How Color Can Affect Productivity in the Workplace:
By Susan Ringer VP My Pretty Office a Division of TwistOP
We all know there have been many studies done on workplace productivity. Sure, there are the usual factors such as efficient workflow, office morale and of course the 3 P’s (People, Process and Product) that will ensure business success, but what about your physical environment? How it is decorated and your color choices both have a major impact in how you feel about being there. In fact, it has been said through various workplace studies on productivity that one of the most important factors in an employee’s ability to focus is their physical space. The right workspace and décor has been shown to increase productivity by about 20%. And it’s not just about the space efficiency. It is about the colors, scents and accessories used to personalize that space!
I had noticed this personally during my career in real estate. As a business coach during that time, I found I could help a client achieve increased sales results by simply getting organized and making their workspace “pretty” (yes, this can also apply to the men!). Making client lead calls in any industry is always more pleasant and effective when the environment supports the task. I even noticed certain colors seemed to create different effects. For instance, the high energy, do-a-million-things-at-once personalities who needed some focus were better served to tone down the colors in their work space and eliminate the warm red, yellow and orange tones. When these color schemes were traded for soft, elegant shades of blue and green, there was a calming effect and a feeling of more focus. On the contrary, the folks who needed that extra push, who were a bit on the relaxed side by nature were better served with a bit of color jolt with those warm reds and yellows to excite their mood and get the productivity going.
Today, there are so many design trends that can serve these needs, that one doesn’t have to compromise style in favor of productivity. This would be especially important in a home office environment. Popular design colors that serve the cool, soft tones needed to reign in some focus are teal, grey, mint green and powder blue (the latter two will be huge, I predict, as it is seen everywhere in fashion right now).
To decorate your office in this scheme, use accessories that compliment this look, yet add to the functionality of your space. If you can’t paint your walls, use some of these soft colors in your artwork, your frames, file folders, organizers and stationery (of course, if you CAN paint your walls, by all means, do!). You will be amazed at how that will pull down those anxious feelings and get you to a “zen” place where you can focus. Remember to add a plant and a wonderful scent, even some soft music. Lavender or eucalyptus mint are excellent choices – calming without putting you to sleep! My Pretty Office has some great products to help with this too. Our Design Ideas line in Mint, White and Grey coupled with some Kate spade acrylic will be great for these calming effects.
For those who need a warm jolt of red, orange or yellow tones to “get in gear”, try these colors: brick red (a little less jarring), wine, pink, melon and warm buttery yellow tones. These tones are really on trend and will work with much of the décor that is popular now. They also mix well with neutrals such as grey and certain shades of beige/taupe. The vibrancy of these colors creates a stimulating effect on the brain and might just make that super heavy phone feel a little lighter to make your next prospecting call (we all have stared at the 100 pound phone, let’s be honest!). A great scent to continue this theme would be anything citrus. We love the Tommy Bahama blends that incorporate a little bit of island scent. In the winter months, switch to something with a pine scent. Remember to add a touch of jazzy (but soft in volume) music. Some products in the My Pretty Office line that would work very well with this idea are the Design Idea products in Mango. If you want the warm tones without all that zing, the Punch Studio French Style accessories accomplish just that. For some feminine energy in these color schemes, try the Anna Griffin florals or a Susan Ringer Fine Art print (yes, that is me. As you can see, I am also an artist and study/use color theory every day). This stuff is real, folks! See some of our examples in the gallery below.
If you want to learn more, here is a great article on the psychological effects of color based on research performed in the UK. There are also some fun color personality quizzes and other tools on this site you might enjoy as well:
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