Use Color to Maximize Office Efficiency

Even in the largest companies, with largely sterile environments, you see people working in cubicles trying to make that uninspired space their own with photos, plants, wall hangings and more. When you consider the percentage of our lives we spend at the office, it’s no wonder we want to feel familiar and at home in that environment. One of the easiest ways to make the biggest change is with the use or color. If you can’t paint the walls, you can accessorize with different colored office supplies and even equipment, such as the desk itself, lamps and office chairs, often available in myriad colors.

So, how do you use color to make your space a reflection of you, yet present a professional image and ensure you still get the job done?

Color Me Productive

To this end, researcher Nancy Kwallek tested the impact of color on productivity, giving three groups of people clerical tasks to complete in three differently colored rooms. Her conclusions?

Some individuals; those Kwallek calls high-screeners, can block out color “noise” around them, while others, low-screeners, are distracted. So, the high-screeners worked effectively in a red room, while low-screeners found the color made their work more challenging. What’s most interesting is that both groups made more mistakes when working in a white room.

Kwallek further concluded that “what defines whether a color is stimulating or soothing is not the color, but the intensity. A strong bright color will stimulate, and a color (think pastels) with low saturation will soothe.”

Color Conclusions

The four psychological primary colors are: blue, red, yellow, and green. Research has shown that blue colors affect your mind; red your body; yellow your emotions; and green your ‘balance’. If you combine more than one color, you get the effects of both. Combining a highly-saturated red with a highly-saturated blue, for example, results in purple, a color which stimulates both the body (red) and the mind (blue).

Shop Around

Today’s office retailers have recognized the consumer’s desire for a more colorful work environment, so shop around. Your biggest problem will be deciding on the right color, but fortunately, in this case, if you don’t like your first choice, changing color schemes is fast and simple.

With colors, the sky is literally the limit. As part of your own desire to maximize productivity, you should determine the colors that make you feel your most energetic, inspired and productive.