Colour psychology has existed for a while, with marketers capitalising on the power of colours to influence the way we act and feel. Places like shopping centres, casinos and hospitals all have carefully chosen colour schemes to calm, excite or engage the public. In fact, companies have recognised the impact of colour so much that the likes of Shell, Motorola, The Body Shop and Proctor have consulted with colour psychologist Angela Wright.
Colour can be used in the office to increase productivity and stimulate different parts of our brain - to make us more creative or focused on detailed tasks, for example. Choosing a bright mat is a cost-effective way to inject some colour into the workspace. But what colours are best for the type of work done in your business? Here’s a quick guide:
Blue and green
If you have a hectic and busy office, blue and green are the ways to go. A University of British Columbia study found that a blue environment increases productivity, but Wright warns that it doesn’t suit all types of workplaces. “If you’re an accountant, blue probably would make you more productive. But not everybody is an accountant,” said Wright. While calming, blue and green are not the best for stimulating your mind.
Red is best if you need a lot of focus in your office. The same University of British Columbia study showed that red boosts performance for certain tasks, such as proofreading and other jobs that require a lot of attention to detail and memory retrieval. Red mats make a big statement but they must be suited to the whole colour scheme of the room to avoid standing out too much.
Yellow and orange
Yellow and orange are bright and energetic colours that are good for creative spaces. These sunny shades can work well for mats because small bursts of yellow and orange encourage optimism and energy but are not overwhelming. However, they can be hard to keep clean.
Simple black and white can look modern and sleek so it works well in high-end fashion stores or upmarket offices where image is everything.
If you’ve got an office where a variety of tasks are done and everyone has a different favourite colour, don’t be afraid to mix it up. Colour can be very personal, explained Wright, so sometimes it’s best to allow each person to determine what colour makes them feel productive.