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How colour affects us at work and in our working environment

Many studies have been carried out to help us understand how colour influences us in our working environments. The quality and quantity of light/colour can measure not just our mood but also our levels of production.

Over the last couple of years, our working environment has changed so much, many of us choosing ‘hybrid’ working, some time at home and the rest of the time in the office. Spending time in different locations brings different energies, so colour may have an even more profound impact on us physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually.

Up until the early 2000’s offices tended to be rather sterile; often white or ‘off’ white with unimaginative tables and chairs. The office landscape has now changed, with many rows of desks giving way to more impactful meeting and break out zones.

Image courtesy of Haworth

Colour tends to work exceptionally well in these areas, for example using Violet activates the brain wiring to use both our left-hand brains (detail and planning) along with our right-hand brain (inspiration and creativity). New ideas can flow in these environments, with ‘outside the box’ thinking being encouraged.Violet activates the crown energy of the body charging up both areas of the brain.

Image courtesy of Contract Design

Human brains are wired to experience light as an indicator of the time of day, and as such a kind of barometer for how focused or laid back we should be. We see blue light as more relaxing, and at a certain frequency, it allows us to be more laid back. When we alter the frequency to a slightly higher reading, it can make us feel more energised and less sleepy. This is because it suppresses the body’s natural production of melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate our circadian rhythm, the pattern that determines when we naturally sleep and wake. For the office environment we need the blue to be calm but not send us to sleep!

Image courtesy of CMI Workplace

Green is a colour that has become much more popular over the last few years for the office environment. Biophilic Office Design incorporates grass walls, plants growing in desks, cubicles embodied with nature, all bringing a sense of wellbeing to the workplace. Green rules the heart area of the body allowing us to receive more oxygen in the blood, filling our lungs and circulating around our body. With the right hue and frequency of the colour, green can be good for research as well as project work.

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The warm colours of red and orange are fabulous for exciting us. These colours stimulate and can help us ‘do’. These colours need to be used with care though as they can be overstimulating and create a feeling of anxiety. They are great mood changers allowing passion and drive (red) and creativity and fun (orange) to be added to the general office atmosphere. Each colour has a physical impact on our bodies as well as emotional and mental impact on our feelings. Even if you are colour blind the vibration can still be felt at a subliminal level.

Image courtesy of BoConcept

We are privileged to work with colour therapist and founder of The Colour Ministry, Alison Standish, who gave us an insight into how colour affects us at work and in our working environment.


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