You Do Hue: Choosing the Best Office Color to Boost Productivity in Your Workspace

Best Office Color Scandinavian Spaces Big Talk Chair

Choosing the right color palette for the office can be difficult. Before your can decide on best color for an office desk or best color for an office chair, you first need to understand the delicate science behind color, as well as other necessary considerations. There are a lot of factors to take into account: what industry your company belongs to; what message you want to deliver to both your employees and customer base; the atmosphere you want to create; and the size and shape of your office. Beyond that, there’s also an entire discipline called color psychology devoted to color and how it elicits different emotions.

Sounds challenging, right?

Here’s the good news: there are very few wrong answers when choosing the best office color to boost productivity and make your employees happy – even if some may offer more benefits than others.

Colors such as blue, green, and neutrals are great colors to consider when designing your workspace. Other bright pops of colors could work as accents.

Blue

Blue has been consistently noted as the best office color for productivity, and for good reason. This color has historical significance: in ancient times, it was believed to have mystical properties before becoming the color used for royalty and eventually turned into the standard hue for police uniforms and banks. Through all these changes, the factor that remained constant blue’s association with power, authority, safety and trust.

What does this mean for the office? Color psychologists claim that blue’s effect on emotions is hardwired into the human psyche. When we think of blue, we think of the sea and sky—two things linked to relaxation and freedom. Blue decreases blood pressure and stimulates the mind. It has a calming and creative effect that results in increased productivity, possibly making it the best color for office walls (next to neutrals).

Be careful in choosing what shade to use. Generally, dark shades can evoke sadness—like how cloudy days make one feel down and lethargic—while certain shades of light blue can make a room feel cold.


Photo: Senator Group Mote Seating


Photo: ERG International Carlton Lounge


Photo: Via Seating Splash Chair, Stylex Luna Lounge, Senator Group Orb Workstations

Green

Color psychology dictates that green is associated with tranquility, balance, and peacefulness. Green puts people at ease and balances moods because of its cultural significance as a symbol of growth, new life, and nature. Humans correlate green with the natural world and outdoors scenery; places where we go for peace and rest.

Symbols aside, green has numerous health benefits. The color has been scientifically proven to lessen eye strain and fatigue, leading to longer term focus and attention. Pops of green can be added to the office in the form of plants, which improve air quality and increase productivity while lowering anxiety, tension and stress. 

Use green as an opportunity to introduce freshness and vitality into the office. Since it’s linked to safety and calm, green is especially fitting for environments like counseling and psychiatric clinics, kindergartens, art therapy centers, hospitals, and dentist offices. 

Green and blue are the best office colors for ADHD, particularly those of hyperactive-impulsive presentations, because of their soothing effect.


Photo: Stylex Cove Lounge Sofa


Photo: Via Seating Vooom Chair


Photo: Scandinavian Spaces Pixel, Senator Group Play Storage, OFS Fleet Planters

Neutral Colors

With recent trends focusing on comfort and flexibility in the workplace, neutral colors are making waves in office design. Take, for example, the resimercial office: our present work culture blurs the line between work and home, resulting in the need to bring the comforts of home into the office. Neutral colors are a popular color scheme because of their soothing and reliable qualities. They include, but aren’t limited to, the colors beige, brown, cream, gray, taupe, white and black.

Muted shades like this represent newness and possibilities. Because of their inoffensive coloring, they are the most versatile types of color for areas like the office, front lobby, and break room. Neutrals also do very well in the home office, as the best office color for walls and best office color for Zoom meetings. These hues are perfect for making rooms appear bigger and brighter.  But be careful because when used in excess, neutrals can seem bland and unexciting. That’s why they’re often paired with bolder, more vibrant colors to create a contrasting palette of vigor, creativity, and productivity.

The best part about neutral colors are that they are timeless and adaptable.  Neutral shades offer much flexibility and compatibility with other colors.  They can also be seamlessly applied to the many different trends that we see come and go into office design.


Photo: Friant Novo Workstation


Photo: Via Seating Chair


Photo: Senator Group Pailo Workstations, Allermuir Axyl Chairs, Allermuir Qu Ottoman

Yellow

Yellow is the color of creativity, happiness, and enthusiasm. According to color psychology, yellow brings to mind sunshine, warmth and energy. We equate yellow to positive things because the hue helps the brain release a mood stabilizer called serotonin. It’s a striking, vivid shade best used as an accent color and tempered with more calm, cool colors.

Take care when using yellow. Yellow is the brightest color on the spectrum to the human eye. It’s an eye-catching, attention-grabbing color that can boost confidence and innovative thinking. But that’s also why it should be used with caution: too much yellow can cause the opposite intended effect and increase stress and anxiety. Apply yellow to the office when designing creative spaces or collaborative rooms.


Photo: Senator Group Play Work Pods


Photo: Senator Group Mote Seating


Photo: Nevins Phone Booth, Allermuir Host Tables, ERG International Breakroom

Red

What do you think of when the color red comes to mind? Red is a strong color—and strong colors come with strong connotations. Red is a warm color associated with energy, drive and urgency. They are stimulating colors that should be used in competitive, fast-paced environments to boost confidence and activity.

As with yellow, warm colors evoke uplifting, energetic responses. But they bring the same warning too: too much can increase negative emotions like anger and frustration. Strike a delicate balance with red as an accent color or combine it with less vibrant tones to bring out the best qualities in the shade.


Photo: Stylex Free Address Lounge Workstation


Photo: Via Seating Edge Chair


Photo: Maverick Reception Desk, Global River Lounge Scale, Scale 1:1 G Series Workstation

When Choosing the Best Office Color…Do you!

Color palettes can be challenging to curate, but don’t be discouraged. Choosing the best color for your office space is ultimately an opportunity to express your company’s personality and style. Remember, the colors mentioned in this article are just guidelines to  the challenge of finding the perfect office color design. Think of it as a math problem. We have two parts of the equation: color psychology and the end goal of creating an efficient, productive office. The only part missing are all the possible colors you can use —and there is no one way to solving the equation. Have fun and be creative!

Turn to Expertise for the Best Office Color

The team at 2010 Office stays up to date on trends to help clients plan their work areas as well as work from home office spaces.  They help design environments to improve employee engagement, and equip companies for improved productivity. Get input on connecting home offices with corporate spaces.

Contact 2010 Office and let them know your project needs.

2010 Office works with clients who are among Southern California’s most distinguished corporations, nonprofits, and small businesses.

Read Also: Design and Plan Your Office for Collaboration and Inspiration
Main Photo: Scandinavian Spaces Big Talk Chair
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Allermuir, Friant, ERG International, Global Furniture, Maverick, Nevins, OFS, Scandinavian Spaces, Senator Group,  Scale 1:1, Stylex, and Via Seating