Decorating your workspace to boost productivity

Nobody likes a dull workspace, but many people work in them. Bland, pastel-shaded colours may have a useful function in a hospital waiting room, but they are a blight on an office. So too are outdated designs and functionalist minimal looks that were once in vogue but, frankly, make the place look sparse and under-equipped.

None of it should be like this. There is an enormous amount of research and literature on the psychology of colour schemes, of decoration and lighting, and the presence of inspirational words and pictures.

This can affect all aspects of a building: for example, a dark, shadowy entrance with a narrow door under a low roof looks somewhat foreboding and unwelcoming, in stark contrast with a spacious entrance with lots of glass to reveal the inside of the building, which is altogether more welcoming in appearance.

Such principles can be applied inside an office in all sorts of ways.

Colour schemes
Firstly, the colours used in the decor can have a major impact. Interior decorators will tell us that red is a good colour for a dining room, as it encourages appetite. Green is good for the bedroom as it is tranquil and lavender is perfect for promoting relaxation in the living room.

For the office, blue is believed to be the best colour, as it keeps the mood calm and allows people to be productive, so it offers the best backdrop to enable people to quietly and efficiently get on with the job.

Of course, the office doesn’t have to be monotone, particularly if there are appropriate places to display the firm’s corporate logos and hues.

Motivational words and pictures
No office should simply have blank walls, even if they are the right shade of blue. Pictures, posters and even statements can adorn them. This may include things like noticeboards and the fire safety certificate, but there are opportunities here to inspire and motivate.

This could include beautiful pictures to simply make the workplace look nicer, such as dramatic cityscapes or spectacular countryside vistas. This is also a good way to impress visitors. If staff can be involved in choosing these – perhaps incorporating some of their own favourite places in the world – it can help create a sense of ownership. This is even more so if your office has a graphics department, which can then display some of their own work on the walls.

Inspirational texts can also be useful. These can help remind people why they come to do the job they do, and remind people of the benefits of giving their best and working hard.

However, do be careful not to bring in anything cheesy or over-familiar, as this may prove unpopular and suggest you are trying much too hard.

Rugs and flower power
Finally, add some more colour to brighten things up further. Bright rugs can help, and plants are a great way of improving the ambience. Flowers will bring colour and life, while the general greenery will help freshen the air. If you fancy something exotic, you might even consider something unusual like a carnivorous plant – which may deal with any flying pests that invade in an entertaining way.

So by using the right colours, visual images, words and decorations you could transform an office from a bland space into a vibrant hub of sensory stimulation, mental alertness and professional inspiration.

Images courtesy of BE.Spoke and Headspace Group