What Are the Best Paint Colors for an Office?
Some may not realize the importance of color when deciding what color to paint their new office. They may just quickly look up popular office colors and never think twice about it. When it comes to the best office paint colors though, the color you decide on can play a vital role in the environment you’re trying to create. The color you paint your office will influence productivity, creativity, and your employee’s mood at work.
The Psychology of Paint Colors
The 4 psychological primaries are red, blue, yellow, and green. Colors in each primary family will have a different effect on the people who live and work in those environments ... both physiologically and psychologically. So depending upon the type of space or spaces you hope to cultivate in your office, choosing a palette with primary colors may help you create the type of atmosphere you desire without hiring an expensive office designer.
Red affects the body. Blue affects the mind. Yellow affects the emotions, ego, and self-confidence. Green is the essential balance between the mind, body, and emotions. (For more information, read The Influence of Color on Physiological Response.)
The Intensity of the Paint in Your Office Matters
When picking a color, you’ll also want to determine the intensity of the color. According to Angela Wright’s research, “What defines whether a color is stimulating or soothing is not the color, it’s the intensity. A strong bright color will stimulate, and a color with low saturation will soothe.”
Take for instance a gym. When you walk into the gym, you’ll most likely find bold, bright colors. It creates an atmosphere that will quickly get people into peak workout mentality. When going into a doctors office or looking at corporate office paint colors, on the other hand, you’re most likely going to find a more neutral blue or green color that is calming ... though there's no shortage of offices with intense color palettes these days.
Now onto some of the colors you could use for your office.
What type of work you do in your office will determine which color suits your needs. With any color you pick, try to pick another color to accent it, and consider changing your wall colors somewhat in conference rooms, break rooms, and lounge areas. This will help combat the feeling of being off-balanced by spending all day, every day in an office setting that offers only one color.
Popular Office Paint Colors
Why Paint Your Office Blue
Blue is considered among the more productive colors available for offices, which makes it a great choice for your business office paint colors if your office space is used for focusing and putting in long hours that require a keen eye and attention to detail.
Blue is also known to be calming, which is great for a work environment when you already have a lot going on in your mind related to work. (Accountants, Insurance Agents, etc.).
Why Green Might Be a Productive Choice
Green is the easiest color on the eyes, so it’s great in offices where people work long hours. Green is a great color to use for a sense of balance. Green also helps keep a relation with the outside world which will keep employees happier during those long work hours.
Can a Pop of Yellow Create a Happier Workplace?
Yellow is supposed to be energetic and evoke feelings of happiness. This is a great color for an office where you have designers, creatives, writers, or any type of worker where thinking outside the box to create something is part of their daily routine. Including a pop of yellow in your office color scheme will help these valuable team members stay creative instead of having feelings of boredom which can reduce their creativity. If you're not ready to paint your entire office bright yellow, consider using yellow as an accent or pop of color (as they do in the image above) to add lightness and interest to a space that is otherwise neutral.
Red: A High Energy Office Color
Red is a color that will raise your heart rate. If you can add in shades of red or orange into the office, you will also be creating an energetic environment where workers are inspired to be super-productive. This is great for meeting areas where you need your employees to be innovative, or for coding corners where your IT department does its work. Be sure to use it sparingly though, as red can also evoke feelings of aggression and stress, which isn't the sort of environment most office managers hope to cultivate.
Consider a Modern Gray Office
When done properly, grey can give a sleek or modern look to the office when going for professional office color schemes. When done incorrectly, you may have just created an environment that can stimulate depressing moods. The great thing about grey, is you can accent the office with another color (think vibrant office wall art and decor) because grey creates a great canvas for the picture perfect office.
If you’re set on grey, the key here is to make sure you avoid too much grey. Make sure to have wall décor, great accent colors in your office furniture, etc. Grey can be ideal for when you have several smaller office rooms in your office building. Each employee could accent their office space with a color best suited for them, all while still achieving a constant color throughout the entire office using the grey.
Other Factors To Consider When Choosing an Office Paint Color
When you’ve picked your base color, before picking a shade you’ll want to take some things into consideration. You’ll want to consider how much natural light comes into the office and how large your office space is. A dark shade is going to make a room feel smaller without the right lighting, so if the room is already small, it’s best to go with a lighter shade. I also recommend incorporating live plants into your office design as doing so has many proven benefits on worker health and productivity.
And if you aren't keen to re-paint your office, consider upping your office design by adding pops of color with designer file cabinets, office chairs, and you could even treat your employees to new standing desks.