Posts Tagged ‘productivity’

Timeless, yet Updated, Color Schemes for the Office

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Whether you are decorating your home office or a commercial space, the color scheme that you select says much about your attitude in the workplace and the philosophy of your brand.  In some cases, a logo or the company colors can dictate a color scheme, however, there are also times when you’ll have the opportunity and creative freedom to select colors all your own.  When this opportunity arises, the best bet is to pick a color scheme that is versatile and timeless yet current, and colors that encourage productivity and concentrati0n.  A backdrop of neutral pieces accented with the colors you love is always classic.

There are some colors which typically fare better in office environments than others.  These colors have stood up to the test of time and are  proven to enhance workplace  morale.

  • Beige – Steer clear of stark white and instead look for a color with more depth, such as a beige.  This is a great neutral that can be accented with bolder pops of color.
  • Olive – Olive is a warm, rich, earthy color that will keep you grounded and focused on the tasks at hand.
  • Blue – Blues from a restful light blue to a bright royal blue to a serious navy are great in the office.  Blue is the universal favorite color and most workers will be happy to see blue in the office.
  • Oranges, Yellows, and Reds – These colors should not be the main color of a room because they can make people feel irritable or agitated over long periods of time, but they are great choices for accent colors.  A bright color in small doses is perfect for keeping energy up.
  • Pink  – If you’re looking for a color  to spark creativity and imaginative thinking, pink is your color.  It’s perfect for those in creative fields.
  • Brown – From light tan to dark chocolate brown, brown is a strong color that serves as the backbone of an office.  It creates a cozy, yet studious setting.

Stay away from colors that are too bright in large quantities and color combination that contrast starkly.  These distract workers and create a current of uneasiness.

When you’re choosing the color scheme for your office, keep in mind the choices that will stick with you the longest.  Wood stains on casegoods and flooring should be versatile so that any future color fabric and paint changes will look just as stylish as the original scheme.  Dark stained wood is always classic and looks polished with beige, brown, or gray as your base color in upholstery, systems furniture, carpeting, and fabric.

Once you have a neutral backdrop in your key pieces in the office, it’s time to incorporate color.  As we covered earlier, colors that encourage energy and creativity are wonderful in office settings.  Yellow is a huge color in design right now, and orange and red are always popular.  Bright orange accent pillows in the lounge area, subtle yellow in a tackboard fabric, a well designed pink pen holder, these are all ways to incorporate color in a way that is not overwhelming yet makes an impact.  If you’re looking for a more airy, soothing palate, try light woods and laminates with creamy off whites, light blues, and pale olive greens.

Whichever colors you choose to use, make sure to base your color scheme around a grounded neutral.  This way you can accent it with bright colors that can be switched out every 5 years or every decade.  It is the more daring colors that will make an office look dated, so when those colors are easy to change, your office can remain timeless yet fresh.

Green Workplaces, Productive Employees

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Are you thinking about an office renovation? Looking to spruce up the workplace?  If so, you’ve probably toyed with the idea of introducing green elements into the new design of your office.  Many people consider the idea, then dismiss it, wondering if it’s really worth the extra research and potential cost.  Turns out, it may pay off to devote a little extra time or money on going green.  As studies are showing, green offices lead to more productive employees.

In a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, it was reported that in a building with natural lighting where and when
available, natural ventilation to supplement air conditioning, and improved air quality, employees had, on average, an additional 39
hours of productivity a year.

To break this 39 hours statistic down, here are a few observations from the study:  Allergy sufferers reported that the hours they spent affected per month by environmental allergies decreased by more than half.  Employees reported the number of hours they felt stressed or depressed decreased by a little under a third every month.  Decreasing hours lost to allergies and poor mental health led to less days lost to absenteeism and illness.

Some opinions argue that these statistics are simply due to a placebo affect, that employees feel better about their health and going to work when they believe that their employer is looking out for their well being.  Regardless, the productivity hours speak for themselves. When employees are in a green workplace, they are happier and healthier.

Wondering how to most increase productivity with green changes in your workplace?

Use natural light wherever and whenever possible.  Seat employees near windows and keep those blinds open.  Turn off the interior lights when it is possible to work by natural light. When it is absolutely necessary to use office lighting, use energy star approved lighting. Knowing that their lighting is having a positive impact on the environment will improve employee morale.

Improve ventilation and air quality.  Use fans, open windows, and use the vent setting on air conditioning units.  While it may seem
counter-intuitive to let outdoor air in on the way to improving allergies and health, it actually has proven beneficial for employees.
By filtering the stale office air out, dust allergies are greatly reduced.

While the positive effects on the environment should be enough reason to go green anywhere, the improved productivity in the workplace is surely an added incentive.  The best part about going green in the office is that you can completely overhaul your office with low VOC paints, sustainable furniture, and carpets free of chemicals, or you do something as simple as letting light and air in.  Just knowing that you care about the environment and about your employees will make your office a happier, healthier place to work.