Did you know colors have a significant effect on your mood and productivity? Well, it’s true. With so many people working from home, the value and demand of having an efficient workspace in the comfort of your house have reached an all-time high.

Whether you choose to add some soothing, earthy curtains, or even felt wall panels to soften a room, there are some tips and tricks for making a workspace more desirable, improving your mood and productivity. As of 2022, statistics show that more than 4.7 million people work remotely at least half the time; they might as well do it comfortably.

Exploring the psychological effects of colors on the brain can help tailor your work-from-home environment to have a precise feel that works for you.

Do Colors Really Make Me Feel A Certain Way?

Yes. Humans’ relationships to color and visual aspects of the electromagnetic spectrum are strongly interlinked. Some colors can raise our heart rate and stress us out. Others provide a soothing calm. Below is a breakdown of how some colors make us feel.

Calming Colors:

  • Blue – As a soothing, peaceful color, many believe blue is responsible for lowering blood pressure, reducing anxiety, and slowing heart rates.
  • Green – Many link the color green to a connection to nature, which grounds humans, calms them, and requires no eye adjustment whatsoever, compared to red for example. So the result is a peaceful experience for the viewer
  • Teal – Combining all the good qualities of blue and green, teal is thought to promote clarity, calm thoughts, and a peaceful demeanor. It’s the best of both worlds.
  • Pink – Though many see pink as a relaxing color, they believe it requires moderation, as it includes the energetic properties of red with the calming ones of white.
  • White – A versatile color, white is used widely in many homes. It promotes clarity, freshness, cleanliness, and comfort. Dull whites can bring you down, while bright whites can stress you out. Use warm undertones best paired with natural light.
  • Lavender – As a lighter, calmer version of purple, lavender resembles flowers, freshness, femininity, and quiet.
  • Yellow – Yellow is seen as uplifting and bright, which can improve mood and energy. For best results, use earthy colors as opposed to bright, neon yellows.
  • Tan – A softer version of brown, tan rooms provide calm security, and can be used as a base to highlight other complimentary colors.

Stressful Colors:

  • Red – Red is often seen as a visual representation of STOP, fire, or warning, making it one of the more stressful colors on the spectrum to observe. This can be combated by adding a desert brown, pumpkin orange, or lighter white to alleviate red’s dominance.
  • White – White can be a double-edged sword. Too much brightness can leave a person feeling blinded, give them a headache, or remind them of fluorescent lights in schools, doctor offices or cubicles. The tone of the white is the most important aspect. Be picky in choosing a certain white.
  • Yellow – Yellow is similar to both red and white. A yellow too bright can be overwhelming, remind people are warning signs, yield or wait for signs, or be associated with caution. Make sure the yellow in your house is warm, earthy, and certainly not neon.
  • Brown – While certain amounts of brown can be grounding and relaxing, many perceive brown as being associated with depression and anxiety, provoking wistful, empty, yearning thoughts. As a rule, brown is a great complementary color, but don’t lead with it.
  • Gray – Color psychology indicates gray is associated with a colorless existence, a dark state of mind. The color is seen as gothic or industrial – not exactly the happiest home.

Do Certain Colors Affect Productivity Directly?

Yes. In fact, certain companies like Facebook and LinkedIn have branded themselves as blue, and it’s seen as an approachable and calm color that doesn’t stress out the user. Certain colors are believed to improve productivity in an office environment, and each is thought to have its own unique effects.

Below are some basic rules about how to decorate an office to get the best out of its employees. Take these tips and run with them at home, too.

  1. Easy on the White. White should be used as an accent color only. Results indicate white brings a clinical, sterile, cold, and isolated feeling, like sitting in a waiting room or at the DMV. White can hinder productivity and stifle creativity among workers. Don’t stifle yourself at home, either.
  2. Feeling creative? Go Yellow or Orange. Yellow is often associated with feelings of optimism, happiness, and joy. Orange is generally associated with warmth, amusement, or fire. Bring a spark to your new ideas by placing small amounts of these colors in your workspace.
  3. Need physical tasks done? Try Red. Although the color red is generally associated with stress, a rise in blood pressure, and a rise in energy, these feelings can be harnessed and put to good use in a physical work environment and are seen as a call to action in many circumstances. If you work out at home on the clock, try sprinkling some red in that workspace.
  4. When in doubt, go Green. As a rule, green is generally seen as calming and grounding. In a stressful work environment, use green to bring the temperature in the room down, and spark creativity from a clear mind.
  5. Feeling Blue means feeling focused. Blue is universally considered to be the most relaxing color. But did you know that it also helps in detail-oriented, focused tasks? After calming the mind, blue helps to stimulate the mental process to achieve tasks and harness focus.

Do What Works For You

Obviously, what works for some won’t work for others. In building the perfect at-home workspace, you’re really only tailoring it to your needs. Do you like red above all other colors, and it doesn’t stress you out? Great. Is your most-hated sports team blue, and no matter what, it rubs you the wrong way? Fine.

Experiment with colors and be aware of their effects on you, personally. Then you can adjust to determine what gets the most out of you as an at-home worker. Take this color quiz to find your perfect colors. There are no rules, just some simple things to be aware of if you find your home office is bugging you. Maybe you didn’t notice before, but now you will.