From the January 1996 issue of Entrepreneur

The color blue has a long-standing reputation as the bad boy of the color spectrum, everybody's favorite synonym for sadness. Well, here's some news that clears the falsely accused color of all charges: If you're a small-business owner and you've got the blues in the workplace, you most likely have productive, serene employees.

Decorating experts have long known that the colors of an office's interior affect employee performance. "Color psychology is not pure science, but [after making over many businesses' color schemes], we have received feedback from customers who say productivity has improved, absenteeism is down and morale is up," says Linda Trent, director of color and design marketing with Cleveland-based paint giant Sherwin-

Williams.

Overwhelmingly, "blue is universally the most popular color family," says Trent. She recommends using the color, along with shades of green, in areas that are either extremely hot or notoriously noisy. "People associate blues and greens with the sky, water, tranquility and coolness," explains Trent, making them shoe-ins for work areas that need a shot of peace and quiet.

Color isn't the only thing that affects the way employees feel in the office. Issues like lighting and space play a big role, too. Establishing a balance between all these elements is the key to a visually harmonious working environment.

Contact Sources

The Color People, 1522 Blake St., #300, Denver, CO 80202, (303)534-4600;

Sherwin-Williams Co., (800) 4-SHERWIN;