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Whilst you’re at work, the colours that surround you may not be a conscious thought of yours. Furthermore, employers may not intentionally purchase office equipment comprising of colours that positively affect our brains. I want to discuss how colours affect us in terms of mood, and whether these findings should be taken into consideration when designing office spaces.

A study carried out by the University of Texas provided evidence that bland offices incorporating colours such as: grey, beige and white induced feelings of depression and sadness, especially in women. Men, on the other hand, experienced similar depressive moods when surrounded by the colours, purple and orange when in a work space. When at work, employers want their staff to be at their highest productivity level, but commonly use colours that induce the opposite. So, that being said, what colours do produce positive effects?

Focusing initially on the colour red, this is a ‘high wave length colour’, and has frequently been linked to passion inspiring behaviour. Red is also responsible for increasing heart rate and blood flow, subsequently stimulating the brain, and making individuals feel more motivated (University of Texas). If your staff are more motivated to do their work, as a result it will increase both their productivity, and quality of work.

However, when considering the colours blue and green, there is much supporting evidence surrounding their positive effects. According to the University of British Columbia, both of these colours are associated with the feeling of being calm. When concerning a work environment that has the potential to cause stress, the use of green and blue could remedy these effects.

Finally, when concerning the colour yellow, this has strong links to optimistic feelings, and creativity. This could be beneficial in any office environment, with optimism having the potential to encourage staff to continue with their work – even though it may not have gone to plan. When focusing on creativity, this has the potential to inspire staff to come up with creative ideas for the company’s future ventures, and what employer wouldn’t want that?

Reflecting upon my discussion, the evidence suggests that using bland colours is negative for working, and using: red, blue, green, and yellow have positive effects. But, this then poses the question, which colour do you prioritise for a work space?

What are your thoughts on this topic? Should the colour of workplace equipment be considered? Let us know in the comments below!

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