It’s just plain smart to want an office that encourages productivity every way it can.
There are dozens of things you can do that will up the odds of everyone working hard, some simple and easy, some technical and very expensive. If you work for a tech business, you might have access to a sleep pod where you can catnap to boost your creative business savvy. Perhaps the last office upgrade included those desks where you can stand and still work productively on your computer. Ergonomic chairs, bouncy balls for balance, time trackers, healthy foods and Kondo-ing your desk all tend to help productivity.
There’s one way to build a productive atmosphere right into the very design of your office space: Paint. Did you know that your paint scheme could increase office productivity? It’s true. The right paint colors for your type of business or your business goals can put you on the path to success.
Can Paint Color Really Boost Productivity?
There are plenty of theories that affirm paint color matters for a lot more than aesthetics. Think about being stuck in a grey, concrete room, with grey desks and chairs, file cabinets and carpeting. Do you think you’ll work to your best ability in that room? Probably not. The drab boredom is likely to put you to sleep. Choosing the color that works for your office depends on what goes on from nine to five. Let’s take some basic colors and find out how they connect to productivity.
Colors That Calm
Blue – Many people find blue to be relaxing. Blue is stable and calming. What may be surprising is that blue is the most productive color for our minds. It stimulates the mind and makes detail-oriented jobs easier. Blue is a great color for accountants or software developers. Anyone engaged in heavy mind work can benefit from blues.
Green – Green is all about balance. And money. If you want an office that is calm, reassuring and tranquil, green is your friend. Also, if you work with a lot of money negotiations or agreements, green is said to be the most conducive to successful money transactions. Green lessens eye strain, so it’s a productive color for those on computers or putting in long hours.
Colors to Rev You Up
Red – Red stimulates us. We know that. Warnings are red. Sale prices are red. McDonald’s is red. Red is particularly stimulating for the physical body. If your business requires people to be on their feet and active, red might be a productive choice. Be careful not to overdo it, or all that stimulation can manifest as anger or anxiety.
Yellow – Yellow stimulates our emotions. This is not necessarily the best option for many offices, but if you have a creative crew with high energy, yellow can bring a lot of joy into the mix. For most of us, a muted yellow or yellow accent pieces are preferable to thinking about a bright yellow wall across from our desk.
Yellow is thought to be conducive to inspiration and innovation. Developing software for apps, designing an architectural marvel or writing the next great novel are all occupations inspired by pops of yellow.
Orange – While you probably won’t paint the office orange, if employees seem to be a little sluggish, adding some pops of orange could perk things up. Pillows, flowers, lamps and even a bowl of fruit on an end table can all contain some orange to brighten the day.
An Oldie, But a Goodie
White – Most people don’t really think of white as a color. The truth is, many off-white shades are very appropriate for some office space. The perfect shade of white can actually give a room the glow of natural sunlight.
Neutral colors, as a general rule, will be more relaxing. While this may work in waiting rooms or other client access rooms, individual offices can benefit from adding some color. Color influences our mood and enhances our productivity.
Too Dark is Depressing
While deep colors can feel strong and stable, too much of a good thing can go terribly bad. Earth tones that include a dark brown can work well in an office, but you aren’t going to put that dark brown on all the walls or your space will close off visually. Indigo blue or a deep purple are also best used as accent colors rather than primary colors.
Choosing rich, dark colors for large spaces can make your office feel claustrophobic and depressing. These shades also tend to promote sleepiness as the day goes on.
By the same logic, bright, primary colors are usually going to accent calmer, more neutral colors, especially in an office. Bright reds, oranges and yellows are cheerful and attractive but too much of a good thing here will lead to anxiety and excitability that is not conducive to a productive office.
Use Your Gut Instincts
Like most decisions, choosing paint colors for your office is a matter of personal preference. Go with your gut and you’re usually right. Sticking to the middle ground of neutral colors can work in areas, but there are definitely color schemes that will boost productivity in your office.