of an office really affect productivity?

Most people take the time to decorate their home in colours which are known to create a mood best suited to particular rooms; for example, cool blues and greens are said to aid relaxation and sleep, so are popular choices for bedrooms, while busy kitchens need bright more energy giving colours like red, or orange. However, when it comes to office space the chances are the décor is plain cream or white, (typical clinical cold, hospital or institution colours), as far as the eye can see.

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The effects of using colour in office decoration

We already know that colours affect moods – an American prison had all its interior walls painted pink and the number of violent acts dropped dramatically, but psychologists also believe that they can also affect workplace productivity. This seems to be especially true when bold shades of the four primary colours are used. In brief, studies show that red tones affect the body, blue works on the mind, green influences emotions and yellow boosts self-confidence.

Choose colours that create balance

As colours work on different parts of the mind, not all may be best suited to a particular office or a space within it. If at all possible, decide first whether the area to be decorated would be most useful to tackle thinking processes, release emotions, encourage physicality or encourage balance, or of course, a combination of two or more of these. Then pick a shade from the brighter end of the spectrum if it needs to stimulate, or from the subdued end if a soothing effect is more suitable.

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Colours can be mixed up by choosing one main shade and accented accessories to complement it, for example, yellow as the primary shade to stimulate creativity, with green curtains or blinds, clock and decorations to provide a subtle reminder to employees to be realistic as well as creative. If you are interested in this concept but unsure how to implement it, try speaking to some office fit out companies such as Mobius at Work Ltd for further advice.

If you are feeling very bold look to the brightly decorated headquarters of modern digital tech companies such as Google and Facebook for inspiration – after all, they are two of the highest achieving businesses around!

Richard Anderson


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