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Color and the Workplace

How do you feel while you are at your workplace? It might not be your daily grind or your overbearing boss causing you stress at work it might be the colors of the walls!


Research conducted in the United Kingdom and at the University of Texas  is producing insights into how your work environment should be colored. It is emerging that one color does fit every industry, office or even type of work.

The most interesting, and supported, research was conducted by Dr. Nancy Kwallek from the School of Architecture at the University of Texas.

The results of her most recent study suggest, overwhelmingly, that white is absolutely the worst color to paint a workplace. White feels clinical and sterile. This translates into a sense of isolation in employees that can hinder camaraderie and team building.

Red seems to be a double edged sword. Red can stimulate faced paced action in a work environment but has also been shown to decreases the ability of higher level thinking. This decrease in high level cognitive ability seems to be linked to the primal response of human beings to the color of blood. This response to the color of blood appears to inspire an act first, think later mentality.

Greens and Blues are a good, balanced choice. They can help decrease heart rate which lowers stress levels and helps employees function under stress. However, too much blue can begin to lead to feelings of sadness.

For an office that thrives on creativity there is no better color than yellow. Yellow induces feelings of happiness and decreases feelings of anxiety. These emotions lead to an environment conducive to coming up with new ideas.    


If you have some extra time at work this Friday maybe it is time to break out the paint and brushes!

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