What you never knew about colour in the workplace

What you never knew about colour in the workplace

in Office Supplies & Interiors September 24, 2018

When sitting at your desk, have you ever wondered if there was any rhyme or reason behind the colours in your office, and whether they actually have any real impact on you? The psychology of colour in the workplace has in fact been studied for many years in the hopes of finding the optimum working environment which improves productivity, efficiency and positivity. As such, many a big brand has used the psychology of colour to design their offices in the hopes of improving the moods of their employees and customers.

Studies show that colour can have a strong influence on how we perceive the environment around us. Therefore, it shouldn’t shock you to hear that scientists have found that physiological changes happen when people are exposed to certain colours and strengths of colours. Therefore, colour should have an important weighting when considering the purchase of new furniture, stationery or décor for your office. And it shouldn’t just be based on personal preference alone, it’s important to research to understand the benefits of specific colours and gain knowledge of how they could change the feeling of the workplace around you. Although this may sound daunting, with a lot of colour changing all at once, you can ease yourself into it by using subtle pops of colour within your lower cost office products like notebooks, pens, staplers and hole punches.

To give you a closer look at the psychology of colours, we’ve researched the colours Blue, Red, Green and Yellow below:


Blue is one of the psychological primary colours and can be recognised as one of the main colours used within the business world. The colour Blue is argued to be calming, promoting a sense of trust, efficiency and easy communication. In offices where concentration is key, blue will aid in activities in which detailed focus is required meaning that it is the perfect colour to increased worker productivity. Believe it or not, but studies show that the colour blue also has health benefits: lowers heart rates, reduces blood pressure and improves respiration.


The colour red however, has a different effect on the body and is known to boost heart rates which makes it beneficial in workplaces which involve physical activity. It’s bold, one of the most intense colours you could choose, therefore Red is also argued to keep you alert, increasing brain wave activity allowing you to complete physical tasks. This can also be helpful in spaces where people work nightshift. A downside to using this colour in the workplace is actually on the waistline, as red is argued to increase appetite.


Yellow is known to be the colour of the creative, and is found to be helpful in facilitating the inventive, innovative and imaginative minds. People are quite likely to relate the colour yellow to the sun, being on holiday and carefree, therefore, it can induce feelings of optimism and happiness in people. It is known to be a stimulating colour which energises people to work productively. However, beware not to overdo it with too much yellow, as this has been argued to lead to anxiety and increase how temperamental people feel.


We see green in a lot of workplaces which want to promote themselves as being eco-friendly and natural, however there are also added psychological benefits. Green can boost creativity and facilitate innovation and is therefore a good colour to use in brainstorming spaces. It promotes harmony and balance, while reducing anxiety and eye strain. Beware though, it is important to use the right intensities of green, as darker shades can have the opposite impact to that which is desired.

Colour is all around us, and although we may not know it, it affects our perceptions of the world significantly. Once used to merely inject a bit of style - based on personal taste – now, colour is used to build positive environments, improve creativity and productivity in the workplace. On another note, it can also be the basis of building strong brands which we will touch on in another blog post shortly. Until then, if you need any help injecting some colour into your workplace, contact one of the Active Office team who would be happy to help you.