As Swiftic gets ready to move to our new office space, we thought we would take this opportunity to look at the power of office design and what kind of psychological effect it can have on employees.
Surprisingly, one of the most influential impacts on workers’ overall well-being is the color of the workspace—whether you work in a brick-and-mortar store, a high-rise office, or even at home launching your new mobile-based small business! We decided to explore a theory put forward by Frank H. Mahnke on the impact of color on human response and overall work performance.
What it means: The color red is associated with strength, activity, and warmth. It can also be strongly associated with fire, danger, blood, and violence. It’s no surprise that it’s the color of revolution, and we’re guessing you’re not looking to implement this in your workforce! Mahnke advises against using it as a dominant color, and suggests it should be used to complement other more tranquil colors.
What it creates: Red creates a sense of urgency. Neither a relaxing nor a calming color, it can be a little negative and overpowering for an office environment, unless you’re looking to create an atmosphere of aggressiveness.
Perfect for: A gym
What it means: Blue is the yin to red’s yang. The color of all that is natural in the world (think sky and sea). The color of peace, calm, comfort, and security, blue is a color that is not only an obvious choice for the office space but also the dominant color for logos and brands.
What it creates: While blue can be seen as cold and bleak if applied excessively, on the whole its impact can be incredibly encouraging and inspire spirituality and wisdom. It’s the thinking man’s color.
Perfect for: A café or bookstore
What it means: Purple is a mix between red and blue, colors that are psychologically opposed to each other. Purple is often associated with power, elegance, and luxury. However, it can also have lonely, mournful, or pompous associations.
What it creates: Like red, purple is a powerful color that’s best used as an accent to other colors. However, the combination of red and blue means it also creates an environment that is simultaneously warm and powerful.
Perfect for: A florist
What it means: The opinions and associations connected with the color green are polarized. It has refreshing, quiet, and natural connotations, which is why it’s the go-to color for many soft-drink brands—Sprite, Mountain Dew, & Coca Cola Life to name a few. It’s also known to be the most restful color on the eye. On the other hand, it is also the color of sickness and poison.
What it creates: In the office environment, green can project an environment of calm, security, and passiveness. Used correctly, it can introduce the right atmosphere for concentration.
Perfect for: A marketing or ad agency
What it means: Due to its high visibility, yellow represents safety. It’s also the friendliest color, and is often used in packaging designs to express cheerfulness and energy.
What it creates: The color yellow is strongly associated with the power of communication (mailboxes are yellow in many countries). If your team needs to be active, communicative, and productive, then yellow might need to be your office color of choice.
Perfect for: A health shop or juice station
What it means: White traditionally represents spirituality, holiness, innocence, and purity (think of the pope or a bride). Cleanliness is also associated with white, so brands in the health, beauty, and pharmaceutical industries tend to go for white–CVS is a perfect example.
What it creates: Interestingly, studies show that hardly any industries choose white as a color scheme, other than interior design. This is possibly because it can have a slightly negative clinical, emotionless, and neutral effect if overused. So be careful with white…there can be too much of a good thing!
Perfect for: A spa