How Colour Affects Your Office Productivity

Ian Brough

Creating an office environment that stimulates and motivates your employees is the key to a productive workforce. There is a growing body of scientific research into colour psychology that shows colour plays a significant role in creating the right environment needed for productive and creative employees.

If you are looking at strategies for motivating your team then a great starting point is refurbishing the space around them. A recent study by the University of Texas has explored the resulting effect of different colour schemes on employee mood, behaviour and ultimately productivity. We will explore the results of the study to help you choose the colour that will achieve the desired effect in your office space.


If you are looking to get those creative juices flowing around the office then throw a splash of YELLOW into your office environment. Yellow has been shown to boost optimism and help foster creativity. So, if your business relies on creative ideas and out of the box thinking then look to add elements of yellow into their working environment.


If you are in a business that requires your team to put in the hard hours then GREEN has been found to be the most effective. The reason for this is that it green has a calming effect on employees and does not result in eye fatigue allowing them to stay cool and efficient over prolonged periods of time.

Happiness, well-being and stress relief

The happiness, well-being and low stress levels of employees are a key priority for the majority of office managers. The research indicated that low intensity colours GREEN and BLUE have been shown to be most effective when creating an office atmosphere with low levels of stress and the highest levels of happiness.


BLUE has consistently been shown to be an effective colour for productivity. Due to its stable and calming nature blue helps employees to remain focused on their work.

Passion and stimulation

Rather unsurprisingly RED has been shown to increase the blood flow and heart rate of employees. A study by the University of British Colombia found that performance was increased when undertaking detail-oriented tasks. So if you are trying to get your employees to focus on a particular area of the office or have regular projects requiring high attention to detail then using red as your accent colour is the way to go.

The results are serious food for thought for any business considering an office refurbishment. They demonstrate that achieving the desired result out of your employees can be kick-started by considering the colour scheme of their working environment.