The Psychology of Colours In Workspace Design

Colours in an office environment affect the mental well-being and productivity of the staff which translates into a positive image for the business. Getting the right colour combination is a subtle but important factor for a business’s success while getting it wrong might affect the image, culture, and employee engagement.

In workplaces, colour is being used by interior designers as a tool to promote emotional responses among colleagues to ultimately encourage and bonding and collaboration.  

As a rule of thumb, colours that are reminiscent of nature are always a go-to palette —especially where we want the spirit of workplace wellness to dominate.

Solvay Specialty Chemicals

In the case of Solvay’s Workspace Refurbishment Exercise, bold colours such as green and orange are used in a controlled fraction onto furniture as well as featured ceiling around the 11,000 sqft office unit to create a young, vibrant and agile working environment which is a magnet for the millennial workforce.

Sonia Buckserg of Dulux Colour Expert advises, “businesses should always consider the use of colour to promote a positive image, as well to establish an environment where people will prosper.”

Keppel Shipyard

Colour has a major effect on our outlook and can fundamentally change how we respond to space, with our moods, emotions and feelings reacting to different shades and colour combinations. Keppel Shipyard is an industrial space and despite their emphasis of a realistic view on functionality and maintenance, we realised how much the had wanted a fresh space to attract a younger workforce and to rejuvenate their current workforce.

Main corporate colours which gives an immediate shoutout to their branding image is the first tier of colour adoption. We further introduced a few other vibrant hues into the work, collaborative and breakout spaces to enhance the visual enjoyment of the environment. The come in the form of dining chairs, accent paint or even pendant lamps.

On a side note which touches on colour therapy, one may like to note :

  • Red: Raises blood temperature and stimulates circulation. Red is used to care for people with anemia, fatigue, paralysis, and exhaustion.
  • Blue: Soothes. Blue is used for cases of inflammatory conditions, burns, and bruises. It also helps with eczema, psoriasis, rashes and sores. In addition, blue helps alleviate tension, stress, and problems with the immune system. It is believed to relieve insomnia, anxiety, high blood pressure, migraines, and skin irritation.
  • Yellow: Used to aid in digestion and liver function. Yellow is thought to have decongestant and antibacterial properties that act as a cleanser for the body. It has been known to help relieve rheumatism and arthritis.
  • Green: Creates balance and harmony within the body. It is especially good for heart and blood problems. It is known to influence the human cell structure and muscles.
  • Orange: Gives vitality to the body and is associated with the kidneys, urinary tract, and reproductive organs.
  • Purple: Associated with the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. It helps with head congestion and sinuses and is known to calm the nervous system.

Pertamina Singapore

For Pertamina’s new office , biophilic element is applied in the breakout collaboration area . Greeneries takes the positive effects of nature to the next level. This inadvertently helps employees and visitors to the space feel more relaxed. Pop colours are also peppered across within the interior to get a visual balance of corporate professionalism versus fun dynamism.

With their corporate colours being dynamic to begin with it is a lot easier for us to design the colour poetry into the various spaces where the visual senses gets excited psychologically.

As we spend up to eight hours in the workplace, so it’s no surprise colour and space can affect our productivity and wellbeing. Ensuring that you choose the right colour for your work environment can help reduce stress and depression whilst creating a sense of calm, happiness and creativity, and incorporating a colour palette into your flexible and agile workspace will help to revolutionise your business.

“Colours, like features follow the changes of the emotions,” – Pablo Picasso

Samudera Shipping Singapore

Colour plays a significant role in how people respond to time spent in a particular space. For example, the coloring of walls and fabrics for a space affect a person’s response to that space. Often, this response to color directly correlates with a person’s comfort and well-being and the term is call Chromotherapy.

For Samudera Shipping, we adopted their in-house colours as the visual feature. A bold yellow container meeting room serves as the dominant feature in the workspace. The remaining materials were kept neutral and natural. The essence is to keep the office cosy. We also ensured the flow of natural lighting to bring out the full vibrance of the interior colours.

In Summary

One thing most workplaces will have, whether it’s an office, factory or a retail setting, is clear branding for employees and customers. Often, the colours used in your branding are the same colours used when designing the workplace. Before you can use colours to influence emotions and behaviour in your workplace, you should have a basic understanding of what emotions each colour triggers. What does your brand or workplace say about you? Employees spend a large part of their lives at work, so you want to make sure you have a workspace designed in a way which has the capability to bring out the best of the individuals. Colour psychology explores the emotions that different colours trigger in us. The emotions we feel influence our decisions, our moods and our actions. Therefore, choose your colours… wisely!