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Impact of Color Schemes in an Office Setting

Posted on October 26 2021

color schemes office setting

Whether accurate or not, many of us have a mental image of an office that's relatively bland. You might be able to picture it as you read this: A grey, boring space complete with cubicles and very little else -- luckily, while this may have been a more common reality a few decades ago, modern offices have numerous options to avoid this sort of drab appearance and feel.

At Urban 9-5, we're here to help. We offer a wide range of office furniture products in a huge variety of colors and styles, helping you set up an aesthetically-pleasing office with a combination of industrial workstations, seating options, accessories and more. Did you realize that by incorporating color into various parts of the office, you aren't just making the space less boring -- you're also improving several potential areas of productivity that may contribute to overall success, as well? Here's a primer on how this works, plus on the themes certain colors tend to promote when they're used in an office space.

Inspiring Creativity

One of the first and most prominent benefits of infusing color into your office is its ability to inspire creativity. It may not be a coincidence that some of the world's most successful and prominent companies have offices with an abundance of color: Think Coca-Cola, Google and Apple. Each of these brands is built on creativity and has managed to stand out from the pack by setting itself apart through design.

And while no one is saying you have to achieve success on quite this level, there's plenty of research that backs the idea that color can influence creativity. How? The answer is somewhat complex, but there are two elements at work here: When you surround yourself with colors you find aesthetically pleasing, it has a positive impact on your mood. Moods have been shown to impact cognitive processes, which can lead to increased productivity -- or in this case, creativity. The opposite is also true: If you surround yourself with colors that make you feel bored or stressed, productivity and creativity levels will drop.

Additionally, by incorporating a variety of colors into your office space, you're not just making the whole design more visually interesting -- you're also enabling your brain to hold onto several different associations with each one, which in turn leads to better overall cognitive function.

Helping Relax Employees

Limiting stress is an important concept for any company that wants to support peak productivity levels. After all, if employees are stressed out and dealing with high blood pressure, they're not going to overlook business problems or find innovative solutions to emerging issues -- they're simply too busy coping with the effects of their environment, which creates a frustrating loop for managers and other professionals.

Color can help break this cycle in a couple of ways. The first is by influencing mood -- if employees are surrounded by colors that relax them, chances improve for a better mood and thus lower stress levels. Additionally, the ability to offer different colors in certain areas encourages employees to choose an area they find themselves most comfortable with, which enables them to work without distraction from the other elements of their environment.

Fighting Depression

Depression is a major mental health issue for many people, and you never know when someone in your office might be in the throes of it. Luckily, colorful office themes are here to help.

Research has shown that color can actually impact mood levels, which in turn influences the way your brain responds to certain stimuli -- for example, studies have found individuals responding more positively to green hues than red ones. This means that by incorporating colors like green into your office space, you might be able to encourage employees at risk of depression to focus more on their work.

Color Psychology

For those who really want to go deeper, there's a whole field devoted to studying the various ways certain colors impact our moods and overall psychology. This field is generally based around the idea that different colors have different wavelengths, which then correspond to specific responses from the human brain.

Here are some of the most common office colors out there, plus the kinds of emotions or themes they tend to invoke in our brains:

  • Red and yellow: Because these colors have longer wavelengths, they tend to be best for promoting deep thought and making people feel more cheerful.
  • Blue: This color is associated with productivity -- it's why you see many tech companies using blue in their logos or on products they make. Intellect, trustworthiness and professionalism are all themes that come through with the color blue in an office space.
  • Green: By promoting optimism, green can encourage people to be more productive. This color can also give people a sense of relief, which might be exactly the right thing to promote after an unusual or unexpected event has happened.
  • Black: This is often associated with either luxury or power -- some may opt for it as a way of ensuring their company does stand out among others in its industry. It's also commonly used as a way of making people feel more serious and focused.
  • White: This color can often make people think about simplicity or cleanliness, which is why it's widely used as the "neutral" choice -- perhaps you've noticed how most corporate logos try to use some variant of white against another color?
For more on how color schemes impact several areas of employee productivity and happiness in the office, or to learn about any of our office furniture choices, speak to the staff at Urban 9-5 today.