How Color Can Help You Work

How Color Can Help You Work

Are you going through a slump at work or feeling depressed or anxious about your job? The problem might just be the color that's around you. Different colors have different wavelengths and generally low-wavelength hues require less energy from us to detect while high-wavelength colors have the opposite effect. Thus if you're having an extremely frantic day, stick to low wavelength (see below) colors to bring down the intensity.

Adding some simple color accents to an office space in small ways can easily and completely change your attitude towards your office. Scroll down to see how color can help you work better and some of the colors you should avoid in your workspace.

You’re Feeling: Unmotivated -- Lately, you feel like there is no reason to work hard anymore. No one notices the work you put in, you feel unappreciated and you can’t find the drive to continue pushing yourself to the next level.
Color Solution: Purple (low-wavelength) -- Purple is a restorative color that calms and rejuvenates you. The color is linked with healing and meditation, which will allow you to push past the mental block and get motivated to work again. Try pairing a black desk, which will increase your sense of authority, with violet accents such as a lavender notebook or post-its to help you regularly rejuvenate mentally and feel in charge of your career.

You’re Feeling: Anxious -- You’re worried about losing your job in this bad economy and you’re fretting about the impressions you’re making on your new coworkers. You are so swamped with paperwork, that you think you’ll never catch up. You feel too anxious to even focus, which only makes things worse.
Color Solution: Blue (low wavelength) -- The color blue is associated with clear thoughts, focus and relaxation. If you are stressing out about work, add blue accessories to your desk like a dark blue vase, a cheerful blue coffee mug or a soothing blue painting of the ocean. You’ll become emotionally calmer, and the blue accents will actually help reduce your heart rate and blood pressure.

You’re Feeling: Confined -- Working all day and night in a tiny cubicle or square room has finally gotten to you. Your office is beginning to feel more like a prison than a place to focus, and not being able to escape the indoors is driving you a little crazy.
Color Solution: Green (low-wavelength) -- Adding a little nature to your office can help fight the feeling of being trapped, and green is the embodiment of nature. Adding actual green plants, hanging a painting of the forest or painting your desktop green will help you feel relaxed and happier. Try pairing green hues with brown furniture for a true outdoor feel, or buy a green carpet to imitate grass.

You’re Feeling: Depressed -- The office life has got you down. You miss your friends, your family and even videos of adorable puppies won’t provide the perfect pick-me-up anymore.
Color Solution: Yellow (high-wavelength) -- A nice muted canary yellow will provide the perfect cheerful tone to help you fight the office blues. The color symbolizes the bright, happy effects of sunshine and will have you thinking positively in no time. Hang curtains or paint your walls a subtle yellow, and avoid the more irritating eye-popping shades.

You’re Feeling: Uninspired -- You are an artistic person, but suddenly you can’t think of anything to draw or paint or write about. You stare at the blank word document or canvas, you're totally lacking inspiration and don’t know how to get your creative juices flowing again.
Color Solution: Orange (high-wavelength) -- Orange hues strengthen concentration while also boosting creativity. The bold color actually stimulates your adrenaline, but go for a warmer burnt orange to avoid the distraction that can come with shocking, bright colors. Try painting an accent wall across from your desk to keep you excited without overpowering your office.

You’re Feeling: Tired -- You are literally yawning all day in the office and can’t keep your eyes open. You try to get eight hours of sleep every night, but for some reason a snooze button keeps going off in your head when you sit down at your desk.
Color Solution: Red (high-wavelength) -- A bright red accent couch will make your heart pump and keep the adrenaline flowing throughout your body. Other bright colors like blue and violet also have this effect, but one pop of red in a painting or piece of furniture is more effective in keeping you attentive.

Colors To Avoid

Neon Yellow -- This color actually irritates the eye and will make you feel more strained and pressed for time.

Turquoise -- Turquoise surroundings make it harder to concentrate on specific tasks. Add a few fun accents in a neutral room but definitely don’t use this color on your walls.

Dark Purple -- Dark purple is often seen as romantic, alongside scarlet red, and sends the wrong message in an office environment.

Black -- Black furniture or small accents give a great sense of power, but don’t overdo black because the end effect will be depressing and heavy.

Lime Green -- Natural sage greens bring the outdoors inside, but lime greens create a distracting, unnatural, bothersome feel.

And check out our story on the do's and don't of decorating with red!