Choosing office chairs that are comfortable, tables that are large and roomy and filing cabinet drawers with tons of space is pretty straightforward. But what about choosing colour?
Colour is generally perceived as a subjective choice. People often have favourite colours, for a multitude of reasons. It could be the colour of their favourite flower, favourite dress, or favourite childhood memory. But surrounding oneself with colour, as in the walls of home or office or the colour of the office furniture one chooses, is often something entirely different. Someone whose favourite colour is fire-engine red might buy red bags or shoes, but rarely sleeps in a bright red bedroom.
So why choose the interior colours for office furniture projects the way one does? And more importantly, how does should one choose colours for the work environment and office furniture?
It is well recognised that colours actually have psychological effects on emotions and perceptions. Company logos are one example of how organisations capitalise on this fact and associate their brand with human emotion to ultimately sell more products. Warm colours such as red, orange and yellow are linked to hot food, so is it any wonder why fast food brands including McDonalds, Hungry Jacks and KFC all use these warm colours in their globally recognised logos?
All colours have positive and negative effects depending on context, and evoke responses tempered by the experience of those viewing them. According to InKKDesign, the following colours have certain connotations attached to them in Western culture:
- White-Clean, innocent, pure
- Red-Strong, brave, passionate
- Yellow-Happy, friendly, optimistic
- Brown-Warm, earthy, mature
- Green-Natural, tranquil, relaxing
- Blue-Strong, trustworthy, authoritative
- White-Cold, empty, sterile
- Red-Dangerous, aggressive, domineering
- Yellow-Cowardly, annoying, brash
- Brown- Dirty, sad, cheap
- Green-Jealous, inexperienced, greedy
- Blue-Cold, depressing, gloomy
Whether or not one is aware of it, customers and employees will feel certain emotions based on the colours they choose to use in the workplace environment. Research has, for example, led many employers to use a green colour scheme in the office, as there is evidence to suggest this result in less absenteeism. Apparently, one football team in the United States painted the visiting team’s locker room in pink, having been told in reduced aggression.
No-one of this is set in stone when looking at office furniture, as colour is capable of so much variation and interpretation. However, it is important to understand important concepts about colour, as it will help you to appreciate its impact and guide you to maximising your decisions on the right office furniture for your workplace.
Choosing the right colour scheme
For those that are not creative or do not have an art background, choosing a colour scheme, even for office, can be a daunting prospect. One may be tempted to think that colour is not important in an office environment, as a lot of older-style offices were obviously designed with that thinking in mind. However neutral colours such as gray can have a detrimental effect to employees, being linked to negative emotions such as sadness, grief and boredom in some studies.
Thinking about the atmosphere one wishes to create is also an important element to choosing colour schemes in the workplace and with office furniture. To create a quiet, calm and reflective mood, the appropriate schemes are cool colours under cool fluorescent lighting, where spaces can appear larger and cooler and noises quieter.
Conversely, if one wish to motivate, energise and activate the team, one may want warmer colours under warmer lighting, where the spaces can feel smaller and noises louder.
Colours can help or hinder the office furniture environment, so it has to be keep it in mind when deciding on anything from office chairs to cubicle walls. Or have the hard work done by one of H and L Office Furniture’s experienced office furniure consultants. Their assistance can ensure that one gets it right, first time.