8 Motivating Colors to Feature in Your Work Environment

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published August 4, 2021

Companies may use various approaches in order to increase productivity and enthusiasm in the workplace. Some organizations may use the principles of color psychology to encourage and influence their employees. Understanding motivating colors and the psychology that supports this theory can help you determine what color to paint your office, business or workspace. In this article, we review the benefits of color psychology in the work environment and list eight motivating colors to help you decide which is right for your business.

Related: 15 Examples of How To Increase Productivity in the Workplace

What are the benefits of color psychology in the work environment?

Integrating principles of color psychology in the work environment can benefit companies and organizations because colors may be able to influence staff members' moods and efficiency. Trends, cultural norms and personal experiences may all affect how individuals perceive and react to particular colors. However, some psychologists and academic researchers notice patterns in the ways people react to different colors, particularly in the workplace. Some benefits of color psychology in the work environment include:

  • Increasing productivity: Depending on the industry, particular colors may influence professionals to execute their work tasks faster because of their heightened ability to focus and remain positive.

  • Preventing boredom: Certain colors can be particularly stimulating to the human brain, meaning that they may prevent feelings of boredom or burnout, which can help professionals remain engaged and motivated.

  • Remaining calm: Some professional tasks may cause employees to feel overwhelmed, so including calming colors can help employees remain relaxed and confident, even while making important business decisions or meeting project deadlines.

Related: 40 Tips for Decorating an Office

8 motivating colors to create an engaging workspace

While some colors may create positive or inspiring emotional reactions, others may produce feelings of calm and focus. Knowing the potential benefits and effects of different colors in a variety of industries and professional settings may help you decide which color to integrate into your own workspace. Here's a list of eight motivating colors that may create an engaging workspace:

1. Red

Some psychologists associate the color red with high energy, strength and physicality. Some professionals may find this color stimulating or energizing, so it can be well-suited for work environments that are fast-paced or require physical exertion. This color may contribute to an increase in alertness and efficiency amongst staff members. If your company is in the food industry, this striking color may boost sales and encourage productivity by increasing customer consumption and attendance.

Business leaders may consider painting various aspects of their office or storefront red to inspire mental and physical energy and endurance amongst their staff. Additional ways you can add red accents or interior design features to your office or workspace include:

  • Painting an accent wall: Business leaders may consider painting various aspects of their office or storefront red, such as an accent wall. This may stimulate mental and physical energy and endurance among their staff.

  • Highlighting key information: Because red is a color that captures attention, it may help draw attention to subtle details, and business leaders can encourage employees to use this color when highlighting important features on paperwork or in a project plan.

2. Blue

While psychologists have found that blue can be a color that promotes feelings of calm and tranquility, it may also help stimulate the mind. This means that the color blue may positively affect workplaces where employees execute technical projects or intellectual tasks. This combination of mental quickening and serene feelings may encourage adaptability in certain work environments. Blue can have a positive impact on focus and concentration, which may support professionals in committing to the execution of their responsibilities.

You may incorporate blue into your workplace decor if you're responsible for administrative tasks or projects that require an extensive amount of focus. Here are some ways to feature blue in the workplace:

  • Painting the executive's door: The color blue may also evoke feelings of dependability or trust, meaning it may be a good idea to paint the executive's door or a wall within their office blue. This may create a sense of reliance and confidence among their employees.

  • Featuring furniture pieces: Another way to include blue in the work environment is to feature blue couch cushions in lobbies or waiting areas or add blue furniture for employees.

3. Yellow

Yellow may bring enthusiasm, positivity and mental clarity, making it a great option for a color in the workplace. This color may promote creativity and decision-making abilities while creating an invigorating atmosphere. This means it may amplify productivity by influencing employees' moods and perspectives. Some psychologists have found that yellow can aid memory, self-esteem and optimism, so featuring this color in your business can motivate employees and help them feel good at work.

Consider featuring this color if your organization is in a creative industry that relies on collaboration and exchanging ideas, as it can not only boost innovation but also keep employees happy and receptive to feedback. If you're an entrepreneur or innovator, yellow may help you find new inspiration or remain optimistic about your business endeavors. Yellow can be an engaging color, that in smaller doses can increase efficiency in the workplace without overstimulation or overwhelming the staff. Ways to incorporate yellow into the workplace include:

  • Purchasing fresh flowers: Flowers and yellow-leaved plants can help brighten up the office while incorporating the color yellow in a natural way.

  • Integrating creative interior accessories: Consider incorporating yellow with creative interior accessories such as candles or desk lamps. Because yellow can be bright and noticeable, smaller amounts of this color can have a great impact.

