Serviced office colours: employee mood and productivity

When choosing your new serviced office, there are hundreds of things which need to be considered. But how about the colour of the office? The colour scheme of the office has many effects on your employee’s mood, as well as productivity.

Whilst some consider this sort of thing a load of hogwash, others would say the quick answer is a definite “yes”, and there are a number of scientific studies to support them.

Angela Wright, an expert on colour, has been studying the impact colour has on behaviour since the seventies. She challenges the idea that, because someone’s response to colour is subjective, it must, therefore, be unpredictable. However, she has discovered this is quite the opposite: “When the study of colour harmony is combined with the science of psychology, reactions can be predicted with startling accuracy”.

Other studies have concluded that colours do have an effect on mood and atmosphere, and this has led to the field of colour psychology. Marketers have long understood the effect of colour on buying behaviour with, for instance, blue being seen as dependable, red as exciting and young, and orange friendly and cheerful.

How colour affects productivity, creativity and communication

Recently, office design is much more likely to take how staff members feel into account and this includes the use of colour.

Colour can affect your employees’ moods. A University of Texas study showed that bland colours like white, grey and beige prompting feelings of sadness and depression, especially in women. Interestingly, men were more likely to be affected by the colours purple and orange.

Colour can affect performance. Researchers found that the use of the colour red as a participation number given to students before a test had an adverse effect on results, with 20% lower scores than the other students who were given numbers in green or black.

Colour effects on your business

As the colours you choose for your office are likely to have a subliminal effect on you, your employees and your clients, it’s important to be careful not to adversely impact your business.

There is a top-level overview of how different colours are likely to affect people:

Blue – a colour that gives confidence, security and trust.

Green – a calming colour which also gives a sense of security.

Red – as an exciting colour, it’s good to use it in areas of the workplace that demands physical exertion.

Yellow – use to stimulate positivity, creativity and happiness.

Purple – it helps to promote contemplative atmosphere, but if you use too much, or use the wrong tone, it can have the opposite effect.

Orange – a warm, fun colour that creates a sense of comfort. Best used in kitchens and casual spaces.

Grey – seen as a neutral colour, but it can provoke a lack of confidence and stimulate a depressing mood.

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