Choosing the right colour for the office is not as simple as black and white

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Over the years many studies have been carried out into how office design can be used to influence things such as productivity and staff morale. The use of colour in office design has long been up for debate but what is known for sure is that colour can provoke both conscious and subconscious reactions which can, in turn, influence our behaviour and mood whilst at work.

According to research, we make a subconscious judgement about an environment, person or product with just ninety seconds and that somewhere between 62% and 90% of our judgement is based entirely on colour.

With this in mind, here are a few interesting facts and figures on colour:

  • Despite the fact that yellow is generally considered to be an optimistic colour, studies have shown that yellow rooms are more likely to make babies cry and people to lose their tempers.
  • Blue will supress appetite and this is probably because when humans needed to be able to detect dangerous foods, blue usually indicates that something is poisonous or bad.
  • Conversely, blue is the most widely used colour in corporate branding.
  • Blue – whichever shade is used – will encourage communication and interaction.
  • Orange will stimulate activity, appetite and encourage socialising.
  • In some cultures green symbolises growth and hope but in others it symbolises demons, sickness and death.
  • Black objects appear heavier than white.
  • It is possible to buy more shades of white paint than any other and white can also be used to aid clarity of thought and the clearance of clutter.

When it comes of the use of colour in office design, colour can be linked to feelings and mood but should also be thought of in terms of energy. Its very interesting to note that experiments on colour have been carried out in which blind people have been shown to be able to pick out different colours purely by touch and that this is a skill which can be learned.

Colour is an incredibly powerful communication tools which can convey an awful lot about how you are and what you’re about and should therefore be chosen with great care…

Posted June 24, 2014

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