Office Color Psychology

Office color psychology

Many artists, designers and psychologists believe color to be a powerful tool that can influence our moods, behaviors and even physiological reactions. In the workplace, specific colors like green and blue are associated with productivity, calmness and creativity.

Workplace color psychology is often implemented in design elements like wall colors, furniture and artwork. These subtle choices can significantly impact employees and, therefore, your company’s overall goals. Continue reading to learn the effect colors have on productivity and how you can incorporate them into your workspace.

What Is Color Psychology?

Color psychology is the study of how different colors affect human behavior and mood. It explores how colors influence our psychological responses and how factors like age and cultural background affect our reactions to color. Scientists in color psychology studies also observe how colors might have different meanings and connotations.

Other topics studied in this area include:

  • Emotional responses to color
  • Factors that affect color preferences
  • How colors impact physiological responses
  • How colors can influence behaviors
  • Whether colors can influence mental health
  • How color affects productivity
  • How colors boost well-being
  • How colors can be used to improve design and safety in work and home settings

In older cultures, colors were often used to treat specific conditions and influence human behavior. They also played a role in spiritual practices. The study of color psychology started during the early twentieth century when Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung examined the effects of color on the mind. Jung eventually developed color therapy, encouraging his patients to express themselves using colors and images.

Today, color psychology is primarily used in marketing and advertising. Since some scientists believe colors subconsciously influence our emotions, they believe that they can influence our decisions, moods and actions. Colors are used in retail settings to encourage people to buy products or feel a certain way about a brand. For instance, sale signs are often red to convey a sense of urgency to influence customers to make impulsive purchases.

Office color psychology is also studied, including how color affects productivity and boosts employees’ moods.

Some colors have a universal meaning

How Does Color Impact Workplace Design?

Workplace color psychology is a powerful tool interior designers use when designing office spaces. Colors can influence moods and actions, like happiness and improved productivity, in office settings.

While the way we perceive color is influenced by factors like gender, age and culture, some colors have a universal meaning. Warm colors, such as red, orange and yellow, might evoke warmth and comfort or anger and frustration. Colder colors like blue and green can signify calmness and competence.

It helps to think about the emotions you hope to trigger when designing your workplace. For example, a traditional office setting might utilize orange colors in the entryway to welcome employees, blue tones in the primary work area to encourage productivity and yellow in the meeting rooms to promote more creative sessions.

How Do Colors Affect Productivity?

Discover the effect colors have on productivity and how to implement workplace color psychology in your office:


Humans typically perceive red as bold and confident. When used in the workplace, red can evoke passion and energy and stimulate thinking. It is also known to increase appetite, heart rate and blood flow. As a result, too much red in the workplace might be overpowering and lead to strong emotions like anger or frustration. You may want to use red sparingly in workplace design.


When it comes to office color psychology, blue is a well-rounded color. It symbolizes reliability and can encourage intellectual thought. Researchers believe blue in an office can promote a calm and stable environment, helping employees stay productive and focused throughout the workday. You might incorporate blues in areas to stimulate collaboration and productivity, such as meeting rooms.


White is often perceived as clean, fresh and modern. It can look attractive in wide open spaces and, when used with other pops of color, create balance to help brighten the office. You might utilize white in open meeting areas, lobbies or collaborative spaces. Try to incorporate other colors to keep your office fresh and inspiring.


In office color psychology, black can signify control and power. It is also often associated with luxury and elegance. However, it’s best to use black sparingly since it can absorb natural light. Using it as an accent to complement other colors can help you strike a balance between luxury and comfort.


Green is a soothing color, often linked with the balance of the mind, body and emotions. Like blue, green is a color associated with creativity and productivity, making it an excellent choice for office spaces. You might incorporate green by bringing plants into the workplace, furniture or painting the walls.


In office color psychology, yellow is often used to encourage happiness, positivity and optimism. Splashes of yellow throughout the workplace can, therefore, boost creativity and motivation while encouraging teamwork. However, researchers also believe too much yellow can lead to eyestrain and frustration, making it best to use in moderation.


Orange is perceived as cheerful, friendly and successful. It’s an eye-catching color that fits the bold color trends we see in office design today. It can promote energy and creativity, though, like other warm colors, it is linked to frustration. That’s why it’s best to incorporate pops of orange or mix them with colors like white to make an impact.


Purple is associated with luxury, wisdom, imagination and peacefulness. Try adding touches of purple tones throughout your space to bring these moods into the workplace.

How to Apply Office Color Psychology to Your Workplace

When physically applying office color psychology, think strategically about how to do it. For instance, painting all of your walls green might not have the intended impact you’re hoping for. Instead, you might bring in plants and other greenery to introduce feelings of calmness and productivity while reaping the physical health benefits of nature in the workplace.

Consider the elements in your workplace design that you might inject color into. For instance, posters, furniture, curtains and even kitchen utensils could positively affect employees.

Workplace color psychology is one of many areas that can impact how well your employees work and how they feel. Getting these components right can be crucial to your business’ success and bring benefits such as improved culture and employee engagement.

Contact WB WOOD

Contact WB Wood for Office Furniture Project Management

Workplace color psychology can be a powerful tool to help you improve your employees’ moods and productivity. Learning how to incorporate specific colors into your design elements might promote collaboration, motivation and employee satisfaction. If you need additional help designing your workplace or are looking for furniture, trust WB Wood.

We are a furniture service provider that can also assist in office space designs and architectural needs. To set up a consultation for office furniture procurement or design services, contact us today.