Colors are always a matter of great consideration. Whether you’re planning on buying a new car, or a new jacket, the color of the item in question is always a big part of anyone’s overall choice. Different colors can evoke various ranges of emotions and responses. Many of these can be subconscious responses, rather than an overt or more visible reaction.
For example, a calm green color in the interview room can put a nervous contract-to-hire candidate at ease, allowing them to be more relaxed in the interview and improve the impression they give off.
It’s not really much of a stretch to believe that various colors in the workplace affect the people in that workplace. It’s not just interviewees who can see colors. Your workers can too. And with a little strategic creativity, you may be able to use this human quirk to improve worker productivity. This blog will help you understand colors in the context of the workplace and possible ways to use them.
Before we get into whether powder blue is the right color for an HR investigation, the first step is to understand how colors work. Humans see a range of colors, but these are only a section of a much larger color spectrum. The colors that we see are the ones that our brain can comprehend within our color range, hence, they are visible. On the other hand, colors beyond our visible color range are undetectable to us. However, animals may still be able to see and differentiate between them.
So, what makes colors visible or invisible? In a word, wavelength. Colors have a lot to do with light, and there are seven visible colors that we can differentiate based on the wavelength. This is because the light reflecting or transmitting the color travels in wavelengths. It reflects or transmits the color from a surface that absorbs all other colors except the one we “see”. A green wall is, therefore, a wall that absorbs all colors except green. This green then is then how our eyes perceive that wall.
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Using Colors to Boost Productivity
Our minds respond instinctively to certain colors, often without us even being aware of it. The possible reasons for this are complex. What is relevant to our discussion is how colors can be leveraged in a workplace setting, particularly in the context of enhancing worker productivity. Here are a few helpful tips you can try out in your own office:
Do Away with the White and Gray
Pristine white workplaces were all the rage, with their otherworldly feel and crisp elegance. However, the same offices also look like clinics and the negative space everywhere can be brutal to the human mind. We tend to look around for inspiration, even if at nothing in particular.
The white and grey décor is meant to be encouraging of a clinical and distraction-free approach to work. However, it tends to drop productivity rather than increasing it. Most performance appraisals may likely see a dip.
A Bold Red Offers Stimulation
Red has always been associated with strong emotions. Many of these can often be conflicting ones. They can evoke universally recognized expressions of love. But they are also reminiscent of violence at the same time. It’s all in the context the color is seen. In the workplace, where romance and violence are equally discouraged, the stimulation can be used in much more productive ways.
A red workplace color scheme will always be quirky, welcoming, and conducive to work. At the very least, when a bright red workplace is the first thing a new candidate sees when they show up for an interview, your talent acquisition strategies may see greater success.
Orange Encourages Frank Communication
Orange is not a color most of us see in workplaces. That’s because people have seen a lot of conditioning in their expectations of a workplace. And this is the precise reason orange spaces in the workplace help create a safe space for workers. It can be used in meeting rooms, talent intelligence discussions, and brainstorming spaces where frank and open communication is much more useful than formalized corporate-speak.
The Brightest Blue Helps with Bright Ideas
Blue is a calm and relaxing color. Perhaps it has something to do with the ocean being the birthplace of life on our planet. Perhaps it’s just the rich deep blue hues on a sports car. But blue often feels like the most familiar color of them all. As such, it can help set the mind in the right mood to come up with creative breakthroughs.
How Colors Create Responses
All of cinema and art is testimony to the fact that humans do respond to color. Not only that, most can differentiate them and even absorb specific emotions based on specific colors. Whether this is an evolutional response or not, color governs many of our actions.
Sensory inputs like smells and colors, for want of a better word, communicate something to humans. In return, it shapes how a person responds when faced with various stimuli. A drab grey workplace will often be reflected in the worker’s attitude.
On the other hand, a workplace with simple but vibrant colors jolts an employee’s mood the first time they step into the room. Why this happens, has been the subject of some debate over the years. But there is no denying that it! Visual cues do have the most impact on us. And that may offer an opportunity for workplaces to leverage and boost worker output.