Using the Psychology of Color in Your Workplace

Did you know that the colors we see every day in our offices and workspaces can affect our moods, behavior, and productivity? The study of how color affects us, or chromology, has been used by companies for decades to influence employee and customer behavior. As experts in commercial painting, we wanted to share some insight into how you can properly use colors in your place of business.


Offices with blue walls can help employees feel calm, relaxed, and hopeful. Studies have shown that being surrounded by blue can actually lower heart rates, blood pressure, and respiration. Blue can also stimulate the mind and aid concentration. Furthermore, blue can promote feelings of trust and dependability among co-workers.

Where Blue is Best

Blue is best in environments where people need to be calm and relaxed, and there needs to be a high degree of trust, like law offices, psychiatrists’ offices, and exam centers. Blue tones can also work in any office setting to aid concentration.

What to Avoid

Blue can decrease appetite, so don’t use blue if you are a restaurant owner. Also, avoid dark blues and jewel tones, which are associated with sadness and depression.


Studies have found that most people associate green with nature and overall positive, calming feelings. The color green is restful for eyes, and can help reduce eyestrain in employees who use computers.

Where Green is Best

Decorating with a pleasing shade of green can help employees and customers feel more comfortable in your place of business. It can also promote your firm as one that is environmentally conscious.

What to Avoid

Avoid darker shades of green, which can leave people feeling sick, ill, or stagnant.


Yellow is often associated with happiness, confidence, enthusiasm, and creativity. Yellow also creates feelings of being welcome and accepted, which is certainly how you want customers to feel.

Where Yellow is Best

The right shade of yellow can improve creativity and may be the best choice for firms that specialize in graphic design, advertising, and publishing. If you serve customers, then using yellow around your entrance can give customers a warm and enthusiastic feeling as they enter your establishment.

What to Avoid

Be sure to choose brighter shades of yellow. Darker shades of yellow and shades with orange overtones have been shown to trigger anxiety. Also, stick with using yellow as accent colors on walls, as completely yellow surroundings may be too overwhelming for some.


Red has been shown to speed up the heart rate, raise blood pressure, and increase appetite. Red can also stimulate feelings of love, passion, and excitement, and has very strong attention-getting characteristics.

Where Red is Best

If your employees are doing physical labor, then red can help increase productivity. If you are in the food business, decorating your dining room or store with red may result in higher food sales. Employees who work overnight shifts may particularly benefit from red walls. It’s also a good color choice for places where employees will be passing through like corridors and hallways.

What to Avoid

A deep, jewel-toned shade of red like crimson should be avoided as it can stimulate feelings of anger and hostility in employees.

Neutral Colors

Neutral colors like white, light gray, beige, and cream will not particularly stimulate employees in a good or bad way. In fact, most corporations opt for neutral colors, which are a safe choice, but can create a very boring environment. If you must choose neutral colors, consider accenting with colors to get the desired psychological effects.

Keep these color tips in mind when you’re ready to paint your office, and then talk to the experts at Spray Finishes to find the perfect color.

Spray Finishes, a division of Stone Services, has been in the electrostatic spray painting business since 1938. They specialize in on-site painting, and also have a 10,000 square foot shop for large off-site jobs. Spray Finishes’ friendly and knowledgeable staff is ready to serve you at any of their five tristate area locations, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island, and Westchester. Contact Spray Finishes today for an estimate on your next painting project.

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