Do you look around your London office and despair at the lack of colour? However, you fear getting it wrong so find yourself in an impossible decorative cycle. It’s true that office colour is important, not just in its presence but in the choice of tone. The psychological effects of colour, its role in branding and its functionality are all aspects to consider in your choice of colour in an office environment. So before you make a decorative decision, make sure you’ve looked at it from every angle.
The impact that colour has on the productivity of workers is a hotly debated topic. Wherever you sit in the colour psychology debate, it cannot be denied that an office environment will certainly impact the comfort and well-being of the workers within it. Colour absolutely plays a part in this, as anyone who has spent any time surrounded by soulless battleship grey will testify!
A cool colour palate includes tones of blue and green, making it a very natural scheme. Traditionally these colours are relaxing and calming. So when they’re used in an office environment these colours can improve problem solving and concentration. Green is great for soothing and blue for focus. So for organisations whose business requires detailed and strategic thinking, these hues are ideal.
A more vibrant colour choice would be those warm colours such as orange, red and yellow. These colours are energetic and active. We see red tones often with a sales connotation as it signifies a ‘call to action’. So for proactive offices it’s great as an accent. Seen as joyful and positive colours, yellows and oranges are a great choice for creative industries that rely upon innovative thinking and expressive ideas.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that black and white don’t count as colours. Used correctly and prioritising contrast, a monochrome office scheme can have as much impact as any more traditional ‘colour’. Where white is seen as sterile, when contrasted nicely with greys, blacks and metallics, an office environment will feel both modern and stylish. This makes a great scheme for agencies and other businesses that strive to present a modern, funky image.
Of course, you can’t just paint an office in a colour that is designed to encourage the desired attitude. Colour is a vital way to brand an office space, making it feel coherent within an organisation’s mission. If your business branding is blue and black, think how this can complement your desire for an orange creative space. Colours can work really well together but should be used sparingly and thoughtfully.
Collaborative working is something often sited in the success of a growing business. Decorating your office in a way that is inclusive and encourages your staff to feel and work as a coherent team can take a step towards achieving this outlook.
Experienced office decorators, like us here at HL, have seen every combination of colours and know what works. Often, this is simply down to not overdoing it and it helps to start with a well considered plan. Direct your branded colours to communal spaces such as receptions or social areas, and consider decorating meeting rooms in colours more focused on the psychology that you wish to encourage.
Include in your colour plan a level of functionality. Yes, colour does predominantly inspire feelings and attitude, but it is also functional. If your office is a hectic environment that sees a lot of coming and going, don’t set your heart on muted tones that will show every knock and scratch. Two-tone walls can be great here, with the darker shade towards the floor. This has the added benefit of looking modern and striking whilst still holding functionality at its core.