Does office colour affect productivity?

Does office colour affect productivity?

When you hear the words "office décor", what do you envisage? For most, there will be instant and vivid connotations with the décor and environment of their workplace, whether or not it's for the right or wrong reasons.

There are many theories out there regarding office décor - particularly relating to colour schemes and their psychology. Colours can have a huge emotional and psychological impact on employees and their productivity.

But why do so many offices opt for great swathes of off-white/magnolia/cream? Usually, because it's neutral, safe, cheap and easy to keep clean.

However, in recent years, the whitewash look has been challenged by brighter tones and bolder shades as companies realise that their employees need to be inspired - and that colour can have a genuine impact on the mood and productivity of their workforce.

Studies by colour psychologist Dr David Lewis discovered that 80% of UK office workers believe the colour of their environment has a significant impact on their mood and performance. The study also revealed that 67% of employees described their offices as "drab and dismal".

The researcher took participants to the lab, where their performance was tested in various colour booths. When a participant was tested under their favourite colour, they were found to perform 10% better when it came to problem solving. Overall, blue came out on top for helping the brain to function and enhance the mood; while red increased tension and made the brain agitated.

Tungsten lights are fitted in many offices and, although they appear to produce white light, they actually emit a lot of red, which could explain why many feel uncomfortable when working under them all day.

Blue is often thought to be the most productive colour. Generally, blues and greens are soothing as the eye doesn't need to work as hard in order to perceive them. So colours at the opposite ends of the spectrum - such as red - mean the eye has to focus and then refocus, which is good for stimulation.

When it comes to choosing one colour that can improve productivity, there is no single answer. Different areas of work could call for different colours; depending on whether you want to stimulate or soothe, for example. As well as being scientific, colour is also very personal.

At Saracen, we use our many years' experience in the industry to choose a colour scheme to suit your brand and your workforce when we carry out any office refurbishment project. Neutral colours can be great for larger buildings, but we know how to add pops of colour and accessories that can be easily moved or replaced. Colour can also be used as a way of marking our particular areas, creating colourful spaces depending on what it is being used for.

So, once you have let Saracen initiate your new office décor, when your employees think of their work environment, they will only envisage a productive, bright, colourful and stylish workspace.


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