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Red or blue meeting rooms: does it matter? The impact of colour on perceived productivity, social cohesion and wellbeing

Iris Bakker (Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands)
Theo J.M. van der Voordt (Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands)
Jan de Boon (De Werkplaats GSB, Delft, The Netherlands)
Peter Vink (Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands)

Facilities

ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 25 January 2013

3117

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish the influences of the colours red and blue on perceived well being, social cohesion and productivity in complex real life work conditions during regular meetings.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, seven regular government teams held seven regular meetings in red, blue and reference meeting rooms. In literature it is often mentioned that red is a warm and blue a cool colour. To be able to test the warmth and coldness effects the authors have amplified the warm and cold qualities with light colour and colour of the table top desk. The employees were asked to complete questionnaires concerning perceived well being, social cohesion and productivity. In total, 52 subjects completed three questionnaires, at the start, the end and two or three days after the meeting. Data were analysed with SPSS 16.

Findings

The findings did not show any effects of the red and blue environment on perceived well being, social cohesion and productivity. The authors assume the processes in real life work situations are too complex to measure influences.

Research limitations/implications

The research focuses on individual perceptions and did not measure actual well being, social cohesion and productivity.

Practical implications

Practical implications are that statements frequently mentioned in literature concerning influences of red and blue might be not valid in real life meeting settings. New ways of testing the impact of colours should be reconsidered. Because lab situations are too simplified and artificial, the authors suggest testing influences of colour in an isolated setting in relation to art.

Originality/value

The originality of this research concerns testing colour influences in complex real life work settings, such as meetings.

Keywords

Citation

Bakker, I., van der Voordt, T.J.M., de Boon, J. and Vink, P. (2013), "Red or blue meeting rooms: does it matter? The impact of colour on perceived productivity, social cohesion and wellbeing", Facilities, Vol. 31 No. 1/2, pp. 68-83. https://doi.org/10.1108/02632771311292527

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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