Color psychology plays an important part in our daily lives and this is especially true when it comes to office color schemes. Besides the obvious quality of life improvements a little color offers, it also has a measurable influence on our health and energy when it comes to working in an office.
There are many ways to visualize this, but let’s take a look at an extreme example.
Imagine two offices, one with fresh white walls and earthy colors accents and lots of natural light, while the other one has black walls and little light. We don’t need to tell you why you’d rather work in the first one, but in case we do, it has a lot to do with color psychology and the direct health benefits that come with having positive colors.
A Brief Look Into Color Psychology
We’re not going to make any outlandish claims here – we’ll save that for Buzzfeed. And we understand that everyone is going to experience color in their own unique way. There is no denying that, but research into the topic has shown that specific colors can affect our moods and the way we interact with the spaces we are in.
See below, a few of those studies:
- Impact of Color on Marketing
- Exciting Red and Competent Blue: The Importance of Color in Marketing
- Color in Office Environments
- Color Theory: The Effects of Color in Medical Environments
The Basics of Office Color Schemes
We want to take a moment and talk about the basics of color before we can unpack the different office color schemes that we think promote a healthy workplace.
Red – Excitement
Red is the color of excitement and is known for being bold and powerful. Some cultures also view red as a lucky color.
Yellow – Optimism
Yellow is the color of optimism. It’s common traits include warmth and positivity.
Blue – Trust
Blue is the color of trust and is known as the color of dependability and strength.
Orange – Friendly
Orange is the color of friendliness. It’s common characteristics include cheerfulness and confidence.
Purple – Creative
Purple is the color of creativity. It is commonly associated with imagination and wisdom.
Green – Peaceful
Green is the color of peacefulness and its most common traits include growth and health.
Grayscale – Balance
Colors that fall on the grayscale are known for their balance and are associated with neutrality and calm.
This isn’t to say that everyone is going to feel those things when they see these colors, but a decent amount of research on this topic has found that most individuals feel these things when they come into contact with them. Remember, your mileage may vary and that’s perfectly fine.
So, without any further delay, let’s take a look at 5 popular office colors and their impact when it comes to color psychology.
1. Productivity Starts with Blue
Blue is a great color if you want to boost productivity. It is believed that it affects the mind. In the research above, offices that focus on blues tend to have stable and calming atmospheres, the perfect recipe to help your workers stay focused and complete the task at hand.
We’re not suggesting that you coat your entire office in blue if you want to increase productivity, because in all honesty, that wouldn’t be very productive and would probably stress your employees out more.
Instead, incorporate aspects of blue into rooms where you want your employees to be their most productive.
Some great examples of rooms that could benefit from a little blue include:
- Work and collaboration spaces
- Meeting rooms
- Research areas
The more you can do to tap into office color schemes to turn these spaces into productive areas, the better your employees will feel and put those spaces to use.
2. Ease Starts with Green
There’s a reason why many medical offices focus on greens and whites. Green is a peaceful color that doesn’t cause eye fatigue and is often associated with creating balance between the mind, body, and your emotions. This often results in boosted creativity.
You should incorporate green office color schemes into your office in areas where people work long hours and are expected to be creative. It’s important that the colors you choose benefit your employees, especially if they are expected to work in a specific location for long periods of time.
Some of the best rooms to include green include:
- Employee relaxation areas
3. Energy Starts with Red
Take a look at your local gym. How many of them have incorporated some form of red in their design? Red is commonly known as the physical color is most associated with the body. It is known to increase your heart rate, blood flow, and appetite, and is the color of emotion and passion. All you need to do is picture the classic el matador waving the red cloth at the charging bull to see the power of red in action. For this reason consider using red either in muted tones or sparingly as an accent color (in art and decor).
Red office color schemes should be placed in areas with high activity and where you want your employees to be confident and bold.
Some of the best areas to use red include:
- Office cafeteria
- Spaces with movement (hallways)
- Areas where people work late at night
4. Optimism Starts with Yellow
Our good friend yellow is known as the color of optimism, confidence, and a positive self-esteem, but only when used correctly. The right tones of yellow are a powerful psychological tool that can inspire your employees to do great things.
Yellow is a great choice in areas where your creatives work. If you want to inspire your designers, developers, artists, writers, and other creatives, splash the walls with a little bit of yellow. Yellow compliments natural light and spacious white tones well and helps build a positive atmosphere grounded in optimism. This is exactly what you want in an area where your creatives work as it will encourage them to keeping doing great things.
5. Spaciousness Starts with White
Many people think white is boring. But you’d be doing your office a huge disservice if you ignore this color and its tints simply because of how common it is.
White is the color of spaciousness and practically compliments any of the other colors mentioned. If you want to tie a space together, create balance, or a sense of neutrality, white is what you need. It makes spaces seem bigger and brighter, something that all modern offices can benefit from as we look to move on from traditional offices which were closed and uninviting.
Some of the best rooms to use whites in include:
- Large recreational areas
- Open meeting areas with lots of natural light
- Collaborative spaces
White on its own can be plain, but when you learn to combine it with other colors, its true potential can be unlocked and it can add a lot of value to any design you are considering.
Office Color Psychology in Practice
We’ve listed a bunch of colors and some emotions that are associated with them, but you’re probably wondering how this all ties together.
Here are some great examples of how this works:
- Green is great in areas where your employees are expected to work long hours because it reduces anxiety, eye strain, and creates a sense of calm.
- Blue is great in employee work areas because it is calming, promotes trust and communication, and boosts productivity.
- Yellow is great for creative areas because it boosts energy, promotes creativity, and creates a sense of optimism in spaces it is used in.
- White is great in open spaces, but struggles as the dominant color. Use white in rooms where you want to create the effect of spaciousness, like a lobby or cafeteria.
Office Color Psychology Made Easy
The best thing to take away from this is the fact that colors do impact the way we work. The subtle changes that adding a little color to an office can create will surprise you.
Changing your office color scheme doesn’t have to be challenging. Whether you repaint a few accent walls, update some furniture, or call a design firm like ours to consult and help you make the right color choices, you have many choices readily available.
If you’d like to learn more about color psychology and how we incorporate it into our many designs, feel free to contact us today.