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Did you know the color of your office and surroundings can actually have an effect on your productivity? So if you have been feeling sluggish and seeking an answer in motivation, it may be as simple as picking up a paint brush. A couple of questions you need to ask yourself before you paint, is do you want a relaxing environment, or do you need your workspace to be more stimulating? Some colors motivate, while others distract. If you’re easily distracted, surround yourself with soft, muted colors to relax and calm you and help you get down to work. If you find motivation difficult, surround yourself with brighter colors to provide yourself with more energy. If you don’t have the time to paint at the moment, (or wallpaper), – look around at other items you may be able to change the color scheme on, or add a splash of color to; ie; the couch, throw pillows, chair covers, desk cover, frames, etc . . .
Cool colors, such as purples, greens and blues are more passive in nature, and will make your work area feel calmer. It will help quiet the nerves, lift the spirits, and soothe the soul. These are especially good colors to use if you work with the public in stressful situations, such as a counselor, lawyer, psychiatrist, etc. .. They’re calming and meditative, which will help with thoughtful concentration and reflection.
Use warm colors such as reds, yellows, and oranges, for an intimate and cozy feel. These colors tend to be a bit more active than the cooler colors.
Warm hues are great to use in settings where you want a cheerful and invigorating feel. They help awaken the mind and enliven the spirit. A good motivator for sales and people or for those who need to be creative in their work.
Warm, muted tones tend to work better than bold, bright colors in office environments. Psychologically, bright colors are very stimulating, but also tend to be distracting in working spaces. Decide what will work best for your own personal space. If you are the boss, enabling employees to make their own office space the colors of their personal choice will make for a happier, more relaxed atmosphere, with employees who are more productive.
A good rule of thumb in offices, is to use bright hues as accents, rather than as the main wall colors. Use vibrant colors sparingly in these areas to create the level of stimulation you desire.
If you work with international companies, one thing to keep in mind is the meaning of color in different cultures. For example, in Russia red means beautiful. In China red attracts good luck. In South Africa it’s the color of mourning and for the ancient Romans, a red flag was a signal for battle. The main thing you want to be sure of is that the colors you choose to work with, are not an insult to an international company you do business with.
It’s also good to keep in mind that different colors have different meanings in certain professions. Such as the medical field: Blue means oxygen, which can signify death and dying, yellow is saved for neurology, but is also associated with decay and sickness, red is inflammation and green symbolizes bile.
A few colors are listed below with some of their noted affects and effects:
Red- Portrays dominance, power and attention. Use red to grab people’s attention, and get people to take action. Muted Reds are often soft, cozy and personal. Red can also be used to have a desired cautionary effect.
Green- Relaxes people. As nature colors they provoke growth, fertility, health and harmony. Muted greens are calm, restful and soothing, while shaded variants project trust and order, encouraging contemplation, serenity and repose.
Yellow- Sunny, attention getter, harmonizing, energy, and coveys hospitality. Promotes deep feelings of well-being. Muted shades speak of home, harvest and abundance.
Blue- Cooling down affect. Steady, evoking the emotions of sky and sea. It is calming, expansive and cool. Muted hues recall summer skies, azure mountain lakes, and blue-green ocean depths, helping in deep concentration and reflection. Shaded blues exude a comfort and ease.
Orange- Radiant, luminous, bright, glowing and bold. The muted shades are restful, earthy, natural and soothing.
Purple- Pure purple has the clarity of blue and the warmth of red. The deep colors convey grandeur and luxury, while the lighter shades are elusive and intriguing. Muted purples are airy and peaceful and the shaded purples are soft and shadowy.
White- Represents peace and purity, the color white can be used to give an open, spacious feeling to a smaller work area. Soft, muted, or tinted whites are the best choice for the main wall colors in offices. Pure, bright white, when used in large quantities, can strain the eyes in a brightly lit work environment. Instead, use bright whites for trim and moldings to create a crisp, clean look.
Neutrals- Soothing, comforting, safe and secure, neutrals make a great background for almost any office environment. Neutrals blend with every color, making them the perfect choice for offices that are open to other rooms of the home. Neutral colors are comfortable, yet elegant and understated. Their subtlety makes them versatile, simple to use, and very easy to work with. Lending well to the thinking process, neutral colors are open-minded and cooperative. They are not distracting, making it easy to concentrate on the task at hand.
Neutral color schemes work well with furnishings from all time periods. Contemporary, traditional, and even period furnishings. To avoid looking dull or bland use a variety of different tones with different patterns and textures. Use colorful accents to bring unexpected ‘punches’ of color to a neutral room, or use color to highlight an interesting architectural feature and to bring attention to a focal wall.
For the exterior, using neutral color schemes is probably the safest choice you can make. Neutrals blend with the environment, and are tasteful and timeless, giving them long-lasting appeal. Neutrals harmonize with nature helping to integrate the business with the natural landscape. Neutral colors are unobtrusive, making them useful for camouflaging architectural defects and unattractive areas such as gutters.
Enjoy customizing the colors of your own personal work space. And most of all enjoy the benefits the colors will bring you and your clients.
Remember to always provide adequate lighting. Lighting is critically important for office work-and your eyesight. Use adjustable desktop lamps to help provide additional lighting to create warm, decorative pools of light, especially in the evening hours and at night. Desktop lighting also helps to reduce glare on your computer screen.