Productivity plummets as office workers suffer Monotone Madness

Canon UK, a world leader in imaging technology solutions, today unveiled results from extensive research into the use of colour in the workplace. The research, which looked at how colour is used in office buildings and by employees, shows that the vast majority of workers (81 per cent) feel at their most productive in a colourful work environment. With 70 per cent of all offices in the UK painted beige, white or grey, almost 4 in 10 people went as far as saying that the use of these cold, bland colours had a negative impact, making them feel lethargic and unproductive.

Additionally, 47 per cent of respondents said that they wear what they feel they are expected to, which is often colourless suits, uniforms and other conservative clothes. To counter this, 65 per cent of employees purposely wear accessories to brighten up their wardrobe and their featureless surroundings with 31 per cent donning a bright shirt, 26 per cent wearing colourful jewellery and 19 per cent opting for colourful or even frilly undergarments.

Unsurprisingly, female workers are by far the best at exploiting colour in the workplace with 82 per cent admitting to dressing and using the entire spectrum for specific tasks (i.e. hiring, firing or important meetings). Men are more traditional with black or blue identified as the two most popular colours and over half (53 per cent) claiming that they wear what they feel they are expected to, showing a distinct lack of work wardrobe creativity.

Commenting on the research, Andrea Mountford, a leading Colour Psychologist said: There is an element of fun in these results but also a very serious message. With the average office worker spending 80 per cent of their work time in a building, it is crucial that they feel motivated and stimulated, which is not going to happen in a bland, colourless environment. Colour is crucial in all organisations and this applies to the surroundings as well as employees clothing.

For women, colour can be a real ace up their sleeve as they are much more aware of how it can be used to their advantage. Colour can completely transform a womens appearance making them more noticeable, which in turn, sends positive statements about who they are and what they are capable of.

David Smith, Marketing Director, Canon Business Solutions, Canon UK commented, We dont live in a black and white world so why work in a dull office environment that breeds negativity and monotone madness? Just as colour is important to bring life to printed documents in an office, it should also play a leading role in creating a friendly and productive workforce.

In separate research conducted in conjunction with IDC last year, Canon found that businesses are now colour-aware when it comes to printing documents and that colour roll-out can generate both time and cost savings in the long term. Smith Continued, Whether its through the work we produce or the environment we work in, Canon believes that balanced colour deployment is essential to inspire both productivity and creativity.

Key findings also revealed:

Receptionists (22 per cent) and temps (19 per cent) are the most colourful members of the office, closely followed by the marketing department (16 per cent)

Colourful British business personalities won popularity vote with Richard Branson topping the poll at 46 per cent compared to, Sir Alan Sugars suited and booted personality that gained just 7 per cent of the vote

Finance, although not the most colourful profession, tops the polls when it comes to brightening up their wardrobe through brightly coloured underwear, beating the ever eccentric sales, media and marketing group into second place

Short-sighted MDs and Chief Execs are refusing to introduce colourful working environments with 41 per cent denying that it would improve productivity

Glaswegians are crying out for colour 94 per cent of office workers in the city say they would work better in a more colourful environment

Office workers in Brighton favour jeans (32 per cent - 12 per cent higher than the national average) and the colour pink (37 per cent - 10 per cent higher than the national average)

Bristolians opt for colourful jewellery to brighten their work wardrobe (36 per cent)

London is not the suit wearing capital it comes in a paltry sixth place beaten by Belfast (38 per cent), Plymouth (32 per cent), Manchester (32 per cent), Southampton (29 per cent) and Liverpool (29 per cent). [London is 28 per cent - still above the national average of 26 per cent]

Liverpool is the most popular place to wear sandals to work (32 per cent - 14 per cent higher than the national average)

Plymouth is the office hoodie capital (9 per cent - 6 per cent higher than the national average)

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