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

Design and Plan Your Office for Collaboration and Inspiration

Design and Plan Your Office for Collaboration and Inspiration AIS Calibrate Table

Elevate your office from the mundane to a setting that generates collaboration and inspires your team to do their best. The thought invested in planning spaces, choosing the right furnishings, and using color schemes that matter keep morale high and your employees working at peak efficiency. 

Tech companies around Los Angeles are known for breaking out of the traditional gray and brown industrial colors to use shades that represent the sun and surf.

Companies that have a break-the-mold business model such as The Honest Company, founded by actress Jessica Alba, maximize light and use sleek-looking architectural walls to frame meeting areas. 

Symbols also create unique experiences. At Red Bull’s headquarters in Santa Monica, a 420-foot skate ramp flows over storage spaces down the center of the office.

Read on for ideas that will perk up your office’s design, make the best use of your existing space, and boost goodwill among your employees.

Getting Started

Look at your goals and budget, then choose the need that best describes your situation:

  • freshening up your office
  • overhauling an existing space
  • planning a brand-new interior 

Consider what you want the end result to achieve, like creating more common spaces for office collaboration or deciding how to get the most from your current floor plan.

Look at your overall use of space, color, and light. Set the tone for the atmosphere or vibe by considering your company’s brand. Are the promises you make to customers carried into your office setting?

Plenty of options exist to give both small businesses and corporations vibrant settings that become valuable places for employees.


Photo: Arcadia Domo Lounge Chairs

You may want a minimalist design with clean lines and plenty of natural interiors, also called the Scandinavian office.


Photo: Stylex NYC Loose Lounge Sofa

A minimalist interior can also come in an industrial flair like the Modern Industrial Office using a brick- and-mortar approach. Or try a modern look with bold colors and eye-catching designs.


Photo: Source International Scape Lounge Sofa

Get Smart with Ergonomics 

Make your environment and equipment work in support of your team and their overall office collaboration – so they are more efficient while staying as healthy as possible both physically and mentally. 

Ergonomics is more than having a height-adjustable desk so a keyboard and laptop monitor are at the right height.


Photo: OFS Aptos Private Office Desk

Accessories are important but investing in furniture, lighting, and colors helps the overall environment by assisting the workers and boosting morale. You promote productivity, profitability, and goodwill among your team members.

Seating

Select chairs that are designed for long-term comfort and well-being so that team members can fully engage in their tasks. A quality ergonomic chair is sensitive to the user’s body weight and shifts effortlessly as the person moves.

Look into the 9 to 5 Seating Agent Chair for durability; the mesh technology in the Humanscale Diffrient World Chair; and the OFS InSync chair that’s customizable. 

Sitting for long periods of time stresses the body so use chairs that support different body shapes.

Desks and Workstations

Desks that aren’t chosen properly can make a room feel crowded and make the user uncomfortable. Decide how much surface space is needed and how the person likes to do their work, such as spreading out and then gathering things when finished with tasks.

Some desks will convey authority or fit in with the surrounding décor regardless of title and position.

Open plan benching and modular workstations accommodate teams performing similar tasks while creating personal boundaries. Use configurations that work the best for your area. 


Photo: Friant System 2 Workstation

Need face-to-face with privacy screens and mobile storage? 

How about clustering people in a group for easy sharing of ideas?

Your options are highly customizable. You can shape your setting in numerous ways and choose from colors that complement your office surroundings.

Movement

Allow for as much movement as possible in the office.  This is important especially to promote office collaboration and office wellness. Encourage stretch breaks every couple of hours. Provide lounge furniture and break areas inside or outside where your employees can sit comfortably to work away from their desks, have a focused discussion, or just take a quiet moment.

Moving keeps blood circulating and eases pressure on the lower back, wrists, and knees.

Design and Plan Your Office for Collaboration and Inspiration Arcadia Domo Bench
Photo: Arcadia Domo Bench Seating

Colors and Light

There is a science to choosing colors that inspire or soothe to create a pleasant background. Just for kicks, here’s a fun experiment from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Cal Tech in Pasadena showing how beads seem to change colors under different shades of cellophane. Different shades affect moods and emotions.

