Colours at work: how a colour concept raises working efficiency in a home office

What makes a beautiful workplace? Next to tools that work, the interior – and here especially colour – play a significant role. This is not only about aesthetics, but also about creating a base for boosting concentration, inspiration and exchange. The colour design of modern workplaces should emphasise the direction and purpose of the work environment and create an appealing working atmosphere. Time-honoured working life models have changed considerably. And measures to protect against coronavirus are advancing this development rapidly. It is therefore even more important for the environment that we work in to be of an optimal design. The requirements for a home office space are completely different than, for instance, for a co-working space or representative rooms in which meetings with clients or business partners take place.

Home office: pastels for clarity 

To set up an office in one's home means to give one's profession a fixed space within the four walls we call chez nous. Dedicating one's time completely to professional tasks can become genuinely challenging at times. It is vital to be able to focus and avoid being distracted by housework that is calling you, the odd chore, or even the attraction of a day off early. In such a case it helps to clearly mark out this zone and keep it clear and reduced. This will make it easier to keep a personal space private and use working hours efficiently. 

Choosing light colours and playing with lucency creates transparency. Pastels like walnut, light grey and subdued turquoise mixed with white help to turn the working space at home into a space in which to focus. For those who consider white too cool, an off-white nuance is ideal. 

Pairing these fine colour nuances with Scandinavian subtlety creates the right atmosphere to concentrate on work without being distracted. Natural materials such as light wood, cotton textiles or frosted glass come across as neat without seeming sterile at the home. This colour design is easy to implement, all the way to the choice of stationery, envelopes and writing utensils. To save space, useful items like a colour-coordinated writing block can be placed as decoration. 

Co-working space: intense colours for flexibility at work

A coffee flat rate and good Internet connectivity no longer suffice to inspire digital natives to join a co-working space. The requirements for this working model have become much more demanding. Most architecturally exciting edifices are a hub for creative freelancers, programmers, translators as well as start-uppers. They all have different needs yet share the desire for a flexible working environment, segmented meeting areas, activity and relaxation zones as well as coffee bars. When looking at the basics of colour psychology, there is more than just one positive that pops up in the different areas. At the same time, structure, if not some sort of guidance, is created. Distinctive colours help to instinctively differentiate the patchwork of rooms while constructively using their functions. 

A vibrant lemon boosts creativity and an open exchange. Blue and green, on the other hand, calm the mind for focused, more withdrawn activities. Intensive purple intensifies a sense of relaxation when taking a break at the coffee bar. Colour blocking is combined with neutrals like stone grey. This lively world of colour gives users of a co-working space a haven despite all mobility – whether in Hong Kong, Bali, Rotterdam, San Francisco or Hamburg. The one must-have, however, are those favourite pieces that personalise a flexible workplace, if only for a short while: notepads, some markers and writing utensils are lightweight and easy to take along wherever we go. 

Meeting rooms: integrity in classic, refined colours 

Representative rooms where clients or business partners meet should be fitted with colours and materials that take a certain feelgood factor into account. The goal is to reflect a degree of integrity. Hues such as cobalt blue, burgundy and a large, warm pallet of browns radiate trust. Paired with light, soft accents, this creates an inviting yet dignified ambiance. 

Woods ranging from medium brown to black, leather, granite, marble and warm metals like brass or gold are materials that create a certain feeling of exclusivity in meeting rooms. These days, entrepreneurs can find such spaces not only on the executive floors of big multinationals, but also in hotels, at seminar locations and inside airport lounges where they can use them for that all-important business appointment. The play between smooth and rugged surfaces, warm and cool as well as light and dark is decisive for this aesthetics. Materials and colours must be combined in a balanced way. The harmony between the individual contrasts must be right so as not to create an unnecessary feeling of heaviness or clutter. Fine fountainpen holders, desk pads made of leather and laid business stationery in cream round off the entire picture. 

It pays to think about a harmonious colour design for the workplace when the time comes. Be it inside one's own home or the rooms which are fitted with or for others. With at times simple means it is possible to create a large measure of positivity for an agreeable working environment. Rooms for work which have been created with intent and authenticity make it easier for people who use them to shape their working hours well. All hues and styles can be taken up with matching stationery and other writing utensils or office items for optimal additions.

About the author:

Thomas Epping is an e-commerce manager and has been overseeing Content Marketing at since 2015. After graduating with a degree in ecological design, he now works as a freelance photographer for international clients and magazines. With the help of text copy and pictures he shares how excellent ideas can be highlighted with outstanding stationery.

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