Color has a profound effect on our mental and emotional states. It can even alter our perceptions. For example, painting a room interior with warm colors such as orange causes people to feel warmer while using cool colors such as blue make them feel cooler. This effect has been used to save on heating and air conditioning costs. The stimulant effect of coloring a placebo pill orange or red is yet another example of how color affects perception. This suggests that the right choice of interior wall color can improve office space productivity in a very cost-effective way.
The following tips on boosting office productivity with color are based on the work of Angela Wright. She is a color psychologist who has researched in the field since the late 1970s and has achieved world recognition for her work.
The Saturation Level Of A Color Affects The Intensity Of Its Effect
An example of saturation is shown in this image. Here, the different saturation levels of red are shown where the highest levels are at the top and the lowest at the bottom. Think of saturation as a kind of “intensity” dial. Red physically stimulates people. Therefore, if you want more physical stimulation, increase the saturation, otherwise lower the saturation for less stimulation.
Use Blue For Mental Productivity
People with intensely intellectual work such as programmers, are most productive in a blue colored environment. However, it is important to avoid a monochromatic color scheme. The blue should be balanced with accents of warmer colors. These warmer colors are found by selecting colors on the opposite side of the color wheel. Be careful not to use too much of an accent color.
Use Green When Balance Is Required
Green soothes and reassures. Use green in environments requiring a good sense of balance. For example, green is useful in meeting rooms where consensus among opposing points of view is required.
Use Red For Physical Activity
Red stimulates physical action and is helpful in work situations requiring physical productivity.
Use Yellow To Promote Creativity
Yellow is associated with sunshine, happiness, optimism, and energy. Happiness, optimism, and energy fuel creativity. Therefore it is well suited for highly creative workers such as designers, media artists, animators, and architects. Take care not to overuse yellow because doing so has a disturbing effect.
Keep in mind that color schemes typically have one primary color, and several secondary colors. When you use any of the above color suggestions as the primary, you achieve its productivity effect for the work space. Secondary colors can be chosen as accents as discussed above. You can also choose colors similar to the primary as your secondaries. These are colors adjacent to the primary on the color wheel.
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