Can the colour of walls really make you work smarter?

Colour Psychology in the Workplace – Office Design

There are volumes of work that discuss the many considerations for open plan office design relating to layout, temperature, noise, privacy and lighting.

One of the least discussed areas is that of colour; colour choice, colour placement and its effect on employees in an open plan office design.

Marketing and branding companies have known for decades that colour and colour combinations can make consumers feel, think and behave in a particular way. These organisations have used colour to help manipulate us to buy or do what they want us to do. They have practiced their techniques, performed studies, spent global fortunes in the testing and analysis of colour choices for products and services. The money invested in this research could probably stop hunger in the third world. As a result they work the consumers’ behaviour with laser precision.

Their exposure to the consumer is brief in comparison to the amount of time and employee spends inside his office environment, yet little consideration is given to colour choice and colour placement in the open office environment.

Typically, company executives want to ensure that the office space is safe, functional and well finished. The effective use of colour based on what we know of colour psychology rarely comes into the equation. Almost all of the focus for the use of colour by organisations is directed to the external experience: what colour should be used in the logo, the signage, the packaging, the advertising, the reception area.

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