HomeEmployee ExperienceEngagementEmployee EngagementThe ‘bright side’: boosting workplace productivity through colour

The ‘bright side’: boosting workplace productivity through colour

  • 3 Min Read

Karen Haller, the UK’s colour leading psychology expert, provided HRD with some great advice on how businesses can use colour to beat workplace stress, and boost productivity.

Featured Image

“When it comes to positive mental health, colour is often the forgotten part of the picture. But giving conscious thought to colour in the workplace could be the key to a happier, healthier workforce” says Karen Haller, the UK’s leading Colour Psychology expert.

With 15.4 million[1] work days lost to stress last year, there’s no time for grey days when it comes to positive mental health in the workplace…

Colour and mental health are inextricably linked. Colour defines how we are feeling, how we want to feel, and how we want people to interact with us.  But we’re only 20% conscious of the colour choices we make. We’ve forgotten how to use colour with a purpose.

For businesses, this means giving conscious thought to using colour in a positive way to boost workplace morale and encourage better health and wellbeing. After all, new research has found that for 81% of office workers, the environment they work in and their mental health are inextricably linked. In fact, for 77%, a good working environment helps them to be more efficient and to achieve their goals.[2]

Using colourful plants in the workplace is a great place to start.  Not only are plants great stress-busters – they have been proven to reduce sick days, increase productivity and enhance creativity[2] – but colourful plants are also a great way to elicit positivity and wellbeing.

With careful thought and planning, a welcoming yellow in reception or a calming purple in a breakout area will provide an injection of colour to stimulate happiness and positivity at the right moments. Plus, plants are living things, and bringing the outside in will help staff feel calm and relaxed.

Flowering succulents such as Kalanchoes are a great choice – not only do they come in a huge array of colours, but they are fuss-free, undemanding, and will bloom for 10 weeks with minimal watering, perfect for busy offices.”

What colour works? Karen Haller’s top tips for a positive & productive workplace

  • Yellow is a welcoming colour – a cheery smile – so yellow plants in a reception are a great way to make staff and visitors feel welcome
  • Purple is not only the colour of the year, but it is great for quiet contemplation and reflection, so purple in a breakout area can help to create that ‘moment of calm’ ahead of an important meeting or interview
  • Red is the colour equivalent of an espresso shot – it will give you an instant energy boost to help meet a deadline or give you the stamina to make a difficult client call
  • Orange elicits fun and playfulness, so using orange in a brainstorming session can help stimulate creativity and laughter
  • Soft pink is a nurturing, compassionate colour, perfect for consoling a colleague who has missed a promotion or had a rough day
  • Magenta pink is feisty at heart – the perfect colour for challenging the status quo or showing you’re no pushover
  • White elicits clarity, so white plants on a desk can help to declutter the mind and think clearly

[1] http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress.pdf

[2] https://www.employeebenefits.co.uk/four-fifths-workplace-impacts-mental/


Was this article helpful?

Subscribe to get your daily business insights


HRD Roundtable: Combating 'Quiet Quitting'…

08 June 2023
  • E-Book
  • 1y

HRD Network Roundtable: The Retention…

15 June 2023
  • E-Book
  • 1y

Manage change and drive value…

01 June 2023
  • E-Book
  • 1y
Sign up to our Newsletter