How Colours Affect Productivity in the Workplace



What is your favourite colour?


Have you ever wondered if your favourite colour has an impact on how you work? 


Many designers in the corporate world do not understand the effect of the colour in the working environment. Business leaders usually would plan their office colours according to the branding colours. However, the business leaders would need to be aware that the employees are exposed to these colours for prolonged hours.


There is a CORRELATION between the working environment and the team members' productivity


Colours, more often than not, are deeply intertwined with our emotions. Certain colours indicate certain moods and based on the research conducted by the various firms and by cross-analysing the findings of the different society cultures (e.g Malaysia, USA, UK), it is found that the primary colours (Red, Blue and Green) are the main colours that play the biggest role in building the morale in the organisation.


Red, Blue and Green or a mixture of these colours are often used in most offices as they would elicit different reactions in team members. 


Blue is said to be a colour of relaxation. It helps boost the employees' motivation and provides them with a clearer vision of what needs to be done as they are more relaxed. When you enter a spa, we feel even more at peace and tranquillity set upon us. This may be because the rooms in the spa might have a light shade of blue scheme to it. It also helps with deep concentration. With our concentration honed in and us having a sense of relaxation wash over us, it would result in increased productivity.


Green is the colour of nature and it symbolises serenity. Green gives eyes some rest and helps reduce anxiety. Where lighting is not at an optimal level or employees spend the day staring at computer screens, it is ideal to have spaces with green being the predominant colour. It is calming on the eyes.  The eye is programmed to strain the least when looking at the colour green!


Red is a very interesting colour to put in the office. It evokes two ends of the emotion spectrum. It is representative of passion and danger. Red can help increase people’s heart rate and it could also explain why many football clubs’ jerseys are red!


However, in an organisation, it is put in accents such as on shelves and door frames and placed in areas (e.g canteen and pantry) the business leaders would not want the team members to linger in! Red could make one feel more excited about their work but also deter them procrastinating, boosting their productivity.


Business leaders might like to consider the effects of these colours on their workers. The industry of the organisation plays an important role in the selection of colours as different combination of colours would elicit a different response.


Organisations should leverage on the above colour effects to increase productivity and motivation.


As we would know the colour of the office is not usually decided by the team; team members can still utilise this knowledge to improve their productivity at work. 'How?' You may ask.


In the small cubicle of yours, you have room to personalise and make the area your space. This will allow you to be more in control of how you feel and might increase your productivity at work. 

A blue mug could make you feel more relaxed. A green mousepad can give you the serenity from time to time at work amidst the intensity of the workload. It all depends on what would excite you to be more motivated or productive at work. 

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