How to use wall colours intelligently in an office refurbishment | Oaktree Interiors

The use of colour has an intense effect on how we feel and behave. Throughout history, painters have used colour and their countless shades to influence how people respond to the images they create. It's all thanks to their work that terms such as 'feeling blue' (sadness) and 'seeing red' (angry) have become popular expressions to use to describe how we feel. This is what's known as 'colour psychology' and it can be applied in an office refurbishment to boost collaboration, creativity and co-operation.

Using colour psychology in office refurbishment

If you're interested in boosting the effect that your office interiors have on your employees, why not start with the walls? Understanding the basics of colour psychology will help you to get a better handle on how to create a space that gets the very best from your workforce.

Here's our guide on how colour affects the behaviour of people, and how you can harness its power to maximise business results:

Applying shades of blue helps with productivity

Despite being classically used to describe feelings of sadness, the colour blue has been studied to actually help boost productivity and confidence within people. Different shades of blue has a calming effect on people, proven to reduce stress by lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Thanks to this, blue is best used in a busy, deadline-driven workplace.

Blue also helps to promote communication,efficiency and trust between colleagues, as well as helping people to be more creative by opening their mind to new ideas. Ideal, you would have thought, for rooms that are dedicated to collaboration and the sharing of ideas.

Using different shades is important; as we know, blue (too much of it) can create feelings of sadness, hopelessness and despondency. Also, it's worth understanding that the colour of a wall can actually change the way a person perceives the temperature. 'Cool' colours, such as blue, can potentially make employees feel much colder than it actually is (not ideal if you want to cut down on those energy bills). The solution is to think intelligently with your shades of blue.

Go with green if you do long hours

Our minds closely associate the colour green with the outside; after all, they are the main colour of plants. Thanks to this connection, green symbolises growth, rejuvenation, harmony and balance in our minds. Decorating your office walls with green during your office refurbishment may help to reduce anxiety amongst staff, help clients and any other visitors to feel more at ease.

With its calming effects, green is also a good choice for offices where employees are often required to work long hours. With its evoking of nature, the eye perceives green in a way that requires no adjustment, meaning it does not contribute to eye fatigue and therefore is beneficial to those who suffer from screen-induced eye strain.

Green has also been linked to improved creative performance, making it a good colour, alongside blue, to use in a space in which innovation is vital for success.

Red light spells...energetic movement

A bold colour, red is used to draw attention to things; be they warning signs or any other important information that people need to know. Ever wondered why your school teacher went through your work with a red pen? They wanted to make their findings clear.

In an office refurbishment, using red will help to energise people; as their attention is drawn, their heart rate and respiration will increase. So when they see the colour red, their reactions will become faster and more forceful, as well as more concentrated. This is more suited to environments that require plenty of physical activity; a red colour scheme isn't suited to offices in which employees may be sat at their desks for long hours, as they'll be unable to relax or release excess energy.

Studies have revealed that the colour red is capable of boosting performance when employees have to undertake detail-oriented tasks, such as proofreading or any tasks that involve thinking and/or memory retrieval. The key point to take away from all this is that if attention needs to be drawn to something, paint it red.

Mind your yellows

Regularly seen as a colour of energy and optimism, yellow could potentially trigger innovation in employees and therefore, is best used in creative spaces. Too much of it, however, can cause anxiety. Research has indicated that people are far more likely to lose their temper in overly-yellow rooms, making the colour somewhat unsuitable for meeting and conference rooms, as well as areas in which high-pressure situations may play out.

Yellow is also unsuitable for offices that make use of natural light; as yellow reflects a lot of light, mixing with natural light may cause eye strain by over-stimulating the eyes. It can probably go without saying that this will make conditions very uncomfortable for employees, reducing their productivity and general in-work happiness.

Boost stimulation with an orange (colour scheme)

The use of orange colours within an office fit out promotes energy, fun and warmth; feelings that stimulate brain activity. This makes orange a great option to use in high-energy meeting rooms or in offices in which employees need all of the stimulation they can get during long days.

It should be noted that orange is best used as an accent colour, as over-saturation can actually increase a person's appetite. The last thing you want for your employees, is them being distracted from their work, with thoughts of hunger affecting their minds and bellies.

Use neutral shades as accent colours

Whilst fully decorating your office refurbishment with whites, greys and creams will lead to a boring and demoralised space, such neutral shades can help to bring the best out of other, brighter colours. For example, splashing your walls with the same shade will probably cause people to lose concentration, but when combined with accents, that concentration is more likely to be encouraged by the bright colour you're using as it is able to stand out from its neutral-coloured frame.

Neutral colours can also create a sense of 'spaciousness' within the office when paired with natural light. This not only creates the illusion of the space being larger than it actually is (helping everyone inside to feel more comfortable and not 'squeezed in'), but it also communicates feelings of cleanliness too.

So that was our guide to the effects that colour can have on your office interior. If you've been thinking about improving the effect that your workplace interiors have on your employees, why not allow our dedicated team here at Oaktree Interiors help you to realise your ideal office design?

Choose Oaktree Interiors for your ideal office design

With over 30 years of experience in the office fit out industry, we have helped all manner of firms to establish workplaces that better abide by the working practices of their employees, as well as the philosophies and branding of the business.

We firmly believe that, as all businesses are different, every workplace needs to be different too. Just like our home interiors say much about us and help us to feel comfortable, our work interiors must do the same. Why not get in touch with us today to learn more about our office refurbishment service?

Give us a call on 0345 21 86955 or send an e-mail to hello@oaktreeoffice.com and we'll be in touch as soon as possible.

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