Psychology of Colour in the Office | Flow Office Design

The psychology of colour in the office

The colours in your office affect your employees’ emotions, ultimately impacting on their productivity and therefore the success of your business. We take the psychology of colour into consideration when designing, refitting or refurbishing your workplace. We will carefully incorporate your unique brand into the image you want to create and the impact you want to achieve. In lieu of a full-on consultancy however, here is a quick guide to the effects you can achieve with the most common colours…

  • Green. Primarily associated with nature, balance and tranquillity, you will naturally find green used by organisations that focus on the environment. Green can also be related to money, so  you also find it in finance. The soothing quality of green makes it popular in industries where decision-making is key. It can help improve focus and efficiency. It’s also used by organisations where people tend to feel nervous, such as dentist waiting rooms or medical clinics. 
  • Blue. Associated with intellectual stimulation, blue has some of the reserve properties to red in that it also slows heart-rate and reduces appetite. This makes it perfect for environments where long periods of concentration are required. It also has a calming effect, triggering the brain’s natural tranquillisers, as well as an association with security and trust. This explains its predominance in medical companies, financial institutions and insurance brokers.
  • Red. Bold, intense and attention-grabbing, red has been shown to have a physical effect on the body. Red typically increases the heart rate and blood pressure, and speeds up metabolism to create hunger. This is why you see the colour so commonly in restaurants, particularly fast food chains. Red is also effective in high-energy, bustling creative environments. It is believed to increase productivity in staff and to make it seem that time is passing quickly. It’s not the most suitable colour for everyday offices where concentration and careful decision-making are paramount.
  • Yellow. A fresh, energetic and positive colour that boosts innovation, yellow is naturally popular in creative work environments populated by writers, artists, developers and designers. The colour’s associations with fun, happiness and positivity bring warmth to brands and workspaces. Even just a hint of yellow within a neutral background can have a remarkably positive effect. Orange is somewhat an extension of yellow, even more optimistic and exuberant, but often perceived as not particularly serious.
  • White. With a clean and clinical vibe, white is commonly associated with simplicity and hygiene. Using only white is generally not ideal for an office space. While it can be comforting in a doctor’s waiting room, it can easily be perceived as cold and unfriendly in offices.
  • Black. Closely connected with authority, strength, stability and intellect, black also has naturally negative associations and can easily become heavy, overwhelming and oppressive when used in the workplace.

This is just a very rough guide. The shade and vibrancy of each colour, the combination of colours, your company’s brand, as well as many other design factors, will all affect the end result. When it comes to your workspace, at Flow we design office spaces that offer the combination of practicality and psychological wellbeing. Call us today on 01922 453 488 to discuss how we can help you create happier staff and a blooming, booming business.

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