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

Planning Office Layouts for Today’s Workplace Needs

Planning Office Layouts for Today’s Workplace Needs

Before discussing and planning office layouts, let’s set this up shall we?

You wake up, get ready for the day, and head to your office which is—where?

Tele-commuting became a popular term over 20 years ago. In just the last few years, offices experienced more decentralization with employees and freelance staff working remotely from home or co-working spaces.

The office was still the central place that most employees went to during their morning commute. And then Covid-19 hit with stay-at-home orders that left workplaces in a state of uncertainty. An estimated two weeks to beat the virus stretched into a few months of closures, and even longer in some areas.

Employee well-being in the workplace wasn’t just about ergonomics, movement or healthy snacks. Companies had to get protective accessories to ensure a new level and style of workplace safety.

The centralized workplace environment changed. Suddenly, home offices became necessary and the coffee shops that were open became places of work. Zoom meetings and WebEx became the professional method of meeting, interrupted by dogs barking in the background and children needing help with their online classes.

Today’s office layout is likely changed—permanently.

But that doesn’t mean employees will no longer have rush hour commutes. What it does mean is that office workers now have more options for where they can get their work done.

How companies adapt and handle the array of choices depends on the culture that comes from CEOs and other organizational leaders.

Your team may be physically distant from each other, but sharing corporate culture and values will keep them together in spirit. And that can be just as powerful as bringing everyone together in the same office.


Photo: AMQ, Rouillard & Stylex

Basics of Developing Corporate Culture

“Culture” is an intangible element of the workplace environment. However, what we see and experience impacts what we refer to as the culture. The consistency of our habits and behaviors has a tremendous influence.

Is your company described as “cutting edge” but uses equipment that’s second-rate and interior colors that appear blah and outdated?

Do you tout great customer care but tell staff to keep their heads down, don’t ask questions and do their work?

You expect customers to remain brand loyal, but do you frequently shop for new vendors to get lower prices, even though your current ones are giving you good service?

What is promised to the customers and clients should also be reflected to employees. That way, trust and respect are earned. This is one of the foundations for establishing a corporate culture that aligns with your company’s vision and mission.

Even what seems mundane like workplace furnishings and lighting are assets in creating a positive workplace.

An article in Forbes magazine, Looking to Create Great Company Culture? Studies Show to Start with Your Office Space, says there are tremendous benefits to creating a welcoming work environment. Companies bolster team morale, increase employee retention, and enhance overall productivity.

  • Invest in ergonomics and related accessories so the workplace meets the physical, emotional and task needs of your employees.
  • Use quality chairs and modular workstations with a pleasing color selection.
  • Maximize natural light if possible. Enlarge windows and install solar tubes or skylights. Natural light is one of the most desirable elements in an engaging workspace.


Photo: Stylex Seating

Know Your Brand When Planning Office Layouts

A nonprofit that specialized in working with children and families in Los Angeles County wanted to look professional inside its offices. Defining that term is central to your culture.

The organization placed images of board directors on the lobby walls and made sure the paint was clean and trim. It was neat and fresh, but it didn’t look like a child-centric place. The lobby could have been any professional business.

Why couldn’t it have been a messy-looking area on the wall where kids made their hand prints and scrawled their names? This small touch would have given the organization immediate brand recognition.

What’s your brand?

What touches can you bring to the interior that immediately set it apart?


Photo: Scale 1:1 Lean2 Dividers

Know the Atmosphere

The combination of pacing and leadership lends itself to a certain type of culture.

Are you a relaxed and loose confederation of professionals like architects who find your own clients and build individual accounts beneath a common company name? Then executive offices are needed.

Employees who are more like independent contractors have a great deal of autonomy and are likely to work well in their own office at home or at a co-working site.

The central office is key to maintaining brand identity and bringing the team together when working in collaboration on projects.

If your office at break-neck speed like in an entertainment production environment or advertising then consider the latest open-plan benching solutions.

If people need to come together often and achieve high-level results in the shortest time possible then the team is going to function closely together.

Aim for the Right Type of Culture

Imagine an infographic as you chart out the relationship between work and culture: the more that work requires a collaborative team producing results, then the more a central office space is needed.

The type of work is only one element in culture.

A leader’s outlook and confidence is a significant factor.

The founder of a family run business who takes a “we’ve always done it this way” approach is going to face a dilemma when outside forces create change.

The CEO who’s confident, gathers staff input, and knows when to foster collaboration or independence has a significant impact on the workplace.

Choose the culture that’s right for your needs:

  • Independence with occasional checking in—good for professionals who work with a large degree of autonomy.
  • Starting separate then finishing together—this is the type of work where one type of talent begins a project, like a writer creating ad copy, and then the team refines the rough results.
  • Close collaboration—this could be a small engineering firm developing robots or other products where continual input is needed from start to finish.


Photo: Trendway Clearwall

Developing Office Landscapes

Going to work for some employees may mean taking the dogs for a walk around the block before settling into a home office. For others, it can mean getting up before daylight to make the drive from the Inland Empire into Orange County.

