The 3 Best Colors for Office Productivity

The 3 Best Colors for Office Productivity

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Want to keep your employees focused and productive in their office cubicles? The answer might be to redecorate your office space. Surprisingly, studies have connected the walls’ color to employee focus and concentration. 

While each color will psychologically affect every person differently, a few colors have more beneficial effects on productivity and workflow. Here are four great colors to pick for your office space — and a few you might want to avoid.

Finding a Color Scheme to Inspire Your Team 

For better or worse, your company’s office colors can determine your employees’ productivity significantly. Cool colors often make ideal choices for promoting productivity and efficiency in the office because they create more peaceful spaces. Blue, green, purple and brown are the four best colors for promoting office productivity.

1. Blue 

People unconsciously perceive blue as relaxing and calm, making it one of the best office colors. Besides potentially calming employees, lighter blues can make people feel more energized. The ability to soothe and reduce stress while encouraging productivity makes the color blue an effective option for almost any workspace. 

2. Green 

If you want to boost creativity, green is naturally soothing with other strong qualities. Compared to blue, green is less conservative and more energetic. Green is becoming an increasingly popular color for offices because of the growing green movement. Green is a cool color, meaning it has shorter wavelengths. Colors with short wavelengths are easy on the eyes because they require less adjusting to see. Business office colors that incorporate green allow employees to work longer hours without experiencing eye fatigue.

3. Purple 

We tend to overlook purple as a beneficial color in the workplace. Purple has luxurious, high-quality and magical connotations. Businesses in creative industries like design often use purple because it can encourage creativity and teamwork. Despite being less popular in office spaces than blues and greens, purple still qualifies as one of the best colors for office productivity. 

4. Brown

Similar to blue and green, brown is a soothing natural color. However, it has a slightly different effect on employees. Brown can make people feel more comfortable than relaxed. Brown gives employees a sense of security, reassurance and credibility. These feelings can create an environment that empowers people to be productive and do their best work.

Colors That Swing Both Ways

Colors That Swing Both Ways

Several colors can either work well or be detrimental, and it all depends on the setting and the amount used. Before using these colors in an office, consider whether they’re right for your environment and how you’ll balance them to avoid overwhelming your employees.

1. Red

In some settings, red might be the best office wall color for productivity. Studies show that red can increase heart rate, making it an effective color choice for jobs requiring employees to stay on high alert or do physical activity. While red can boost energy levels in an office, use it sparingly or as an accent color, as it can also cause aggression and other negative feelings. 

2. White

White is a neutral color that can make a small office space feel bigger and less dingy. When paired with accent colors, white walls create balance and help dilute overwhelming colors. However, too much stark white is harsh and creates an uninviting work environment. While white is a standard, neutral shade in office spaces, too much of it can be counterproductive.

3. Orange

Orange can stimulate the body and mind. It can promote determination and happiness, as well as increase the flow of energy around an office. This color also encourages creativity and a sense of comfort. Orange lends itself to social atmospheres, but too much of it might distract employees. Orange’s convivial nature may make it a better option for an accent wall, breakroom or lounge space.

Worst Colors for Office Productivity

If you’re trying to inspire office productivity, it may be better to avoid some colors altogether or only use them sparingly. Depending on your workplace, these colors might be an excellent fit for your space. However, overall, they’re less effective at promoting concentration than the colors listed above.

1. Yellow

Yellow is a vibrant hue that can even stimulate hunger. This color can also make your workers angry, agitated and unable to concentrate, so use it in small amounts if you do so at all. While it’s best not to paint entire walls yellow, yellow accent decorations can stimulate positivity.

2. Bright Pink or Turquoise

For the most part, bright colors are distracting, irritating to the eyes and disruptive. This principle applies to neon and bold shades of most colors, especially pink and turquoise. Bright colors in the workspace can be overwhelming and make it challenging to concentrate on work. If productivity is your goal, opt for pastel shades instead. 

3. Black

Black is a powerful and controlling color. In large amounts, it’s mysterious and intimidating, which isn’t quite what your employees are looking for in an office setting. Black can also evoke feelings of sadness and anger, which are unproductive in the workplace. Black walls would create a dark atmosphere, which would likely make your employees tired and unmotivated.

Color Schemes and Their Associations 

Color Schemes and Their Associations

Color psychology is an incredibly powerful tool in the corporate world. Businesses across industries use this science to determine branding decisions and create emotionally-charged environments, giving them more control over how their customers perceive them. 

Understanding what people associate with each color can help your find the perfect color combinations for your office: 

  • Red: Associations with red include strength, power, determination and energy. This color attracts the most attention, making it great for highlighting details you want your clients and employees to notice. However, red can also symbolize war, anger and danger, and it can increase blood pressure.
  • Orange: Orange has many strong associations, including joy, the tropics, positivity and rejuvenation. It is great for creating an environment that encourages your employees to speak their minds. 
  • Yellow: Yellow is the color of happiness and energy. Like red, it catches attention, which is why caution signs and taxis use yellow to help them stand out. However, too much yellow can overwhelm and distract people. 
  • Green: Green represents nature and its positive benefits. This color promotes healthy, productivity, growth and energy, so companies like Starbucks and grocery stores use it. Its calm nature can inspire individual reflection and healthier relationships between employees. 
  • Blue: Like green, blue has strong ties to nature. When asking people to picture somewhere calm, they usually think of a beach or lake. In addition to peaceful feelings, blue shades promote authenticity, sympathy, compassion, flexibility, imagination and enthusiasm. 
  • Purple: Purple is the color of royalty because it was historically harder and more expensive to find the necessary materials required to produce it, limiting it to nobility. Today, its regal status represents luxury, dignity, ambition, wisdom and extravagance. 
  • Brown: Brown represents stability, reliability, dependability and honesty. It is a great natural and neutral hue that can complement another shade. 
  • White: White has many associations that influence societal decisions across the world. In Western cultures, brides wear white dresses at their weddings to highlight their purity. This color has several other connotations, including light, innocence and perfection. Many people associate it with cleanliness and safety. Its popularity in hospitals can sometimes lead to sterile environments. 
  • Black: Like red and white, black is a color that has many conflicting meanings. On one side, it highlights power, formality and elegance. Many corporate settings include people in sleek black suits and dresses, pointing out their professionalism. However, black has multiple negative meanings, including death, grief, funerals, evil and the unknown. 

Mixing colors in your office space and help you mix the benefits of different colors or create specific moods. Colors can help build the right work environment for your employees and communicate your values to them and your clients. 

Get Design Help From Arnold’s

Get Design Help From Arnold's

Designing your office and choosing a color scheme that will promote productivity can be challenging. At Arnold’s Office Furniture, we understand the importance of finding the best office color, which is why we can help you design an effective workspace. We are the premier supplier of Sunline cubicles, which come in an array of colors to promote productivity and well-being in your office.

From color to cubicle layout, we’ll help you find the best designs for your company cultureContact our design team for help getting started!