Color Productivity: How Your Office’s Paint Job Affects Employee Work Ethic

Color Productivity: How Your Office’s Paint Job Affects Employee Work Ethic

by Brooke

The office environment isn’t just about plants and desk placement. Think about the walls themselves. What paint (or lack of paint) does your office have? The condition of how well your office is painted can significantly impact how much your employees get done. Here are some ways your office’s paint job affects employee work ethic.

Revisit Color Theory

Color theory isn’t just a buzzword. Color actually creates a physiological reaction in the body. Consider what type of field you’re in and paint the office accordingly. Green is a good choice for breakout rooms where you’re going to be brainstorming: it’s the color of creativity. Yellow is calming which makes it the perfect color for a high energy startup. Brighter pastels are more calming and less distracting to the eye, but paint that is too bright can cause headaches and fatigue.

How Recently Did You Paint?

Chipped and peeling paint does not send a great message to your employees. It shows that you’re not fully invested in the upkeep of your office. Your employees could take your lack of a fresh paint job as a sign you don’t actually care about the office, and by extension, them. Thankfully you don’t have to spend a lot of time fixing the problem. You can hire contractors to sandblast away old paint and leave a fresh, smooth surface to apply new paint.

What Does the Lighting Look Like?

It’s not just about painting. The way your office’s lighting reflects off the paint also makes a big difference. Soft and yellow-toned lighting reduces eye strain. A bright paint job can reflect and amplify this light. In some ways that’s a good thing because bright light improves the mood. Don’t make it too reflective, though, otherwise your employees will find themselves flinching away from the shine. Try matte finishes instead.

Location, Location, Location

Lighting is also ergonomic and can even increase productivity. Don’t opt for trendy industrial fixtures and reclaimed Edison light bulbs. These might have a nice aesthetic but could clash with the other colors and create ill feeling in your workforce. Move these fixtures to the hallway or cafeteria. The best way to improve the health of your employees is through natural lighting. That restores their circadian rhythms. That’s a domino effect: a better hormonal balance at work improves their quality of sleep at home so they can come back into the office refreshed. Don’t be so quick to just open the blinds. Make sure that there isn’t significant glare coming in through the windows.

Paint and lighting shouldn’t be refreshed all at once. Gradually introduce these changes so it’s less jarring for your employees. Then watch the benefits roll in. By thinking about how color and environment influences your workers, you can create a space that uses color and design to promote productivity and enthusiasm.

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