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The Color Psychology in the Workplace: How to Use it Properly

Kate Gitman 6 months ago - in Career

Most people recognize that the state of their working environment can make them feel enthusiastic or tired. However, they may not realize the impact color used at work can have on their emotions in other ways. Certain colors may leave them uninspired, while others can help them feel energetic, relaxed or creative.

Using color purposely

As colors can greatly change your mood it makes sense to control which ones you are exposed to at work. Specific colors can evoke particular feelings. Therefore, the first step towards decorating and furnishing your work environment effectively with color is to identify your goals.

Identifying what you want to achieve

What you want to accomplish is dependent upon the type of business you run. For example, if you have a spa you may find it useful to use colors that help increase feelings of serenity. However, if you work in a highly charged office you may benefit from using colors to maximize enthusiasm and well-being.

How to use color

It is important to use color wisely so that you are not overwhelmed by its intensity. Some colors, such as red, evoke positive feelings when used sparingly, but used in abundance produce the opposite effect. Consider using bold colors as accents if you introduce them into your work environment.

The psychology of color


Red is an energizing color that can be used to increase attraction and zest. An excess of red can make people feel angry, aggressive and depressed. For these reasons, it is best to use red carefully when considering decor.

Types of businesses that may benefit from the subtle use of red in the workplace are nightclubs, bars and other entertainment based venues. Red can also be used successfully, when toned down considerably, in meeting rooms. Pink, a lighter tone of red, is a suitable color for beauty salons.


Yellow helps stimulate the brain and promotes intelligent thinking. As an optimistic color, yellow can inspire feelings of happiness and warmth. Too much deep yellow can be harsh, but used as a lighter tint such as primrose, it can be fresh and boost confidence. Businesses that may benefit from utilizing yellow include those that involve teaching or inspiring people.


Orange creates zest and vigor. Used as an accent color via furnishings or sparingly on walls it can help people feel energetic and lively. Deep, sludgy orange can be depressing, while bright, clear orange is refreshing.

Orange can also help relieve depression and emotional unease by promoting a sense of self-worth and confidence. Care homes, youth work facilities, community centers, day centers, sports centers, and offices used for social care can benefit from using orange in their environment.


People associate the color green with nature and the natural environment. Green soothes and balances emotions, while helping people relax and bond with their surroundings. Health spas, well-being clinics, doctor’s surgeries, environmental care businesses, recycling offices and New Age centers can benefit from introducing green into waiting rooms, treatment rooms and offices.


Blue is a restful, calming color that helps promote creativity and relieve insomnia. Blue can also inspire clarity and tranquility. Royal blue is dynamic in nature compared to light blue. Workplaces, fraught with people who are anxious, angry or highly strung, can gain positively by using blue in their decor. Health practices, veterinary surgeries, council offices, job centers, dental practices and businesses that promote relaxation may find blue helpful as part of their color scheme.


Brown is a grounding color that inspires stability and feelings of security and safety. People associate brown with the environment and to a certain extent calmness. Brown can also stimulate feelings of trust and promote communication. Doctor’s offices, counseling offices, environmental care facilities and protective agencies can make good use of the color brown.


Purple helps create a peaceful environment and may be associated with healing and New Age practices including spiritual growth and therapies. New Age shops, health centers, health food shops, healing centers, retreats, spas and salons can benefit by utilizing purple.

Making the most of color psychology can improve your business and emotional state. Not only can color affect the mood of employee’s and managerial staff, it can influence how customers and clients feel. Choosing the right colors to meet your business objectives can make the experience of being at work more pleasurable.