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Praveen Rawal

The author is Managing Director, Steelcase India

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Five Colors that Can Change the Way You Work

In the words of Pablo Picasso, “Colors, like features, follow the changes of emotions.”

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Photo Credit : newjerseyonlinecollege.com,

Color psychology is a subtle yet effective way to improve employee productivity. Sometimes a touch of color introduced through furniture or accessories can go a long way in affecting your behavior and even stress levels. The tactical representation of colors not only changes moods, but also profoundly magnifies productivity.

Infusion of color and design is not just limited to the outward beauty and appearance of a space but it is also a tangible way to enhance workplace emotions. Since colors are a fundamental part of our wellbeing, why not infuse workplace with colors that help to pursuit workplace happiness. When in the process of workplace ideation, study the science behind choosing specific colors to ascertain enduring benefits.

Here are some colors to invigorate your workplace:

Red to rekindle the office spirit

To be tied to one place all day long is vexing, so it’s no wonder that highly engaged professionals move around and change postures more frequently in the day. To encourage movement, add pops of red. Red is an exceptionally powerful and electrifying color which is known for encouraging movement and boosting energy. Carpets or floor rugs are a great way to add a splash of vigor to a workplace.

Yellow to bring out your thinking hat

The solution for a collaborative workplace is to create distraction free places that foster teamwork. Only 69 percent of employees in India feel like they are able to choose where to work in the office based on the task. It is imperative to provide employees with the right environment that nurtures innovation and cutting edge ideas.

Yellow and orange are colors associated with creative thinking and energy, so adding pops of these colors through tables or seating in collaborative spaces, can create a spark of inspiration. Yellow being the jauntiest color in the spectrum, should be used sparingly in order to balance the vibrant mix of the space. There’s also an infusion of yellow with other citrus tones that lends to the overall workplace mindset. However, to avoid aggressive behaviorism, given the vibrant element of these shades, they might not be desirable as a main wall color.

Green and blue to intensify focus

Mother Nature’s palette is often considered to have shades of tranquility and calm. These are used to complement the other vibrant tints in the space. Universally, blue is used as a main color for walls as well as accents of desks and tables, primarily due to its neutrality. Every professional whether an accountant, filmmaker or doctor faces the casualty of privacy. Given the privacy crisis present in offices, the demand for focus and attentiveness is high. Shades of blue and green are popularly used for website interfaces, break rooms and large office spaces. The welcoming, voluminous and captivating nature, similar to that of the ocean, proves to be an effective concentration therapy.

Earthy brown to create stability

Brown symbolizes stability which is the core of any working professional. Even the most well designed office can make employees feel chained to negative emotions. Brown has the enigma and confidence blended with steadiness and safety. The deep chocolate brown tones have a trendy look and suit natural light. Placing a colorful vase or accessory on a plain brown surface creates an atmosphere of involvement, thereby increasing confidence and reliability.

White to maintain a state of calm

White is known to help people remain in a calm state. Often used at law offices, the color tone helps to pacify a stressful or argumentative state of mind. When discussions become heated, conference rooms can use this color to their advantage. Many corporates have tactically incorporated white in their office spaces. However, the homochromous nature might cause diversion due to lack of bustle. So best is to use it frugally.

Many factors play into corporate contentment, but the physical setting plays a significant role in appealing to human-centric emotions. One of the simplest ways to improve employee productivity is through the strategic use of color. Though colors are ubiquitous, intelligent use of color at a workplace can go a long way in creating a vibrant culture which can indirectly help your business goals.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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