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Adding Colour To Your Workplace

Published May 13, 2021 (last updated July 15, 2022) -
Employees inspired by their colourful workspace.

Red, green or blue? Did you know your office colour can have an impact on your employees’ productivity? If you’re looking for way to motivate your staff it could be as simple as the colours of your walls!

A report that examined the effects of white, red and blue/green office colour interiors found different colours evoke and enhance different moods in your employees. For instance, beige and white offices have been associated with feelings of sadness and depression, especially amongst women.  

The same report says different colours can go as far as determining whether your employees will be productive or otherwise.

Another report from 2018 looked at 18 studies about the effects of workplace colour on work-related performance, productivity and creativity, and found the use of colour in a workplace may enhance positive feelings and lead to better outcomes, while white was associated with increased errors. It found people feel stimulated by warmer colours like red, orange or yellow, while cool colours like blue or green are calming.  

What Colour Should You Go With?


In most cases, blue is associated with calmness and ease. You can use different shades of cool blue to decorate your walls or floor coverings to enhance productivity in your workforce and increase creativity, but beware, as if you overdo it, it could make your employees sleepy! 


Red has both positive and negative effects. It is stimulating but may also be distracting. Painting your entire office red may cause anxiety amongst your employees and make them feel unwell.

Alternatively, you can combine blue and red to reduce any adverse effects as a balance between warm and cool colours can enhance productivity.  


White is one of the most common colours in workplaces. It is neutral and triggers the feeling of space and cleanliness.

Another advantage of using white in your workspace is that it blends well with different colours. You can enhance feelings of wellbeing in your employees by combining blue and white colours to create the impression of a sky full of clouds. 

However, white should be used with care as it may evoke feelings of boredom and sadness as well as being associated with increased errors.


Green is also associated with calmness and tranquillity, like blue. Painting your offices in different shades of green can enhance mindfulness and a feeling of wellbeing. If used properly, green can bring feelings of satisfaction to your employees. 


This colour is associated with sunshine! Yellow is used to symbolise happiness and optimism. Yellow is best used in combination with a cooler colour such as blue for optimum effect.

You don’t have to be an interior decorator to change up your workplace, give a new colour a go and see what the impact could be on your workplace. Employsure can help you with more tips and advice on employee performance.

The BrightHR Blip app allows employees to clock on and off so you can track their time and location. It sends reminders and notifications and you can generate a report that will show the number of shifts and hours worked, and the amount of breaks and their duration, as well as the total number of hours worked excluding those breaks.

Call us for free initial advice on 0800 568 012.

This blog has been compiled on the basis of general information current at the time of publication and reflects an opinion only and is not intended to provide anything other than an opinion at any time. Your specific circumstances as well as any changes in circumstances after publication may affect the relevance, completeness or accuracy of this information. To the maximum extent permitted by law, we disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions contained in this information or any failure to update or correct this information. It is your responsibility to assess and verify the accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability of the information on this website, and to seek professional advice where necessary. Nothing contained on this website is to be interpreted as a recommendation to use any product, process or formulation or any information on this website. For clarity, Employsure does not recommend any material, products or services of any third parties. 

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About Employsure

 Employsure is one of New Zealand’s largest workplace relations advisers to small- and medium-businesses, with over 5,000 clients. We take the complexity out of workplace legislation to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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