Either setting is appropriate in today’s diverse office eco-system.

It’s relevant to ensure standards are in place.

Home offices should be kept neat and use desks, chairs and lighting that are ergonomically sound.

Select co-working sites that meet your office requirements.

Layout an office interior with the right equipment and space planning to ensure comfort and safety.

Since employees may rotate in and out, plan for quiet areas or shared workstations that are kept properly sanitized.

Planning Office Layouts Input and Advice

The team at 2010 Office Furniture specializes in office planning and layouts that create efficiencies and assist in making teams more productive. Contact them with your layout questions and needs.

They have nearly 50 years combined experience working with distinguished corporations, leading universities, and small businesses throughout Southern California.

Read Also: Plan Your Office Branding for the Employee Experience
Main Photo: Rouillard Kopa Seating
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: AMQ, Rouillard, Scale 1:1, Stylex & Trendway

Plan Your Office Branding for the Employee Experience

Plan Your Office Branding for the Employee Experience

Corporate branding usually focuses on the customer, or user, experience (UX). But what about the employee experience? Planning and furnishing your office spaces properly can lead to engaged employees who are champions of your brand.

Planning the Current Work Environment


Photo: Friant Novo Workstations

Remember when the open office came under criticism for its distracting noise and lack of personal space? Office managers purchased quality benching solutions, but then critics noted that employees needed personal space. Privacy screens were made part of the design, like with the ODS Artiv Open Plan Benching.

Modular cubicles became another way to create personal workspaces within the open office.


Photo: Friant Interra Cubicles

Then Covid-19 hit and completely upended the open office. Companies immediately adjusted to accommodating remote workers, a term once given to graphic artists and other freelancers. Now, finance departments, marketing and a host of others were in their homes or parks logged on to Zoom meetings instead of having in-person huddles.

The debate between fixed walls and the advantages of an open office were no longer important.

But offices in Southern California are re-opening as the rates of infection have dropped. Counties are in different phases of opening so how will your current work environment change?


Photo: HON Abound Cubicles

Which employees will work in the office full-time, and who’s splitting their office presence with remote work?

Traditionally, emphasis was placed on the need for individual work areas and one or more meeting spaces, but now areas designated for group meetings or huddles may outweigh the importance of space for full-time individual work areas, even in a time of social distancing.


Photo: HON Chicago Showroom

Why does the topic deserve attention?

Plan your office space as a strategic part when you plan your office branding. Make a commitment and investment for your employees. As you do, they’ll believe more firmly than ever in your brand and your mission. As they feel more comfortable in the work environment and know what’s allowed, the messages about your brand’s promise will flow organically to your customers.

Merging Top-Down, Bottom-Up Strategies

Listening and gathering feedback from employees is essential, but, let’s face it, at the end of the day, leaders are held accountable for the decisions they have to make.

Planning an office space and creating employee engagement means gathering the individual perspectives from people who have different learning styles and shaping them into a cohesive whole. A final outcome won’t always make everybody happy. But rather than overriding their opinions, respect each person’s voice and you’ll create goodwill.


Photo: Loftwall Desk Shield

Getting input from the experience of employees is similar to listening to your customers and what they experience. It’s an inside-outside approach to creating a strong brand.

Make the Office a Community Destination

Work has to get done. We know that. Marketing, sales, production, and customer care all aim toward one goal—satisfied customers who are ready to buy again and talk positively about the corporate brand.

As you scan the office setting, consider the work area as a community destination and not just a functional location where people must come in to get work done. Companies who have experienced Covid-19 know the need for offering employees flexibility.


Photo: Friant Shield Screens

A reason that a main office and its physical space will remain is because people need a rallying point in their work, or a community destination spot. That’s how you can re-think your office space. So even if you have employees who split their time between the office and a remote location like home, having a comfortable space to come to can work well.

As you plan your office, keep the following key areas in mind:

  • Workstations
  • Meeting areas, like a dedicated client space
  • Personal space
  • Break areas

Use the necessary shields and protective equipment so your team feels safe.

Photo: Loftwall Desk Shield

Do you envision fewer daily workstations and a greater use of meeting areas?

Personal office space in the traditional office setting and at remote settings can get cluttered and uncomfortable. Your office can be a place for the team to come meet, or stop in to do work and get away from the distractions of home.

This type of set up is normal for professionals like real estate agents who are out meeting people and only stop into the office to do paperwork.

Tips for creating a community gathering spot include:

  • Having the essential tools that employees need
  • Attractive lighting with as much natural light as possible
  • A contemporary look and comfort that they can’t provide on their own like quality ergonomic chairs and workstations

Employee Experience as You Plan Your Office Branding from the Inside Out

A welcoming office promotes employee engagement.

Employees who believe in the brand are a catalyst to a better customer experience. When your brand means a lot on the inside, then it’s more likely to get noticed on the outside.

Read Also: The Best Office Spaces are Responsive to Employee Needs
Main Photo: HON
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: FriantHON and Loftwall