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March 22, 2016

The effect of colour within the workplace

The influence of “colour” within the workspace is of significant interest. Colour itself is a visual experience that subconsciously affects the brain and, therefore, how we work. Deciding what colour scheme to incorporate into your workspace design needs careful planning in order to stimulate the right kind of productivity from your employees.

Not only do colours within the workplace encourage production, but they also have effect upon moods, attitudes and emotions. In this blog we will look at the different effects that colour has on the working environment, as well give recommendations of how to use individual colours appropriately.


Deciding what colour scheme to use when designing the interior of your workspace could be as equally as important as hiring the right employees. The aim of design is to create an ambience within the workplace that keeps your employees stimulated and motivated, but also relaxed and calm. Brighter colours, such as reds and oranges, help incorporate dynamism into the office that will raise the overall energy of the team. Whereas, cool colours such as blues and greens, are recognised as relaxing colours that will help keep employees composed.

It is fundamental to have carefully analysed and designed an effective interior colour scheme beforehand to ensure that there is an optimum balance of colour.

Walls of Warmth

Warm colours within the workplace cause stimulation. Red is a bold colour, which can be used to increase the energy of the room and demonstrate a sense of urgency. Whilst red is exciting and can inspire your employees, too much may in fact, over-stimulate. It is therefore recommended to use as an accent colour to add depth to the workspace.

Like red, orange is another colour that could be used to accent the workplace design. Orange is associated with activity and evokes conversation to flow. Accents should be used within the workplace to draw employees’ attention to an area that you want them to look at. Subtle influences of bold colours could inspire workers at pinnacle moments.

Yellow should be used in moderation. Whilst it promotes optimism and innovation, due to its association with emotion, too much yellow should be avoided as could provoke unwanted anxiety.

Office Favourites

Restful colours (blues and greens) are commonplace within an office’s colour scheme. Blue is considered as an intellectual colour and consequently promotes thinking, creativity and performance. Did you know that blue is the world’s favourite colour? No wonder so many office designs incorporate blue into their schemes to attain employee satisfaction.

As well as improving your employees’ academic performance, blue is universally known as a stable and calming colour that will help your employees remain focused throughout the working day. We recommend that blue be used in conference rooms. Not only will this inspire your employees to come up with intelligent solutions, but will help create a tranquil ambience throughout even the toughest of meetings.

Another calming, popular colour for workspace design is green. We recommend that green should be used in various shades throughout the office. Green is associated with nature, and subsequently tranquillity, rejuvenation and relaxation. Green is a beneficial colour to apply within the workspace as helps reduce eyestrain from harsh glares of computer screens. It also helps reduce anxiety.


White, cream, soft greys and brown are used within the workplace to compliment other colours. Whilst they create a sense of comfort to the workspace, alone they are not particularly stimulating. Browns are fashionable and are used to create an interesting depth. Wooden-finished flooring and furniture are popular uses of the colour in today’s interior designs. Designers must be cautious not to use too much ‘darkness’ in design as could arouse sad and depressing feelings for employees.

Here at Workspace Design and Build we understand the importance of colour and colour schemes within design. We recognise that each colour has different impact upon different individuals based on age, culture and other biological factors, which need to be considered.

Therefore, before deciding on the final colour scheme it is important to understand the organisation’s culture. A workspace’s design and colour scheme is paramount in creating an appropriate ambience in light of company culture and can tell a story. Not only is implementing the correct colour scheme vital for employee productivity, but also to impress clients and visitors.

An office’s colour is the first thing you notice on arrival and the last thing you take away with you, and will have substantial subconscious effect. The choice of colour therefore could have considerable effect on your company’s success.

And you?

Having trouble picking the right colour for your office or perhaps you’d like to share your thoughts on colour theory? Either way, do get in touch with Workspace Design today or share some of your ideas with us on Twitter and Facebook.