How does colour psychology impact workplace design?

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Colour psychology is the study of hues and how they affect human behaviour. Colours have an influence on our emotions, feelings and actions, often at a subconscious level.

So how should we use colour psychology to design our workplaces? In this short, informative article, we’ve outlined how colour impacts human behaviour and what you need to know to begin designing your optimal colour scheme for a high-performance workspace. 

What is colour psychology and how does it affect us?

The way we perceive colour is affected by factors such as age, gender and cultural background. However, there are some colours that have a universal meaning. For example, warm colours such as red, orange and yellow can evoke emotions from warmth and comfort to anger and frustration. Blues signify calmness and competence.

What colours should you use when designing your work environment?

Colour psychology is a powerful tool used by interior designers when designing workspaces. Certain colours can help to improve our productivity and wellbeing, while others hinder our performance. We’ve taken a look at some of the primary colours and the impact they can have in our work environment:

Blue: When it comes to colours, blue is a great all-rounder. It signifies reliability and encourages intellectual thought. Research shows that blue in an office promotes a stable and calm environment, helping employees stay focused and productive. It’s a good idea to incorporate blues into areas where you want to boost productivity, such as work and collaboration areas and meeting rooms.

White:  White is usually perceived as fresh, clean and modern. It can look appealing in wide open spaces and used with other colours to create a balance and make those spaces brighter. Uses of white could include open meeting areas, collaborative spaces and lobbies. It is often used with other colours as on it’s own it can be viewed as sterile and uninspiring.

Black: Black is a powerful colour that signifies control. It can be associated with luxury and elegance but it can absorb natural light and should be used sparingly as an accent to compliment other colours.

Red: Red is bold and confident. It can invoke passion, energy and stimulate thinking. It is also known to increase heart rate, blood flow and appetite. Too much red can be overpowering and lead to headaches, anger and frustration. For this reason, it should be used sparingly in workplace design.

Green: Green is a peaceful colour, often linked with the balance between the body, mind and emotions. Green is therefore often associated with productivity and creativity, making it a popular choice for workspaces. You can introduce green through the use of plants as well as walls or furniture.

Yellow: Yellow can invoke feelings of happiness, positivity and optimism. Add splashes of yellow to boost creativity and stimulate teamwork. However, it’s worth noting that the over-use of yellow can also lead to eyestrain and cause frustration, so it should be used in moderation.

Orange: Orange is perceived as friendly, cheerful and successful. It’s eye catching and is often used to promote energy and creativity. Again, the over-use of orange is linked with frustration. However, when mixed with other colours such as white, it can be very impactful.

Purple: The colour purple is often associated with luxury, imagination, wisdom and calmness.  Different tones could be used to add a sense of calmness to the workplace.

Bringing it all together

The colours you choose for your work environment will depend on many factors, including your own company branding, type of activity that will be performed in that workspace and many other factors. However, it’s worth keeping colour psychology in mind to help you achieve your company goals.

If you’re fitting-out your office, we can customise many of our ergonomic furniture solutions to complement your interior design. This includes bespoke monitor arm colours and acoustic panels for standing desks in the fabric of your choice. Please get in touch to find out more. And, if you found this article helpful please feel free to share it with your social networks!

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