Productivity is the name of the game in today’s economy. Businesses thrive on how effective their workers are at performing daily tasks. Minor adjustments can make significant adjustments in the office. For example, workers are typically happier with more natural light. What about color?
How do the colors of the wall, couch and chairs affect employees? They affect people’s brains and influence their productivity.
How Does Color Affect Human Psychology?
Colors are integral to daily life. Psychologists have researched the effects they have on humans. Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung once said, “Colors are the mother tongue of the subconscious.” Jung says that colors go a long way in how humans perceive their surrounding environment — whether they realize it or not.
Humans see colors and subconsciously change their moods. Lighter shades often bring enthusiasm and optimism. However, darker colors present a more solemn feeling.
It’s critical to think about color choices in the office because it signifies how a business presents itself. Is the owner going for a lighthearted atmosphere? Are they aiming for a serious, no-nonsense ambiance?
How Do Companies Use Color in Marketing?
Color is a powerful marketing tool for making customers feel a certain way about a company. Research shows the colors shopper see influences 90% of their initial impressions and 85% of their purchasing decisions.
Businesses are aware of their colors and how they impact consumers. Some examples include:
- Coca-Cola: Red makes many consumers think of Coca-Cola. The iconic beverage uses red to promote happiness and excitement. The red packaging is instantly recognizable to many customers at the store.
- Starbucks: Green and coffee make most people think about Starbucks. The restaurant uses green to promote nature and sustainability in a calm, relaxing environment.
- Apple: Apple uses gray to promote its simplistic yet sleek designs. Seeing Apple products makes customers think of high-quality technology like the Apple Watch while staying sophisticated with clean layouts.
What Colors Stimulate Productivity in the Workplace?
Productivity is vital in the workplace. Research shows engaged employees are 21% more productive than their disengaged co-workers. When engaged, these workers reduce absenteeism by 41% and are less likely to quit or steal.
What influences productivity in the workplace? There are numerous direct measures a boss can take. For example, they can install productivity trackers inside the employees’ work electronics or implement metrics for every department in the office.
Employers can also use indirect approaches that are still effective — for example, changing color schemes around the office. These minor changes influence workers and make them better employees in any space. Designers should use these six colors to improve productivity at work.
Blue is a terrific color in the office because it’s well-rounded. Research shows shades of blue represent calmness and stability in the office. Light blue reminds employees of the ocean and the tranquil waters they’d see at Crater Lake in Oregon or the Maldives.
Some associate blue negatively with coldness, so employers should select light shades of blue to promote friendliness. Blue is best for calmness, focus and respect. Thus, bosses should use it in meeting rooms and other collaborative spaces. Light blue provides a friendly aura while promoting peace and intellectual thought.
Green has become a critical color in today’s business world. Employees, clients and shareholders see green and think about environmentalism and sustainability.
Research has demonstrated consumers want their brands to be sustainable from start to finish in the supply chain. A 2020 Economist study shows 71% of consumers believe businesses share responsibility with the government to affect positive environmental change.
Employers should look at the Starbucks example when using green in the office. This color represents nature, relaxation and freshness. Office designers can implement green furniture like office chairs or use green on the walls.
Employers also have an opportunity to use the color with plants. Placing plants around the office positively contributes to the workplace atmosphere. A 2020 Indoor and Built Environment study finds flowers reduce stress among workers by lowering heart rate and altering their emotions.
Designers should select low-maintenance plants that can grow inside an office. Some examples include peace lilies and spider plants.
Yellow is one of the most lively colors on the spectrum. When employees see yellow, they often think of the sun’s rays on a warm spring day. Companies use yellow for smiley faces and optimistic advertisement campaigns. Consumers hardly see yellow in a negative commercial.
A 2019 study examined what affects motivation and competence in the workplace and found the facility’s colors go a long way. They suggest using bright colors like yellow for operational or workroom employees to kickstart enthusiasm. Designers should use yellow for the doors or place sunflowers in common areas. However, be careful with yellow because too much can strain the eyes.
Purple is a fascinating color because it represents mystery and nobility. Royals have used purple for centuries and the feeling remains today. Crown Royal adopted purple to mimic kings and queens of the past who resembled wealth and success.
Using purple helps employees in the office feel more confident and aware. It also assists workers with their creativity and decision-making skills. Employers could implement purple in departments that need these qualities, such as social media and design offices.
What drives productivity in the workplace? For many employees, it’s their passion. Workers are passionate about their careers and love what they do. These principles apply to the color red. After all, Taylor Swift said it best in her hit song about the color.
Red symbolizes many things. In the workplace, employers should use red to convey boldness and confidence. Seeing red increases workers’ heart rate and blood flow and inspires them to be more productive. Some places to use red include furniture or accent walls. Employers should beware of red because too much can cause overstimulation and decrease productivity.
Employers don’t have to pick only one color — they can choose all. White combines all colors on the visible light spectrum. Many people call white a shade, not a color. Regardless, it’s an ideal one to have in the office.
When people see white, they think of purity and cleanliness. Many health care facilities have white to display these qualities. It also works with restaurants — in the early 1920s, Billy Ingram named White Castle to symbolize cleanliness and strength in his burger joint.
White is a good color for productivity because it provides a welcoming feeling. Employers should use white in open spaces like common rooms and meeting areas.
Using Psychology for Productivity
When designing the office, designers aim for aesthetically pleasing arrangements. They should look deeper because colors are powerful in human psychology. Using the right colors can positively affect a workplace’s productivity.