From Warm Shades To Active Hues, These Are The Power Colors You Need While Working From Home


Jan. 1 2020, Published 3:20 a.m. ET

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If you’re like me and cannot paint your office space, there are ways of using colors in your workspace to effectively stimulate productivity and find a peaceful flow.

The impact of coloration changes the way you live day to day and, as it turns out, how productive you may be in an office space. Since many of us are working from home these days, the study of color theory and how different tints affect our productivity and mindset were top on my list for a better work-from-home world in 2021.

The Effects Of Bland, Neutral Colors On Productivity

All this time, we’ve thought that going with neutral shades of gray, beige, or white resulted in productivity in the workplace. Offices have been tinting their walls these boring colors for decades in that belief. A study from the University of Texas, however, revealed the exact opposite of what all those corporations believed.

Apparently, bland shades such as gray or white create feelings of sadness and depression, especially in women. Interestingly enough, men experienced similar feelings in workspaces swathed in orange or purple.

Other studies have shown that colors affect our moods, but they also affect our productivity, positively or negatively, depending on the tint of an office wall.

Calming Colors For Hectic Workspaces

It seems like most of us have rather chaotic jobs. Personally, my day is made up of checking email for what feels like a million times, checking my calendar a dozen times, reviewing all of my assignments repeatedly, ticking off small projects and large, and ensuring I haven’t missed anything really important.

I rent an apartment, so, unfortunately, I can’t paint my WFH office space, but apparently, I should ask about it. Low-wavelength colors, like green and blue, improve focus and efficiency. They also help to lend an overall sense of well-being for onlookers.

Blue is recommended as the foundational color for your office space, using accent hues to further the power of color in your workspace.

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Green, on the other hand, helps reduce eye fatigue, increases feelings of calm, and improves efficiency in work. If you work long hours, green is a great foundational color to help your eyes rest, reduce anxiety, and remain focused all day or night long.

Colors for Active Environments

High wavelength colors, such as red and orange, are active colors. According to the University of Texas study, “red, a warm color, has an “expansive” property. The color red increases human receptiveness to external stimuli and induces a state of excitation, which would affect an individual’s emotional and motor responses.” In other words, red is exciting and evokes passion and energy.

If your job requires activity, having a red workspace is a good thing. The color will help to keep your energy levels up. It’s also good to accent with red for things you’d like to draw attention to – such as reminders, signs of encouragement, or task lists.

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Warm Shades For Creative Workspaces

A mellow, though still distinct shade of yellow, can help boost optimism in your work environment. Yellow is seen as the innovation trigger and is highly recommended for folks who work in creative fields. Writers, designers, developers, artists, performers, and inventors are all encouraged to use yellow as a dominant color in their space to help evoke creative energy.

For Those Who Can’t Paint Their WFH Spaces

Choose furniture in your personal power color. Grab a bucket of paint, throw open a window, and make it a weekend project over New Year’s. Or buy some new pieces in your optimal shade as a Christmas present to yourself.

You can locate some signs, posters, photos, paintings, or other wall décor in your needed colors. Or, if you’ve got a little creativity in you, grab some canvases, sharpies, and watercolors, and create your own. I’ve lifted favorite quotes from songs, novels, and movies for use in my office space and find encouragement in them for my creative writing life.

Finally, use accent pieces and equipment in your needed shades. For example, if you create workout videos from home, think red exercise balls and jump ropes, yoga mats, and yoga blocks. If you’re a dogwalker, get a red coat and wear shades of orange and red to help keep up your energy. If you need to get creative, find some yellow paper for your to-do lists, drink from coffee from yellow mugs, and hang a yellow panel of fabric around your desk.

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By: Rita Pike

Rita Juanita Pike is the granddaughter of Jerrie Mock, the first woman to pilot an airplane around the world. Rita has taken inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theater, podcasting, and novel writing. She now writes about travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves a very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust.

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