Designing an office is a complicated endeavor. It’s should be a place of business, functional and easy to navigate. On the other hand, it’s also a statement about your company and the way you want to be perceived by your clients and customers. There is also one more thing to have in mind – office setup, and colors in particular,is more than just an aesthetic choice. It can seriously affect productivity and interpersonal relations in the office, depending on the mood you set.
Blue is a color often associated with increased productivity. It is true blue surroundings can be stimulating for certain jobs, but there is no right or universal answer because different lines of work require different types of attention. If you work with number or data entry and you need to be focused on specific and somewhat repetitive task during the day – blue may be the choice for you. Naturally, painting the entire office in one color won’t work on an aesthetic level. Splashes of orange will help break the monotony a bit. There’s some great office furniture in orange, which provide contrast to blue walls.
Working a physically demanding job takes a different kind of concentration. There usually isn’t muchphysical work in an office, but the mail room, as well as the storage related activities, can be pretty hard, especially in a large company. Those areas should be painted bright red. However, when you’re going for red you must pay special attention to the lighting. With the wrong lights, red offices can seem claustrophobic and suffocating. Small amounts of red can also be used in an executive office because it attracts attention. A sculpture or a painting will do.
Monochromatic and modern
Modern offices, especially those in the IT industry take their cue from an industrial design. This creates a unique aesthetic, inseparable from functionality. It usually features height adjustable standing desks and chairs designed for long hours in front of a computer monitor. These offices seldom include doors or wall, creating a sense of equality. Colors can come into play only through small details or artwork. Yellow works best with triggering creativity, especially for those who feel burnt out or stuck in a rut.
Some offices are supposed to feel open and accessible to everyone – others should have quite the opposite effect. Executive offices need to project a feeling of power and control. This can obviously be done in a tasteful and subtle manner, depending on the image the whole company is trying to create. Hardwood dark furniture and leather are a traditional way to do. This sort of office, usually have a space for a few personal touches as well – bookshelves and a well-stocked bar are the always popular. On the other hand, a similar effect can be accomplished with a completely opposite–clear white tones also suggest strength. It largely depends on a personal style and a line of business a company is in.
Natural colors such as green, brown and dark yellow have the most relaxing effect. If your office is big enough and the work demanding enough, you should have a break room, painted in these colors. But, if you can afford it – real nature is an even better option. Peaceful garden, with a few benches, tables or even a place for meditation can be a great addition to a busy office. Some companies even grow their own food. It’s both a healthy choice and a great way to relax during the breaks.
All of these ideas don’t mean that your offices should be boring or painted in a single color. Every office is also a personal space, defined by the person who uses it. Personal items, pictures, and other memorabilia are a welcome addition even if they clash with the original intents of the designers. A company is a living organism and offices should reflect that fact, even if that means that they’re a bit messy.
Choosing the right colors for your office depends on what do you want to achieve with it – what kind of behavior you want to stimulate. But, it’s about more than that. The offices should look like the business you want to create in them.