3 colours to help brighten your workplace

Did you know colour can affect neurological pathways in the brain, creating a chemical response that affects our bodies and thoughts in different ways?1 In other words, colours can affect how we think and feel.

We spoke to Belinda Herron, Bid & Product Manager at Business Interiors, to explain how colour can affect mood and performance, and to share her top tips on how to incorporate colour in the workplace.

Why should you incorporate colour into the workplace?

“In interior design, colour contributes to the overall look and feel of a space but also subconsciously communicates what that space should be used for. Colour can affect mood, behaviour and productivity and that’s why it’s important to choose the right combination of colours for your environment,” says Belinda.

“Colours can also help communicate brand values, so it’s important to understand how different colour palettes feed into the overall vision and values of your business. By incorporating these colours digital displays, company stationery, notebooks and furniture, you can really immerse people into your brand,” says Belinda.

Warm colours

“In a workplace environment, warm colours stimulate the brain, encourage action and direct our attention,” says Belinda.

Red boosts energy and evokes a sense of urgency while orange encourages conversation and boosts communication. Use yellow to evoke optimism and energy. However, too much yellow can induce feelings of anxiety so it should be used sparingly.

“Mixing bright colours with neutral tones can create a nice balance,” says Belinda. She recommends incorporating warm tones in your workspace as pops of colour. “By providing brightly coloured notebooks for inhouse brainstorming, planning days or workshops, you can help employees feel more alert, engaged and encourage more discussion,” says Belinda. Viva Magenta 18-1750, the Colour of the Year 2023, is all about empowerment, according to PANTONE2. This is the perfect shade for promoting a joyful and vibrant workplace, inspiring team members to feel more confident and connected with their surroundings.

Did you know yellow highlighters are the most popular colour choice?3 “Yellow is effective in drawing the attention of the eye. Use brightly coloured highlighters and sticky notes as vivid reminders for urgent tasks,” says Belinda.

Cool colours

“Cool colours like blues and greens are common in workplaces because they evoke positive cognitive and emotional responses,” says Belinda. Blue is linked with intelligence, honesty and creativity, while green is associated with nature and relaxation. Green is also said to reduce eye fatigue and counteract anxiety.4

Blue and green colours are great for conference and meeting rooms for their calming effect, making them ideal for high-stress environments such as office buildings. Use coloured paper or sticky notes in blue and green hues for brainstorm sessions to help spark creative thinking,” says Belinda.

Neutral tones

Neutral colours like creams, beiges and soft greys make a great base for your space and create a sense of balance when used in combination with other colours. “Start with neutral tones, then build colour from there. Add brighter tones to avoid a sterile work environment,” says Belinda. Aged care facilities and industrial areas, which have less defined work environments, can benefit from neutral colours combined with a tiny pop of colour to create a balanced ambience. According to research, working in offices with a neutral chromatic atmosphere can increase the risk of burnout by 15% and decrease productivity by 12%.5

“Don’t be afraid to incorporate colour into your workplace – it can help boost your creativity and productivity,” says Belinda.

Brighten your workday with our vibrant range of workplace essentials and take advantage of the benefits that colour has to offer!


1Shift eLearning, 2019, ‘The Psychology of Color: How Do Colors Influence Learning?’,<https://www.shiftelearning.com/blog/how-do-colors-influence-learning>

2Pantone, 2023, ‘What is Viva Magenta’, <https://www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2023>

3History of Pencils, 2021, ‘History of Highlighters’, <http://www.historyofpencils.com/writing-instruments-history/history-of-highlighters/>

4Schliemann, U., 2017, ‘The Importance of Color In The Workplace’, <https://www.workdesign.com/2017/04/importance-color-workplace/>

5Humantech, 2020, ‘The Importance of Color in the Workplace’, <https://www.humantech.com/2020/06/the-importance-of-color-in-the-workplace/>