When it comes to colour, everyone has a horror story about working in grey, depressing work environments. A total absence of colour makes a space feel inert, sluggish and doesn’t do anything to fire productivity or creativity.

But the colour of an office is not just about brightening things up. We humans are highly attuned to colour and have pre-formed associations with certain shades. The wrong colour can be just as bad as no colour at all. With this in mind, let’s look at how much of an impact various colours can have on staff productivity.


When humans see the colour red in certain situations, it is nearly always a warning of some kind. As such, we are programmed to feel certain things when we see red. We become more alert and wary when we see lots of red in a single place, and the colour can even increase heart rate and blood pressure by its very presence.

But this doesn’t mean that red is always a big no-no for the office. The reason, for example, so many fast food chains make use of red is because it inspires people to act. Using red in an office environment can create the feeling of a fast, dynamic space and help foster creativity. The key is to use it well and strategically. An entirely blood red office is more likely to have staff feeling like they’re in The Shining than a productive space. So use it as a statement in key areas.


Blue, when we think about it, is the colour of the sea and of the sky. As such, it creates a sense of space and possibility. When blue is used in an office environment, it can be a very stimulating, productivity boosting choice.

But it also depends on the type of blue you use. Deep blues can be good for helping with relaxation and calmness, for example. Lighter, softer blues, on the other hand, can aid concentration and increase productivity. Light blue is the perfect colour for any environment where staff have to work long hours doing mentally demanding tasks. Essentially, it helps stave off the mental sluggishness that comes with a hard day’s work.


Yellow is a colour that carries very positive associations with it. It’s a great colour for encouraging a creative, stimulating environment, and ideal for areas where you want staff to feel motivated to innovate and come up with new ideas.

Again though, using it in the right places and in the right amounts is very important. Overusing yellow can make an environment very visually overwhelming, especially if it’s a small space. The best approach when it comes to yellow is using it as a statement, with single walls or elements chosen for their placement and impact.

The key with all bold colours is finding the right places, the right tones and the right amounts. Get this right, and you’ll see a serious uptick in productivity.

If you’re thinking about changing the colours of your work space and need expert insight, get in touch with us today. A family business with decades of experience, KTS can help you choose the perfect colour for your space and bring the job to completion.