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5 min read

How The Colour Of Your Workplace Can Affect Your Productivity

Many things can affect your mood and how you feel. The food you eat, the drinks you consume, the people you associate with and the clothes you wear, to name but a few. But have you ever looked around your working environment and wondered to yourself if the colour and the decor are influencing you in some way?
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
January 19, 2024

Many things can affect your mood and how you feel. The food you eat, the drinks you consume, the people you associate with and the clothes you wear, to name but a few.

But have you ever looked around your working environment and wondered to yourself if the colour and the decor are influencing you in some way?

Well, the experts would argue that colour has a very definite impact upon a person's emotions and a huge amount of scientific and psychological research has gone into the subject. Colour definitely can and does have an impact not only on moods, thoughts and actions, but can have a profound effect on how productive you are in the workplace.

Colour psychology is a fascinating insight that explores colour and the effect they have on a person's wellbeing. If used wisely, a certain colour scheme can become a powerful yet subtle tool to enable employees to improve output whilst remaining content, alert and focused throughout the day.

The impact of colour and related increased productivity will vary based upon personal preferences, cultural influences and the nature of the work. For example, a highly creative workspace may benefit from a more diverse and unconventional, less reserved colour palette while a more focused, detail oriented  and formal work setting would benefit from calming, muted colours.

Imagine the colour scheme of your doctor’s waiting room, local veterinary surgery or hospital where the emphasis is on maintaining an atmosphere of calm and you will invariably find a very different colour scheme than that of a children's ward, nursery school or busy restaurant where the focus is aimed more towards positivity and having fun. So what colour may best suit your workspace?

Blue, especially a muted shade of blue, is associated with calm, peace and tranquillity. Blue evokes a sense of professionalism, mental clarity and clear focus making it ideal for work that requires concentration and close attention to details.

Green has always been associated with healing, humility, balance and harmony mainly because of the close correlation of the colours to the natural world. Incorporating green into the workplace can relieve stress and enhance productivity due to the positive emotion that the colour instills. This is why you will often find living plants and foliage in office spaces - as well as looking very pretty they have a deeper purpose as they are highly grounding and act as a reminder of the bigger picture and how all living things are interconnected.

Yellow is an energising colour but just like the sun, too much can be detrimental. Yellow is invigorating, full of optimism and stimulating for the mind but if used in excess, it can promote feelings of overwhelm and anxiety.

Orange has a similar effect as it is also associated with feelings of positivity and radiance whilst at the same time encourages enthusiasm and creativity. Orange is not as potent as yellow and has the inspirational and magical qualities of a glowing sunset on a Summer evening.

Red is a colour often associated with passion and intensity. Think of Saint Valentine's day where cards and gifts are invariably of a red theme! Red can be a useful colour in certain working environments where you are required to be on the go at all times but as it can be quite physically exhausting, it has the potential for increasing stress levels and is definitely not a recommended colour to promote feelings of calm and safety.

Often workplaces are decorated in a variety of neutral colours such as white, beige or light grey which never fails to provide a clean, fresh and balanced environment, free from unnecessary distractions.

Everyone has different preferences and depending upon the nature of the profession, when considering a colour scheme for the working environment, it is essential to aim for balance. The professional atmosphere and specific needs of the employees should be taken into consideration in order to promote a conducive and productive work environment for all concerned.

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