How Different Colours Can Affect Employee Productivity


The colour of your office can have far reaching effects on your employees that you never dreamed about.   Are your employees demotivated? Stressed? Unfocused? Here are some ways to change that with just a few coats of paint.


Blue is a colour we associate with nature and therefore is a calming, relaxing colour as it brings water and summer skies to mind.  Blue is also the colour to be preferred by most employees, and therefore is a good colour for offices or areas where there are a lot of people.  Besides being relaxing, it also helps staff to focus and concentrate on the task in hand. The vast majority of people view blue as a positive colour, so this is a good choice for any office.



Green is one of the most refreshing colours and has the unique benefit of being the gentlest colour on the human eye. This reduces eye strain and is a good colour to consider in offices where staff members work very long hours, as they will be able to focus for longer without becoming tired.  This also applies to offices where staff sit in front of their computers for long hours as the green surrounding them should help combat the eye fatigue from looking at a computer screen. Green shades are also very fresh and this encourages innovativeness, therefore a good colour for teams working on difficult projects and tasks. An alternative way to bring green into the office is to incorporate office-friendly plants.

Osborne Richardson

Both blue and green have been proven to relieve stress, and this is a major advantage for any business in that one of the main causes of inefficiency and low productivity in the workplace is stressed employees.


Red is an exciting, energetic colour and can be used effectively as an accent colour around your workplace to bring vitality and inspiration to your staff. In a meeting or conference room it will help to keep meetings lively and focused, and in an area where detailed projects are being worked, it can help keep employees on task. However, red can also have a detrimental effect on staff if used too generously around the office. It typically increases heart rate and is highly stimulating and this means that staff members that tend to get tense or strained easily can become over-stressed and this has a negative effect on the whole office. Stressed employees become sick more easily and this impacts the other staff members as workloads get shared around, as well as relations becoming strained if there is one stressed employee. Therefore, red should be used in focal points around the office space such as in the kitchen, break out area or washrooms, instead of along the whole office wall.



Yellow is a cheerful and optimistic colour and is a colour that encourages creativity. This means that this is a great colour to include in an area where artistic and inventive professionals such as artists, designers and developers work, as this will inspire them and help them to be more innovative. Yellow also helps employees to be more motivated and enthused in their work, so this makes it a great colour for any workplace. However, yellow can also have a negative effect on employees if they anger easily, because studies show that being in a yellow environment can sometimes make employees frustrated, so it may be a good idea to intersperse yellow with other colours around your office.

Institute of Fundraising


Neutral shades can be used in an office to complement brighter colours, but they must be used carefully. A study found that offices in bland colours such as grey, beige or brown made people feel depressed and pessimistic. However, using these colours to tone down vibrant shades could give you the perfect blend to create an enjoyable office to work in. White is most commonly used because it reflects light well and indicates tidiness. However if the office is totally white, try adding splashes of colour to liven it up and add a bit of inspiration to your employees, otherwise it can be too insipid and have a negative effect on productivity.


We hope this article has helped you to decide what colour is best suited for your office, and this will help your staff to become more productive.

To discuss your office design call 020 8770 7077 or send us an email at