An often overlooked element in office design is that of the colour scheme. As highlighted in research by the University of Texas, there is more to colour schemes than simply the aesthetic: colour can have a significant impact on the productivity of a workforce and their sense of well-being and is something that should be carefully considered when a new office interior is planned or makeover considered.

Conventional thinking has been that an interior should either reflect the corporate branding/colour scheme of the organisation itself, or, simply comprise a colour palette to the liking of those in control of the project. However, increasingly research has shown that colour has a significant impact on the working environment and should be utilised with great care to maximise the positives and minimise the negatives of various colours and combinations.

For example, research has shown that grey, white or beige office spaces can create a sense of sadness in occupants which is significantly heightened with women workers … oranges and purples having more impact upon male workers.

The importance of such findings is that the old maxim that happy worker is a productive worker is certainly true! If the mood created in a work-space is oppressive or promotes melancholic feelings in the workforce, then with productivity directly correlating to mood, output is reduced, creative thinking declines, workplace social collaboration lessens and, in effect, staff are held back from achieving their true potential.

The flip-side of this perspective, of course, is that certain colour palettes lift the mood of workers and can promote the very elements that other palettes suppress!

If you are considering giving your workspace a makeover, or are relocating to new office premises, engaging the correct colour scheme is essential. Whilst we’d recommend engaging a professional office interior design company – who would have expertise in creating colour schemes commensurate with promoting workforce well being and productivity – as a starting point, you may wish to consider the following:

  • A calming blue or mild green shade can promote mental focus and aid efficiency in workers. These colours are commonly found in nature and create a calming environment to allow workers to really focus on their tasks without environmental distraction.
  • When it comes to red, there’s a reason it is used as a sign of danger and used on emergency vehicles etc. It is shown to promote excitement, get the heart beating faster and focuses attention. This power can be harnessed in a workplace environment and has been shown to correlate with increasing throughput of work – in particular where some form of manual/physical labour is involved. However, its overuse in an office environment can be overpowering.
  • For a creative environment where fresh, exciting ideas are the lifeblood of the business, psychological research has shown that mellow yellows promote optimism and free thinking among a workforce.

This Infographic below by Taskworld gives a few additional pointers that you should take into consideration when considering your office decor:

Influence of Office Interior Colour Scheme on Productivity Infographic