“Colours, like features, follow the changes of the emotions” – Pablo Picasso
Are you aware that your surroundings have an influence on your emotions and state of mind? Are there certain places, objects or noises which affect your mood, some having a calming effect, others irritating? With this, how can your office surroundings impact your feelings?
Productivity is a term we hear in the office every day; employees will always have their own approaches in how to improve their productivity and employers should be looking at ways to help improve the overall efficiency of the office. It is important to adapt your office to produce higher work rates whilst doing it in a way that doesn’t become a distraction to your workforce. There are many ways in which productivity can be improved, ranging from background music, plants, the lighting and temperature, but are you aware adding colour to your workspace can help have a positive effect on your overall output. Whether your walls are painted with bright colours or colourful objects are placed on desks, your productivity might see an improvement.
If your walls are painted dull grey, and the overall interior matches the colour of the River Thames, it’s time for a makeover. Research from the University of Texas claims that offices decorated with bland colours, such as grey, beige or white, induce feelings of sadness and depression amongst employees, which has a negative effect on staff happiness. Similar research has shown the colours don’t just have an effect on staff happiness; they also have a profound impact on productivity, for better and for worse.
According to various studies, different colours will have their own impacts. Whether you require a mood booster, a calming colour, help to focus or something to get the heart pumping, there is a colour for everything.
- Blue – The colour most universally used by businesses to improve productivity. Blue instils a sense of trust and loyalty amongst workers as well as releasing a calming feeling to help workers with the task at hand.
- Green – Green is similar to blue in that it helps to relax and calm workers; however, it has also been proved to help creativity. So if you need to cultivate new ideas or brainstorm, surround yourself with shades of green.
- Yellow – Yellow is often associated with being a cheerful colour and can be used to help boost staff happiness and can motivate those who are bored or unhappy with their working life. Psychologically, yellow has been known to boost self-esteem. However, it must be used sparingly, as when too much yellow is mixed with light, it can be agitating or cause eye fatigue.
- Red – Despite often being categorised as an angry colour, red can help increase brain activity which in turn stimulates employees, helping them to focus and pay attention to detail. In addition, red has also been known to get your heart rate going as the colour evokes emotion and passion, which helps with strong levels of physical activity.
Other colours also have individual effects; the use of pink here and there has been known to give off a relaxing sensation, whereas orange helps keep workers pumped and can have a positive impact on creativity. White is an unusual one, it is often linked with hospitals and has been known to be a lacklustre colour offering little in the way of imagination and happiness. However, when partnered with the correct lighting it can promote creativity and productivity as well as making a room look spacious and clean. But, if you are after a hub of productivity, creativity, happiness and imagination, be bold with your colour choices.
If you work in an office where the walls are uninspiring and your employers have no appetite in revamping with bright colours, you can still make positive changes to your own personal workspace. Surround yourself with items that have a positive impact on your mood and inspire you to work harder. Whether these are plants, calendars, mouse-mats or everyday items like a stapler or hole-punch in a vibrant colour, they will help improve your happiness and productivity.
As we have seen, the colours surrounding us will have an effect on our overall moods and evoke both physical and emotional behaviours. With this, it is vital for employers and staff to introduce colour schemes to the office and colourful objects to desks. By using thoughtful use of colour, small and cramped work spaces can seem larger, help bring light to a darkly lit room, make a cool room feel warmer and a warm area seem cooler. Happy staff have higher levels of productivity, thus leading to better company results, making the costs of redecorating totally worth it.