How does colour affect workplace productivity

Nowadays, colour in office environments is relatively standard. Gone are the days of drab walls and colourless furniture. In this article we take a look at the importance of colour in our work spaces and the positive impact it has on our productivity.

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Colour and tone

Not all of us will know that it was the great man himself – Picasso – who said, ‘Colours, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.’ – We think he was spot on! Our work environment has a big impact on our wellbeing and mood and this, in turn, has a major effect on our achievements in our chosen careers.

Where to start

Office fit out companies generally start with the brand palette, colours that have the ability to connect with people. It is more than likely that every one of us can associate a colour with a brand. Think Virgin!

The colour effect

Research has shown that grey, beige and white offices increase negative emotions in females, such as sadness and depression. Men, on the other hand, felt similar emotions when in purple or orange work spaces.

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However, it’s not as simple as that. A dash of colour won’t suddenly turn your employees into CEOs. There are a whole host of factors when designing an office environment – visit for some inspiration – including lighting, furniture and textures. This all needs to sit comfortably with the company ethos and culture too.


Balance really is the key; it’s not just about colour on the walls, it’s about coloured furniture, ceiling hues and carpet tones. You shouldn’t forget that graphics and artwork are another good way of injecting colour into work spaces. Living walls are also another popular feature.


The working world is a fluid place with people adopting many and varied working patterns and strategies. This is good news for colour as it works well to define different work spaces – blue for open-plan offices, yellow for concentrating areas and green for calm spaces are some examples. Areas for concentration often use subtle tones whilst agile working areas use bold colours.

The key is to create the right space where staff feel comfortable and enjoy being in. Such areas can foster increased efficiency and productivity and are fast becoming the norm for office designers.

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