Aristotle believed all color was either black or white and related them to the elements of water, air, earth, and fire as described by the Smithsonian Libraries. His views were held for 2000 years until Isaac Newton studied how light changed when passing through a prism.

Now, let’s hear it for sunshine. Bringing in as much natural light as possible keeps people upbeat and emotionally sound.

Knowing the result you want from your office environment, using the right equipment, and planning for an overall pleasing atmosphere will help your place of work become a desirable destination.  If done correctly, you will see obvious improvement in quality of work, team camaraderie, office collaborations and overall employee wellness. 

Koncept Splitty Lamp for Office Collaboration
Photo: Koncept Lighting Splitty Lamps

Call on 2010 Office Furniture

Planning an office that works for your firm requires a custom approach. Do you need a hybrid model with work-at-home solutions? How will your plan support flow of information and tasks?  Is it conducive to good office collaboration?

The team at 2010 Office Furniture has more than 50 years of combined experience working with clientele that are among Southern California’s most notable corporations, leading universities, and small businesses in all industries. 

Contact them with your office needs and questions.

Read Also: 3 Popular Office Layouts to Meet Your Office Culture
Main Photo: AIS Conference Table
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: AISArcadia, Friant,
KonceptOFS BrandsStylex and Source International

Creative Office Layouts that Engage Employees

Companies with unique and creative office layouts based around their brands, as a result, inspire and engage their employees to live out their brands’ promises on a daily basis. The following companies have unique office décor and settings to make employees feel a part of the mission and core strength.  Remember not to try and copy them. There’s only one Google and one Dropbox. But instead, adapt their ideas to inspire creativity, enhance collaboration and create your own engaging workplace experience.

Edmunds

Edmunds.com is all about cars and you see it immediately when stepping into their Santa Monica office that houses a couple of hundred employees. Edmunds launched in the 1960s with paper car reports at newsstands and remain recognized as the Car People who make car buying easier.  Their mission is clear once you walk in the door. A classic Corvette is suspended above the reception desk and the extensive coffee bar is decked out in chrome wheels.  The office space is flexible with mini-meeting rooms that are easy to duck in and out of. Departments are arranged with workstations in open areas and there’s plenty of room between them.  Edmunds has been rated as one of the best places to work in Southern California every year since 2010.

Dropbox

Having spiral bound rings above your desk gives a mix of closure and openness. Dropbox has a unique approach to office design and is aware of the drawbacks of the open offices. The file-sharing tech firm has described how providing various types of spaces for employees can allow people to come together in teams to work on a problem and then disperse to work on the details.

Google

Spaces for work and places for play describe in general how Google offices are designed and laid out. The company logo is always present and is integrated into the design. In its relatively recent Pittsburgh office, Google in white letters is neatly painted across a red brick wall to pay respects to the original building.  Google offices include pool tables and foosball games with a design that reflects some of the local flavor.  The innovative and now legendary search firm gives a local, at-home vibe for its employees no matter where they work.

AirBnB

AirBnB’s international offices show that the reception desk represents more than an afterthought. In its London, Sao Paulo and Singapore locations, the reception area is modeled after a front porch. The offices are created in tandem with local design firms and pull on the mission of living anywhere.  The headquarters in San Francisco have work rooms that are modeled after actual apartments and in Singapore there’s bleacher-style seating to hold informal meetings.

Urban Outfitters

In Philadelphia, Urban Outfitters pays homage to a 125-year history of shipbuilding with the layout and look of its design studios. An old navy yard feel is integrated with today’s technology and office comforts.  The office design has been honored by the National AIA Honor Awards Jury for its “tension between old and new … indoor and out … all of this while holding in character with the corporate image.”

What About Creative Office Layouts for Your Company?

You’re probably not trying to make headlines or win awards with your office layout, but does it serve your employees well and represent your brand effectively?  Planning a creative office space that also supports the company’s goals and objectives well takes deliberate thought, but the result is a boost in productivity and office morale.

Consider ways to refresh your workspace. Contact 2010 Office Furniture for expert input based on many years of experience helping corporations, universities, and small businesses throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Read Also: Planning Office Layouts for Today’s Workplace Needs
Main Photo: OFS Brands Kintra Table
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: OFS Brands