To Beat the Winter Blues, Try Reds, Yellows, and Greens

Wintertime can be tough for office morale. In many businesses, employees may be coming to work and heading home when it's dark out. And cold weather can only make things worse.

The solution? A splash of color. That's the recommendation from experts at OFM, a leading office and school furniture manufacturer, distributor, and wholesaler. The company has long offered an array of bright colors and bold patterns for its office chairs to accommodate workers who want a little more flair. But brighter colors can benefit everyone.

Simple things like the color of your chair can affect your mood. Especially during the dark winter months, a little extra color in your office can make a big difference in your motivation and productivity. It's an idea that makes intuitive sense, but some emerging research shows there may be some scientific validity to the idea, as well.

A 2010 study by researchers at the University of Manchester in England found that people associated the color yellow with being in a good mood and gray with being anxious or depressed, among other things. Even the shade of a color may have an effect.

Another study from Drew University found that people reported being in more favorable moods after viewing a photograph with a warmer hue of red than a more neutral shade.

These benefits don't apply just to the office. Students young and old can benefit from brightly colored chairs and other classroom furniture. In a study conducted by architectural and design firm Perkins & Will, the impact of color on learning is significant:

"The demonstrated negatives of monotone environments also support the positives demonstrated by colorful environments. Humans were also found to turn inward in monotone environments, which may induce feelings of anxiety, fear and distress resulting from understimulation. This lack of stimulation further creates a sense of restlessness, excessive emotional response, difficulty in concentration, and irritation."

Later, the study also states: "Businesses have credited the use of functional color with a decrease in worker absenteeism, an improved quality of work and an increase in productivity. Color psychologists have linked color with brain development and the human transition from child to adult."

OFM's Elements program allows customers to upgrade various OFM office chairs to high-grade fabric or vinyl featuring geometric patterns and rich colors such as purple, mustard yellow, and pale blue. Its NET Series Chair line is available in bold shades of orange, red, blue, and yellow. To that end, OFM offers its classic Rico Student Stack Chairs suitable for any age in several standout shades of red, blue, and green.

A lot of companies play it safe with standard gray and black desks and chairs, and our products in those colors always sell well. While bright colors aren't for everyone, many people have found they really help improve the ambiance when it's dark and gray outside.

Blake Zalcberg is president of OFM, a leading office and school furniture manufacturer, distributor and wholesaler with headquarters in North Carolina and operations in Phoenix, Ariz., and Taiwan. OFM contracts with manufacturers in Mexico, Taiwan and China to design furniture and products that meet the highest industry standards. To learn more, visit

Posted by Blake Zalcberg on Dec 24, 2012

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