Color, Environment and Your Workspace

This post is by our #KaizenBiz guest, Deb Carducci, & Villa Lusso.. She is passionate about creating beauty and a place to come home to. Please join us to explore “Color, Environment and Your Workspace” this Friday at 12pm ET/5pm GMT/9am PT on the Twitter chat, #kaizenbiz (formerly known as #kaizenblog).

When you think about how many hours you are physically in yColor and environment make or break your workspaceour workspace it is astounding.  Consider even 6 hours per day at 5 days per week times 52 weeks and you come up with 1,560 hours that you are in this environment.  And if you have a home based office or business you can certainly bump up the number.  That’s a lot of time to be surrounded by color that can invigorate or handicap you.  Your work environment is critical to productivity, creativeness and well being.

Everyone has a unique and personal reaction to color.

One can definitely feel the difference between a color that will energize you and one that will make you feel anxious.  Imagine which colors you select will give you the best possible comfort and productivity throughout your work day.  People are consistently drawn to particular colors.  Your workspace is filled with color. Attention must be paid to this detail in order to have the color selections enhance your work day and create productivity.

Consider a typical workday and what you want to do in your workspace.

Depending on your job and the demands it places on you, your color selection play into this.  Notice which colors help you to feel more comfortable about your tasks throughout the day.  Think of what color tones stimulate you to be creative. Since color has such a personal reaction to each individual, think about what hues and intensity speak to you.

But it’s not simply wall color.

Your furniture color has a relationship with your wall color.  These two important elements can complement each other or create a strong contrast.  On a day to day basis, this can affect how you feel in your space.  People tend to select colors for their environments that either look good around them or when they are wearing them.  We tend to be drawn to the same colors in our wardrobe because they make us “feel good”.  This is something to consider when you are selecting colors for your office because you want to feel good in the space.

The physical space of your office can have such a powerful impact on your work day. 

Square footage is important to everyone but more important is the use of the space.  A very cluttered or busy office can become very distracting and create confusion.  Space for thinking is a very essential element for your office.  Can you imagine an office that has a crowded feeling without any free tabletop space for you to be creative? Clutter and overcrowded spaces also have a huge impact on your color choices as well.  The clutter is distracting from the color and the finishes of your office furniture.

 And then, there’s lighting…

Lighting plays a critical role in your physical being in a space.  Different types of lighting – fluorescent, incandescent, halogen all effect color.  Fluorescent naturally gives off a greenish cast and can change the hue of your choice.  Incandescent is close to candle lighting with a golden tone and halogen is the whitest, closest to natural daylight.   It is most important to be making your color choices while using the lighting that will be in your office. One thing that I like to see in office space (as in residential) is to have several lighting options within the space.  Ambient lighting provides the space with overall lighting.  It is generally the overhead lighting that radiates a comfortable level of lighting in order to use the space.  The type of ambient lighting will have a direct effect on your color choices.  You will want to select your color choices within this lighting. Task lighting allows you to perform specific tasks.  I like the use of small desk top lamps for this – and it works really well if you want to reduce the ambient lighting and just use the task lighting for creative thinking.  It is usually a softer lighting and will change the tone of your office.  When I am trying to work on something creative, I tend to use the low, ambient lighting so I won’t have any other distractions in my office.

 Other forgotten elements of color are accessories and artwork

Accessories and artwork are inspiring elements to your office.  I find that sometimes a piece of art or sculpture that you love can inspire creative thinking.  Since you spend so much time in your office wouldn’t you want it to feel comfortable during your work day?  It makes such a difference to surround yourself with items that inspire you.  If you have a product-based company, keep items that you are working on or are especially proud of visible.  My clients tell me that if they are having a bad day or having trouble working on something, it really helps to have photos that make them smile.  These photos don’t always have to be portraits.  Sometimes a great vacation photo of your favorite spot or a beautiful scene where you had a wonderful memory can spark a great memory.

Your workspace contains so much more…there’s color, light, space and inspirational items

Discussion questions:

1) How do you choose color for your business environment: office, logo, personal branding?

2) What is your relationship with color? Passionate about it or indifferent?

3) How do you account for the positive & negative effects colors can produce?

4) How does the use of color communicate the organizational culture?

5) What kinds of spaces seem to inspire more productivity? Does color play a factor?

To see the contents of our Twitter chat, feel free to click this link and check out the transcript of the fast-moving conversation. And consider joining us next Friday, March 3, 2012 at 12 pm ET, 9 am PT for KaizenBiz chat on: Voluteerism-positive & Negative for Your Business/Career. If you are on Twitter you can follow our chat account @KaizenBizChat for info on the chat and thoughtful business links as well.