The Psychology of Colours in the Workplace

Have you ever wondered how the colours in your office affect your employees and how you do business? If you haven’t yet thought about it, you should take a look at your office design and consider how to use colours to achieve your business goals. Colours really do make a difference in influencing the moods and reactions of your employees and clients.

Colours don’t just change your employees’ feelings, they also profoundly impact their productivity. Savvy business owners have been using the psychology of colours for years to achieve different things; from triggering positive moods in customers to boosting team members’ creativity. A good office design consultancy can help you use colours in the best way to achieve your business objectives. We’ll explain how some of the most common colours can be used effectively in the office.


Red is a bold and one of the most intense colours you could choose, but it certainly grabs attention. Red has physical effects on the body and increases the heart rate, blood pressure and metabolism causing an increase in appetite, which is why it’s so prevalent in fast food chains. Red can make staff more productive and give the illusion that time is passing quickly and can be good in high energy creative environments.

23red kitchen Case Study Image

Integrated communications agency 23red made the colour work for them since it is vital to their brand. We organised their relocation to a more modern client-facing office environment in North London and designed the interior with plenty of red balanced by neutral colours so that staff were living the brand and felt creatively inspired. However, red it’s not the best colour for offices that are less fast-paced, need high levels of concentration and involve a slower decision-making process.


Blue is a more intellectual colour and it’s known to stimulate the mind. Associated with the sky and the sea, blues can have different effects depending on the shade. Strong blues clear thought while soft blues aid concentration and have a calming effect that trigger natural tranquilizers in the brain. Blue has the opposite effect of red in that it slows the heart rate and decreases appetite. This slowness is perfect for employees who need to concentrate for long periods of time as it increases their productivity. Blue is also perceived as trustworthy, dependable and secure, which is why it is so popular with financial institutions, medical companies and insurance brokers. We used it with our clients AmTrust Financial, BMS Group, and Miller Insurance Services.

BMS Group Case Study Image
BMS Group


Yellow is a sunny, positive colour that exudes an energetic and fresh ambience. Colour psychologists believe that it encourages innovation and is best used in work environments where artists, writers, designers, developers and other creative professionals work. The colour’s positive associations with happiness and fun can give consumers a warm feeling about your brand. Even just a splash of yellow against neutral colours has a positive effect such as that used at London advertising agency Souk. Orange takes yellows optimism further into a more dramatic exuberance and youthful vitality, but isn’t as good for more “serious” industries.

Souk Case Study Image


Green is predominantly associated with nature, tranquility and balance. Although, you can expect to see it in environmental and conservation organisations, it can be found in any industry where decision-making is important. In fact, it also represents wealth and money since green is the colour of dollars, so you can find darker shades in financial companies. Clients can find green soothing so it’s a good choice for companies that tend to make people feel nervous. Like all colours, bright shades of green can have a stimulating effect, but lighter shades have a calming effect on the mind and body. Medical communications agency Synergy Vision have opted for plenty of green in their office and combined with a neutral palette, these splashes of green offer just the right amount of energy to the space.

Synergy Vision Case Study Image
Synergy Vision


Black is a powerful colour to use when applied judiciously. It’s connected with authority, intellect, stability, and strength, but can become overwhelming if used too frequently. It can work well for expensive products, but can also make an office floor plan look heavy and oppressive. This serious colour can contrast well with the clean simplicity of white and make a bold statement. The General Dental Council created a commanding ambience by adding black/dark grey sofas to its reception, but balanced it with elements of brighter colour elsewhere. HCC Holdings also used black seating in its reception combined with a subtle grey and white colour scheme throughout the two floors of office space.

General Dental Council reception Case Study Image
General Dental Council

When you decorate your workplace, keep your brand personality in mind. It’s not enough to just plan for the physical and emotional responses the space will generate. Interactive Space can help you find the right colour scheme for your company. Please contact our professional team of experts for more information.



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