How Paint Colors Affect Employee Productivity

December 18, 2012

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The colors of your surroundings are known to have certain psychological effects. In fact, many commercial and industrial facilities choose their color schemes based on the way it will make their employees or customers feel. They often employ color consultants, or work with a knowledgeable commercial painting contractor who understands the psychology of colors.

These color choices are made according to the mood facility owners are seeking to create, whether it’s productive, soothing, stimulating, creative, or reassuring. Here’s a quick, basic guide to the effects that colors have on people, and which environments are best suited for them.

General guidelines

To increase relaxation and productivity, choose cool colors like blue, green, or purple. These colors are soothing and calming, which helps to improve concentration. Counselors, psychiatrists, lawyers, and other professions that work with the public under stressful conditions benefit from cool color schemes.

Warm, muted colors in shades of red, yellow, and orange provide a cozy and intimate atmosphere, and are more active than cool shades. These colors are stimulating, and work well in sales or creative environments.

It’s good to avoid color schemes that primarily use bold, bright colors, particularly in office environments. Bright shades are distracting and can lower productivity. The best choice is to use bright colors as accents, such as on trim or window frames, to balance a soothing color scheme with a hint of stimulation.

Specific effects of color

  • Blue is often the best color for boosting productivity. However, it’s important to choose the right shade of blue, as bright colors such as cobalt tend to distract rather than encourage concentration. Soft, muted shades are the most effective.
  • Red is an attention-grabbing color that creates a feeling of power and dominance. Muted shades of red, however, can create a comfortable, cozy atmosphere.
  • Green is the color most associated with nature, and is therefore a restful and soothing choice in muted tones.
  • Yellow should be avoided in bright shades, but softer yellows can convey energy, hospitality, and well-being.
  • Orange is another color to avoid in its brighter variations. More earthy shades of orange can promote natural, relaxing feelings.
  • Purple can convey feelings of luxury and importance with richer tones, while muted shades create an airy and intriguing atmosphere.
  • White gives an impression of a more open and welcoming space. However, bright white should be avoided in favor of softer or tinted white shades.

The color scheme you use for your industrial or commercial facility can convey the mood you want to create. Ask your commercial painting contractor about the use of color in encouraging employees and welcoming customers to your place of business.


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