The Psychology of Colour in the Workplace

The Psychology of Colour in the Workplace

When planning an office refurbishment, it is important to consider the use of colour in your design and the effect your colour scheme will have on your employees. With the average person of today spending a considerable proportion of their time indoors, it is more important than ever for companies to create environments that not only motivate but also work to encourage productivity and wellbeing, using colour as one way of doing so. Quite simply, if you can get your office design right – then the benefits will follow.

The Impact of Colour Psychology on Office Design

According to various research into the psychology of colour, colours can have both physical and psychological effects on people, triggering a range of moods and emotions in them as well as affecting behaviour. Colour, when used correctly in the workplace can contribute to increased employee productivity as well as overall wellness. With this in mind, it is important that colour is not overlooked when designing a workplace and that your workplace not only uses your corporate colour palette but explores a variety of other colours to create a working environment that both inspires and comforts your employees.

Active discuss a range of colours and how they can be used in the workplace design…

  • Blue – Cool, calm and reliable are all feelings associated with the colour blue. As a colour with a low wavelength, blue has the ability to lower heart rate and body temperature causing your employees to feel relaxed and de-stressed. Due to its calming effects, blue can be used in an office design to aid concentration making your employees feel at ease. However, avoid darker shades as these can evoke feelings of sadness and have a depressing effect on your staff.

  • Yellow – Warm and bright the colour yellow can evoke feelings of wellbeing and positivity amongst your employees. As well as this, yellow can be stimulating, encouraging innovation and communication. Although we are naturally drawn to brighter colours, our eyes can quickly become tired from processing them and subconsciously our bodies want us to leave this kind of space. Therefore, we would recommend that yellow is used sparingly across large spaces, being presented through the use of accessories to inject warmth into the workplace.

  • Green – Made up of a mixture of blue and yellow, the colour green is a well-balanced colour often associated with nature and feelings of tranquillity. Like blue, green can have a calming effect on your employees, reducing feelings of anxiety and promoting good health. In addition to this, using green in an office design is known to stimulate concentration and improve productivity. Various shades of green can be used throughout the workplace to inspire your staff and encourage engagement.

  • Red – The colour red, often related to feelings of passion and excitement, is a high wavelength colour and can raise heart rate as well as increase the appetite. This vibrant colour is attention grabbing and can be used to draw attention to certain areas in a building. Although physically stimulating, this colour is best used sparingly as too much can cause feelings of anger and impatience. Therefore, it is important that it is not used in places where staff are spending prolonged periods of time. The best places to use red would be a canteen, breakout areas or in small quantities throughout a workspace.

  • Purple – Striking the perfect balance between the stimulating effects of red and the calming feelings of blue, the colour purple can create an air of mystery, conjuring feelings of innovation as well as often being associated with wealth and grandeur. Sparking creativity and upliftment, this bold colour is perfect for feature walls, reception areas that want to make an impact as well as break out areas.

  • White – Whilst white is clean and clear, offering feelings of clarity, it is not an inspiring colour and can often feel sterile and cold. For these reasons white is best teamed with a range of other colours and shouldn't be used on its own for large areas of the workplace.

It is impossible to choose just one single colour that will improve productivity and motivate your staff. It is therefore important to use a range of colours throughout an office design that evoke a range of different feelings and suit a range of different tasks. For example, in a space dedicated to concentration we'd recommend an inspiring colour such as green. In a conference room, we'd suggest a calming blue to provide a relaxed atmosphere without too much distraction.

Whilst many companies will have a strict colour palette in line with their branding, the use of colour, and the influences they can have, should not be overlooked. It is also necessary to acknowledge that colour is not limited to the paint on the walls, colour can be incorporated through carpets, flooring, furniture and accessories around the office.

Managed Offices, by Active FM

Looking to refurbish your office? Here at Active FM we run a managed offices service, which offers a complete office creation solutions – whether you need a new office design or want to relocate your business, or even if you just need some new furniture – whatever it is you need to improve your office environment, our service will cover it.

For more information about our managed offices service that can help to create an engaging workplace, please don't hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team today. You can give us a call on 0845 130 9066, or alternatively send us an e-mail by filling our contact form.