The Correlation Between Office Colours and Productivity

As more and more ways of improving productivity are exploited on a daily basis, it comes as no surprise that colour psychology has also been tapped into.

Ever since experts realised there was a connection between colours and our interpretation of them, i.e. our emotions, people have been trying to find the right combination of colours and shades, which would add to both aesthetics and productivity.

We may not need to fully understand how different wavelengths get converted into electrical impulses in the retina, from where they travel to the hypothalamus, which regulates our hormones and a great deal of our activity, to be able to conclude that each colour evokes a different feeling in the person exposed to it, sometimes even quite profoundly.

What we should understand, though, is that it is the intensity that will soothe or stimulate us, rather than the colour itself. Another interesting point to make here is that not every colour affects the same part of us, but we’ll be dealing with this issue a bit later in more detail.

Naturally, people have been experimenting with office wall colours for quite some time and they’ve reached some conclusions that might be interesting for those trying to create an atmosphere which nurtures productivity and creativity. Let’s have a look at some of the things they’ve learned.


This colour is universally recognised as the most productive, although you could argue that it’s hard to have an undisputed winner in this category. Blue does stimulate the mind, but it doesn’t mean you should just paint the whole office into that colour and call it a day.

Adding some details, preferably orange, would be a good idea, since it can add a touch of warmth and emotion to the otherwise “coldish” blue. Also, you shouldn’t go for very dark shades, because they might create a gloomy environment.


While blue might stimulate your mind to be productive, it’s definitely not the best choice if your job requires creativity. In that case, experts suggest various shades of yellow, since it lifts the spirits and fosters optimism.

Again, you don’t want to overdo it, so perhaps the best idea is to use yellow in combination with white to help bring out the best in everyone in terms of originality and creativity. Whether you use geometrical shapes or curved lines has more to do with the image of your company and your preferences.


The colour of passion and strong emotions will definitely not calm anyone, which makes it a perfect choice if you need physical stimulation. So, you shouldn’t use it in offices where very little physical work is performed.

On the other hand, the quality of manual labour can greatly benefit from people being exposed to the right shade of red, but, just like with most things in life, the key is in moderation.


If you want to strike a balance between the mind and creativity, green is the colour you might want to go for. Being known as the colour that provides a sense of calmness and reassurance, it’s understandable why many establishments where money changes hands opt for green details.

Understandably, if energy and action are the key to your productivity, you should probably avoid green, since it can be very stagnant.

Green Office Colour

Choosing the right shade

Once you’ve decided what colour(s) you’re going to use, it’s time to select a specific hue. Highly-saturated ones will stimulate you, while lowly-saturated hues have a soothing effect, which is definitely something to consider when making this decision.

Of course, not all people react the same way to the same colour, which is why it’s important for you to follow your instincts and choose the right combination.

Right tools

Whether you decide to hire a professional to paint your offices or decide to do it yourself, it’s very important to have the right tools. Make sure you choose only excellent quality primers, paints and thinners (think methylated spirits or acetone).You’ll also need rollers, brushes and trays, as well as some clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.

With the right tools and carefully selected colours, you’ll manage to create a great atmosphere that will improve not only the mood of those who spend time in the offices, but also everyone’s productivity.