Colors have a significant effect on your business. From the building exterior to the walls and carpeting, the colors in your office have a say. What about uniform colors, though? Does the color of your chef’s hat really affect the soufflé? Not directly, but yes.
Employee uniforms do more than protect your employees from spills and hazards. They also influence their behaviors and attitudes. With productivity, creativity, and happiness of your employees and customers at risk, there’s no reason to ignore the effect your choice of uniform colors have on your business.
The Importance of Uniform Colors
Part of why color composition of your office, restaurant, or hospital might be overlooked or ignored is because there’s no obvious benefit or repercussion to them. For example, matching pants and shirts aren’t going to run food to tables, and those blue scrubs aren’t going to get your patient’s histories.
But they do cover and present the person who does, and that person has emotions. These emotions can affect their productivity, how they interact with customers, and how they represent your business.
Though the effect color has on a person is as ranging as people in the world, there are some similar experiences and perceptions. For this reason, there is nearly a century’s worth of study on color’s effect on people.
One of the earliest works focusing on the effect colors have on people is by German writer, philosopher, and politician Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, called Theory Of Colors (1810). In it, he draws on personal experience and observations of how colors interact and construct our living experience.
Each color has its own emotional significance. To him,
- yellow is associated with warmth and positive excitement
- orange with energy and power
- green to calmness
- red to “weighty gravity and uplifting lightness”
Many years after Goethe, German doctor, philosopher, and professor Wilhelm Wundt, commonly known as the father of Psychology, published Principles of Physiological Psychology (1874), where he attempts the same color association. To him,
- white linked with cheerfulness
- black to gravity
- yellow to excitement
- blue to depression
- red to instability
- and green to tranquility
Over the years, more psychologists and doctors studied and wrote about the effect of colors. Experiments were designed to find objective effects colors have on the mind. For example, some depressed patients found excitement and alleviated symptoms in a red-illuminated room. Blue-illuminated rooms were seen to have calming, sedative effects on subjects.
In summary, colors affect people’s feelings, and that affects how they interact with and perceive the world. Inside your restaurant, medical office, or business, those perceptions are getting made whether you account for them or not.
How to Take Advantage of Uniform Color’s Effects
You might feel similar associations that Goethe and Wundt described to yellow or green. That’s because colors have a universality to those that can perceive them, and this universality is traced back to the natural world and our cultural constructions.
To influence your client or customer’s experience in your business, your employee’s uniform color should have an intended purpose.
“Atmosphere” is usually a focus of criticism in reviews and customer minds. Restaurants generally have themes and color schemes. How thoroughly they’re committed to them will determine whether “atmosphere” has been achieved. Employee uniforms are part of that equation.
Say you’re crafting a casual, classic American dining experience for your customers and your new waiter comes to work in a black turtleneck. Customers are going to wonder what he’s painting when not waiting tables. If the ambiance and decor shouts mid-20th century America while your waiter whispers french art district, there’s a dissonance there that will, at best entertain your customers (for the wrong reasons), and at worst, confuse and distract them from either the meal or each other.
To return your waiter to his functional role, he needs to look the part of a mid-20th century American waiter. A white or striped polo and khakis with some Americana tossed in (think patriotic pins, red, white, and blue suspenders, etc) would make him less of an attraction and more a member of the team.
Medical environments tend to lean the aesthetic direction of cleanliness, sterility, and competence. For this, white implies cleanliness, comfort, professionalism. While these are solid associations to have as a medical facility, they aren’t the only ones to be mindful of.
It was discovered some time ago that white is harsh on the eyes. During hours-long surgery, this is problematic as clear sight is vital to a surgeon. This is why you see very little white linens in the surgical room. Green and blue tend to be the preferred hues.
White also makes people somewhat uncomfortable if exposed to it for extended periods. As a result, blue and green have also grown to associate with medicine across all disciplines.
If treating children, your medical facility might want to loosen its color codes even more, as comforting them should take precedence over tradition. In this way, pink is largely associated with warmth and comfort, and yellow with positive emotions. Both of which are productive in cultivating a healing environment.
Unlike restaurants or medical facilities, which are directed by their theme or tradition, businesses have wiggle room to find their uniform colors. As a result, the spectrum is open to whatever mood or feeling they’d like customers to associate with their workers.
Some options include:
- Black – Bold, Sure, Strong, Mysterious
- White – Clean, Committed, Clear-headed
- Gray – Balanced, Neutral, Calm
- Green – Peace, Health, Conservation, Awareness
- Blue – Calm, Collected, Together, United
- Violet – Creative, Imaginative, Unique, Noble
- Red – Passion, Youth, Excitement, Power
- Orange – Friendly, Warm, Confident
- Yellow – Optimism, Visibility, Stimulation, Energy
The Ideal Color is Ideal to Your Business
There’s no one-color-fits-all purposes. For all the different jobs your business needs done to run, a different position might benefit from a different color. Warehouse staff might be safer in yellow uniforms. Restaurant employees might appreciate a show-all white. The delivery guys might benefit from a calming blue.
The downside, of course, is organizing and maintaining that variety of clothing, and keeping it ready when needed.
Linen Finder is Your Uniform Service Matching Expert
To handle that task for you, you’ll need a competent, capable, and ready uniform provider. With Linen Finder, you’ll get connected with a vetted, proven, and time-tested uniform provider in your area. Call Linen Finder now at 888-770-2489 or fill out a service form here: https://www.uniformrental.com/.
We also connect businesses with providers of linen, towels, laundry service, mats, and first aid! We do it all, and we do it for you! Take advantage and call today!