Jul 15, 2017 | Elissa Grohne

Top Colors to Enhance Business Productivity

Have you ever wondered how color affects how you do business and how you can use it to your advantage?

Chromology, the psychology of color, has been used by companies for years to improve the moods and reactions of their customers and workers, in turn improving their business goals. 

Depending on your business, choosing different hues can help achieve different things. For example, choosing the right color can help you be more productive, trigger feelings in your customers that can in turn support sales, or improve the opinion potential customers have of you before they try your product or service.

After all, the study titled “Impact of Colour in Marketing” found up to 90 percent of snap judgments of a product could be based on the color of a company’s branding or packaging!

Here are the colors broken down for you...


Displayed with other colors, red will appear to be the closest to the viewer — it stands out and grabs our attention. This is why it is universally used for traffic lights and stop signs around the world.

Red has physical effects on the body: it increases the heart rate, raises blood pressure, and gives the illusion that time is passing faster than it is. Red also increases appetite by revving the metabolism.

Applications for business:

  • If your work has physical aspects where you would benefit from an increased heart rate, red surroundings can make you more productive.
  • If you want to have a particular message stand out in design — like a “call to action” button on your website, for example — using red to highlight that information can make it appear closer to the viewer and be noticed first.
  • If you are in the food business, decorating your dining room, store, or website with red may result in higher food sales.

Blue stimulates the mind. Strong blues clear thought while soft blues aid concentration and have a calming effect. It has been found that this calming effect comes from stimulating natural tranquilizers in the brain.

Studies have shown that blue rooms improve study capabilities in students and increase production line productivity. Blue also slows heart rate, decreases appetite, and is associated with feelings of trust and dependability.

Applications for business:

  • Paint your office in blue tones to aid in concentration and increase productivity.
  • If you sell food, blue may not be the best choice for your decor or staff uniforms —  unless you run an all-you-can-eat buffet, in which case a decreased appetite will work in your favor.

Yellow is a color that speaks more to our emotions than the others and is often associated with optimism, confidence, fun, and happiness. Using the wrong tone, however, can trigger anxiety! This is why studies of students have found that they can perform 10-15 percent better when they take tests in yellow rooms, but also that babies cry more often, and for a longer time, in yellow rooms.

Applications for business:

  • The right shade of yellow can improve creativity and may be the best choice of decor color for those in creative fields like graphic design. If you have small children who often share your space, you might consider a more soothing wall color; instead, opt for pops of yellow in accessories and artwork.
  • The positive associations of yellow with happiness and fun can give consumers a warm feeling about your brand.

Green is associated with nature and new life. One study found that 95 percent of university students associated the color with positive emotions, and it is the color most often used in institutions because it has been found to be soothing.

Darker shades of green are associated with wealth and money. The wrong shade, however, can leave people feeling sick, with a perception of illness and stagnation.

Applications for business:

  • If your business is one that usually makes people nervous, decorating with a pleasing shade of green can help customers feel more comfortable.
  • If you are prone to anxiety in your everyday life, a soothing shade of green can aid in helping you feel comfortable while working.
  • Using green in branding can provide an image of a firm that is environmentally conscious or one that is for the wealthy and enviable.

Whatever the color, it’s the intensity that triggers the strongest response. To get the full effect, use bright colors as they have a stimulating effect. Subdued colors have a more soothing effect on both the mind and body.

For decorating a workspace, be sure to ask yourself how the color will make you feel personally, as personal preference is always a factor. When it comes to color choice for branding, physical and emotional responses are not enough. Keep in mind that fit is also very important. How well does the color you choose match your brand personality?

You spend a lot of time in your office, so remember to take color into consideration when designing your space and enhance your productivity while enjoying the atmosphere!

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