Ashlar
Ashlar

The Psychology of Colour in the Workplace

colourful office refurbishment

Gone are the days of boring, monochrome offices – today’s workforce demands something brighter, more lively. But what, exactly? It’s not easy to choose a colour scheme for an office, particularly given the fact that certain colours can have a profound impact on mood and productivity. So, to help you navigate this problem and the wealth of research surrounding it, we’re going to be taking a look at different colours and their respective psychological associations.

Colour and Mood

While colours do elicit certain responses from people, these responses aren’t always universal. That is, the way green makes you feel might be completely different to the way it makes me feel, and this could be influenced by a whole host of biological or sociological factors.

With that said, some associations between colours and moods have been established after rigorous psychological research, and these can be used as a guide.

Psychology of the colour green

Research from the University of Georgia suggests that green is a colour closely associated with positive
office with green walls - psychology of the colour greenemotions and can promote states of comfort and relaxation. This is largely due to the fact that we often
associate green with nature and tranquil spaces. With this in mind, green would be a fantastic colour to
implement into your office’s colour scheme, particularly in breakout areas where employees need to
relax and recharge.

Psychology of the colour blue

Similar to green, blue also tends to have a calming effect on those who observe it. Research from
Creighton University indicates that studying in a blue environment can bring about a positive state
of mind. We think blue is the perfect colour for an office: stimulating enough to keep you energised,
undistracting enough to keep you focused.

Of course, blue is a very common theme in corporate branding and pairs well with a variety of colours,
so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to include some in your workspace.

Psychology of the colour yellow

office with blue walls - the psychology of the colour blue

Yellow is a bright, intense colour and is often linked to optimism and joy. Research surrounding yellow
and its effect on mood suggests that a saturated yellow can be stimulating, particularly in a working
environment. This goes a long way toexplaining why many people claim that yellow enhances creativity.

While yellow can have a positive, energising effect in small doses, too much yellow can be distracting.
So, if you’re going to use it when designing your office, be sure to do so sparingly, avoiding any fluorescent
shades.

Psychology of the colour red

Like yellow, red is an intense colour. It easily draws the eye and, given that it features heavily on public
warning signs, is closely associated with danger. Research from Creighton University found that
performance in reading tasks in red environments was compromised, which isn’t surprising.
With this in mind, if red features heavily in your branding, we’d suggest using red in your workspace in
a way that draws attention to your logo and establishes your brand’s identity, but doesn’t dominate wall space.

Colours to avoid

office with yellow accents - the psychology of the colour yellow

As discussed, yellow and red are both intense colours and should be implemented into a colour scheme
with caution, particularly red which can prove very distracting.

A colour combination which research suggests can have a negative psychological impact in a working
environment is a yellow-green mix. While separately these colours aren’t too problematic, they can look
quite jarring when paired, so this is best avoided.

Finally, we would certainly advise against opting for no colour at all. While white and grey don’t necessarily
conjure any negative feelings, they offer little to no stimulation. Essentially, using nothing but white and
grey in your office is a surefire way of boring your employees to tears.

We’re Ashlar, a full-service commercial fit-out contractor based in Nottingham. If you’re interested in any of the concepts discussed in this article, you’d love chatting to one of our expert designers. Whether you need a new reception area or a full office rework, our team will work with you to create your dream space. So what are you waiting for? Give us a call.

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