Office Colour Psychology:
What Colour Scheme Does Your Office Need?


Colour is a key component in many aspects of modern life and not just in the workplace. From the colour of your car or phone, to the shirt and socks you put on in the morning, we all make decisions whether concious or subconsciously as to what we want to see and how it makes us feel.


Office colour psychology not only affects the way your staff work and how productive they can be, but it also affects how visitors perceive and evaluate your business, so it is essential to choose the appropriate colour scheme to adequately present yourself to both internal and external audiences alike.


Office colour psychology - NTI Head Office in Leiden, Holland - Liong Lie Architects


Vibrant NTI Head Office in Leiden, Holland ~ Image Source: Liong Lie Architects



Colour can make us less or more productive, responsive, emotional or even hungry, so let's take a look at the effect the various hues have on our brains and how to best utilise colour in the workplace environment.


Also Read: Our Favourite Examples of Great Office Design




Represents purity and cleanliness; a safe bet, but sometimes safe can equate to being boring and uninspiring (who wants that?) Equally, it's important to appreciate the crispness and clarity it can bring to a space. White is best used on kitchen break-out areas and wide open spaces that require a nice glossy finish. But remember, keep it to a minimum! You don't want your interior to look too much like the dentists surgery now. Not the best way to attract clientelle.


Office colour psychology - White = clean & clinical


White = Clean & clinical ~ SEC Interiors - WK360 Project




Emits feelings of authority and control but it can also absorb natural light, so be careful! It can function as a rather mysterious colour with a sinister undertone, but on the other hand, it can create a space of luxurious elegance when used as a complimentary accent (as pictured below). Whatever you do, mix it up with a varied palette; you don't want your offices looking like the Grim Reaper's HQ now do you?



Office colour psychology - Black = authority & control


Black = Authority & Control ~ Image source: Interior Design / The Lux Home



Also Read: Clerkenwell Design Week 2017: The Latest Trends in Office Design




The colour of royalty, luxury and ambition. Purple represents that suave touch, with an air of mystery and magic: Abracadabra! However, purple is also deemed to be quite artificial, due mainly to its lack of appearance in nature. Light purple is said to conjure up romantic thoughts, whereas dark purple represents the opposite - doom and gloom! Good thing our Interiors department chose a blend of both for our brand colour scheme: magical!


Office colour psychology - purple = royalty & ambition


Purple = royalty and ambition ~ SEC Interiors - Monarch Airlines Project




Represents balance and growth. A colour which reconnects us to our natural surroundings. The best way to introduce green in to your office space is via green walls and potted plants. Just keep an eye on the maintenance side of things. Mini jungles are great and all, but you don't want Tarzan swinging out at you! That's not good for the old ticker...


Office colour psychology - Green = balance & growth


Green = balance and growth ~ Image source: Foliage Concepts, Wordpress



Also Read: Workplace Wellbeing: The Effects of Biophilia on Office Design




Often associated with depth and stability, it communicates a genuine and reliabile outlook whilst boosting relaxation and intellectual thought (ah, so soothing - just don't let it act as an excuse for your staff to nod off now). It also symbolises trust, represents heaven, and is beneficial to the body and the mind. Blimey, what can't blue do? 


Office colour psychology - Blue = intellectually stimulating & relaxing


Blue = intellectually stimulating & relaxing ~ SEC Interiors - TrustFord (Ford Retail Ltd) Project




Can invoke passion and raise mental energy flow, however it can be overpowering, potentially leading to headaches. Red seems to work best for furnishings, acting as a highlight whilst giving interior spaces a nice bit of flavour and spice. Apparently it also enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure; helping you to work up a sweat. Looks like there's no need to go to the gym now. Thanks red! 


Office colour psychology - Red = energy & passion


Red = energy and passion ~ Image source: Bridge Partners reception via Coel UK



Also Read: The Office of the 2030s: Top Five Features




Is said to be the best colour for areas of team work, as its bright tone can raise positivity and happiness (smiley faced employees - always the goal!) Yellow stimulates mental activity and generates muscle energy, but it also apparently reminds people of food funnily enough. No wonder I was feeling hungry when I was writing this section. 


Office colour psychology - Yellow = positivity & happiness


Yellow = positivity & happiness ~ Image source: MyOffice Co-Working Space, Bangkok via Blog E-Office




In need of encouragement or mental stimulation? Then look no further, orange is your go to guy. It's a colour that is highly accepted amongst youths and represents happiness, success and determination. It is a highly visible colour and thus attracts attention with ease; eye catching! Use it to highlight the most important elements of your design, similar to what these guys have done below. Be more orange we say.


Office colour psychology - Orange = creativity & sucess


Orange = creativity and success ~ SEC Interiors - Axalta Coating Systems Ltd Project



Additional information & references: Colour Wheel Pro, 2015


So there you have it guys, the astounding power of colour and what it can do to your office.


We hope the blog inspires you to go wild! Are you moving office? Or perhaps you're looking for help on how to build the perfect office space, then take a look at our office design and space planning services. And remember, all of our drawings and renderings are completely free of charge! So there's never been a better time to enquire and have us fulfill your wildest office fit-out dreams. 


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Post by Adam Bissmire-Mullen

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