Related: 20 Ways To Improve Your Work Environment

4. Green

Similar to blue, green may be a color that promotes feelings of calm and serenity. This may be because of the frequency of the color green found in nature. If your work environment relies on balance and structure, the color green may increase drive and ambition by helping keep employees focused and relaxed. If professionals feel overwhelmed with their job duties, including green in the work environment may help restore a sense of reassurance.

Because this color can calm people and invoke feelings of relaxation, you can feature it in your work environment without worrying about distracting your staff or causing eye fatigue. Green may benefit your motivation and engagement if you perform well in tranquil environments. You can add green to the office in several ways, for example:

  • Adding plants and foliage: One way to incorporate green into the workplace is to add green plants and foliage, particularly in places that may have a significant amount of visitors or action, like a lobby or office break room.

  • Painting the walls: Whether internal or external, you may decide to paint the walls of your business or storefront in green hues. Incorporating a large amount of green may be a good idea if you work as a yoga instructor or healing arts professional.

Related: 7 Ways To Manage Feeling Overwhelmed at Work

5. Purple

Featuring purple in a workspace may evoke feelings of confidence and mental awareness amongst the staff. This color can enhance innovation and decision-making capabilities by promoting creativity, intuition and artistic ability. This means that featuring purple in an office or work environment may be particularly beneficial for people who work in a creative field, like marketing or design.

Professionals may also associate dark purple hues with sophistication and luxury, so it may motivate and engage employees by helping them feel as if they're representing a prestigious brand or company. People may also associate purple with ambition, which can increase innovation, focus and efficiency. Consider incorporating purple in the following ways:

  • Including creative artwork: Adding pieces of interesting purple artwork is an easy way to add this color to your work environment. Artwork may also contribute to feelings of sophistication and creativity, which can benefit your company if this aligns with your brand.

  • Adding dark purple carpets: Another method for incorporating purple into the workplace is to purple carpeting or rugs.

6. Orange

Some researchers have found that orange is a great color to integrate into the work environment if you're looking to grow employees' productivity. Orange may invoke feelings of enthusiasm, activity and perseverance, all feelings which may help them become more efficient and inspired. Because this color is a combination of red and yellow, it may yield the same boost in activity and physical endurance as red while having the mood-boosting ability of yellow.

Including orange may help prevent boredom amongst employees keeping them engaged and focused on their responsibilities. Researchers have found that orange can yield strong reactions from individuals, so it may be beneficial to use it in more subdued ways than other colors. Here are some ways subtle to use orange in different work environments:

  • Planting flowers in your workplace: You can consider incorporating orange into the workplace with flowers and plants. If you own a restaurant or cafe, consider adding orange flowers to each table.

  • Focusing on flooring: If you're only trying to include small highlights of orange, you may decide to add it to the tiles or carpeting.

7. Gray

The color gray may invoke feelings of neutrality and reliability, which means it may be beneficial in professional settings where executives discuss business deals or create administrative plans. Some psychologists argue that light gray can be uplifting and motivating, so consider paying attention to the hue you decide to incorporate. Gray may also produce feelings of calm and can accompany other tranquil colors like blue or green.

Some businesses that are reluctant to use many bright colors include light gray as a sleek and modern backdrop for their offices and meeting rooms. You can add gray to your professional setting in several ways, including:

  • Accenting with desks and coffee tables: One way to bring more gray into your office is to include gray accent furniture like desks and coffee tables, which could create a more contemporary vibe than traditional brown wooden furniture.

  • Painting all the walls: While more dramatic colors may work as accent walls, organizations can apply light gray paint to all walls of a room without becoming overwhelming or causing eye fatigue.

8. Teal

Teal, a combination of blue and green, may yield benefits from both colors, which can brighten your work environment while also creating a sense of peace and relaxation. This color, like blue, can be a great idea for highly intellectual fields like finance and accounting. Because it can evoke mental accuracy and feelings of serenity, teal may have a positive impact on keeping employees engaged in their tasks and responsibilities.

Law offices, psychiatry clinics and counseling rooms may all benefit from using teal in their interior design plan, because these settings may include intense conversations and professional responsibilities where employees can benefit from intellectual stimulation and physical relaxation. Some ways to feature the color teal in a professional environment are:

  • Incorporating teal furniture: Adding a bright piece of teal furniture, like decorative pillows, may be a creative way to brighten up an otherwise plain workspace, and elevate motivation and liveliness amongst employees.

  • Using teal in your branding: Another way to feature teal is to add it to your logo or other branding techniques that are featured around the workplace. This can help customers and employees associate your company with feelings of calm and reliability.

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