Choosing office colours to enhance your office space

Colour can greatly influence human emotion and behaviour, so it makes sense that what colours you choose to paint your office or retail space can have a dramatic effect on your clients, other visitors and your staff. The effects can be subliminal and instinctive, and can create either a good or bad perception of your business. The right choice of colours can ensure that your image is a positive one.

Understanding the basics of colour psychology can help you design a space that will maximize your potential.

colour chart for choosing a colour to paint your office or home
English: Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are some excerpts from Forbes Entrepreneurs blog on How To Use Color Psychology To Give Your Business An Edge (click here for the full article)

Change People’s Perception of Temperature

Warm colours, such as orange, red and yellow can cause people to think the temperature in the room is warmer than it actually is. Cool colours, such as blue, green and light purple cause people to estimate the temperature is colder.

Business owners can use this to their advantage by saving on heating and cooling costs. For example, if you live in a cold environment, painting an entryway a warm colour may cause people to think your establishment is a few degrees warmer than actually is. This may allow you to keep the temperature at a slightly lower setting.

Evoke Emotional Responses

Colour can evoke similar emotional responses in most people. However, there aren’t always universal truths about colour. People of different cultures may have different thoughts and emotions about certain colours. Also, a person’s past experience can affect feelings about a certain color. Despite the exceptions, there are some basic generalities about how certain colors evoke specific emotional and behavioral responses.

Green Sparks Creativity

Research has linked green with broader thinking and more creative thought. People generally like green. There seems to be a positive association between nature and regrowth. So if you want your employees to be more productive, consider painting work areas green.

Red Reduces Analytical Thinking 

There’s a reason why red sports cars cost more to insure. When humans see the colour red, their reactions become faster and more forceful. However, that boost of energy is likely to be short-lived and ultimately, red reduces analytical thinking. Research conducted by Andrew Elliot, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, shows athletes are more likely to lose when they compete against an opponent wearing red and students exposed to red before a test are likely to perform worse.

Although the research indicates that red can be helpful if you’re trying to attract a mate, it isn’t helpful if you need to stay on task. One possible reason why red makes it hard to concentrate, may be tied to a cultural-specific issue. Those of us who got a lot of answers wrong as children, may associate the colour red with the red ink our teachers used to mark up our papers.

Blue is Most Accepted

When asked what their favorite colour is, the most common answer around the world is blue. This may be because when our ancestors used to see blue – like a clear blue sky or a watering hole – it was a good sign. A common area of an office building blue is likely to satisfy the majority of people.

Yellow isn’t Usually a Hit

Avoid painting public spaces yellow because most people aren’t a fan of the colour. However, the people who do like yellow, seem to have a huge preference for it, whereas most people only slightly favour one colour over another. Overall, yellow remains the least likely favourite colour for most people, so pick a different color if you want to appeal to the masses.

Orange is Associated with Good Value

People associate the colour orange with a good value.

Pink Calms People Down

There’s a reason some sports teams paint the opposing team’s locker room pink – it’s known for draining people of their energy. Baker-Miller pink (the same color of Pepto-Bismol) can calm people down for about 30 minutes. Once people have remained calm for that time frame, they’re often able to remain in a calm state. This could be a great colour for lawyers who are conducting mediation or a board room where conversations may get heated.

White May Lead to Boredom

White has a modern appeal. However, too much of a monochromatic look can cause people to reflect on their own thoughts. A person shopping in a monochromatic store may become distracted from the task at-hand when their mind begins to wander because of the lack of stimulation.

Changing Colours

One of the best things about colour is that you can change wall color often. Think carefully before you paint your space about how you want people to feel and perform. Although the wall colour can’t perform miracles, it can certainly give you a boost in the right direction.

If you need assistance with painting your office or retail space and would like help with choosing colours, don't hesitate to contact us, we are happy to assist you with your project and create a positive environment for you, your staff and your clients.