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Which Colours Boost Workplace Productivity?

Interestingly, certain colours and colour schemes seem to boost productivity at work while others don’t. That means it is definitely possible to improve workplace productivity by simply changing the colour of the walls. Here’s why.

productive workplace photo

The Psychology of Colours

According to psychologists different colours make us feel different things. Some colours fill us with energy, or make us feel sad, or make us feel relaxed. And interior designers agree with them. That’s why it’s a good idea to design your workplaces at home and at the office with the right colours, otherwise you might inadvertently be hampering productivity instead of increasing it!

Here are the different colours suited for the workplace, and how they affect a person’s mood:


Blue has been found to increase productivity in workers, who produce work at higher levels. In fact, it’s also been found that wearing blue often to the workplace increases your likelihood of getting a promotion, because blue signifies loyalty.

The great thing about the colour blue is that there are lots of different shades out there that work on walls. If you’re designing an office, find a shade of blue that fits the corporate theme, and have the general work area’s walls painted with it.


White is another colour that’s been found to increase productivity. It makes crowded places feel more airy and spacious, and it generally fills workers with a sense of optimism. Even better, it’s a shade that goes well with most other colour and furniture schemes, so it’s used often in corporate environments.

White also denotes cleanliness and sterility, and it’s very often used in hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and other “sterile” places of work.


Yellow is an “energetic” colour, as many consider it as a universally “happy” shade. Work-wise, it has been found to aid in concentration, which makes it suitable for areas where the work to be done is very detail-oriented, precise, and fragile.

You might want to avoid using yellow in workplaces with many people, or with very loud and annoying noises, as it also has the bad side effect of making people lose their temper in extreme cases.


Ever heard of the term “green room?” It’s a real room in TV studios and movie sets where actors go to relax and focus, and the walls are painted – you guessed it – green. This is because green is the most relaxing and calming of all colours.

Knowing that, it may be best to think twice about painting a workplace’s walls green. It might actually reduce productivity by making workers feel lazy, sleepy, or sluggish. That said, it does have its place in the corporate environment – it’s the best wall colours for lounges, anterooms, and other places for rest and relaxation.


If yellow is an intense colour, red is even MORE intense. Red has been found to increase heart rates, making for more energetic and enthusiastic work.

The disadvantage of red is that it can be distracting and overpowering. It’s best to use red in highlights and accents, and use other less powerful colours for the main walls.

How to Choose the Perfect Colour For the Workspace

The key to choosing the right colour is to first of all know what kind of work is going to be done in that space. After all, not all kinds of work are the same – some require focus and concentration, while others require freedom and creativity, while still others require monotony and routine.

For areas where the work being done is monotonous and routine, or in general work areas that accommodate many different types of work, blue is the best colour. It’s the perfect balance between productivity and relaxation. It is, in a way, the colour that “has something for everyone.”

For work covering long hours, green is the best colour. Its relaxing qualities make it easier for thoughts to wander and creativity to flow. Just make sure to counterbalance the soothing power of green with a stronger, advancing colour (like orange or tan) somewhere.

If you’re not sure what colour would be best for certain work areas in your home or office, ask your architect or interior designer. They’ll help you come up with the right colour schemes for the different work areas and activities.

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Southbank VIC 3006

Phone: 1300 854 854

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