How to Utilise Colour in The Workplace

It is important to think about colour psychology when making decisions about where to put your artworks in the office. We as humans have a natural instinct and tendency to relate particular colours to particular natural elements or features. As a result, different colours have different psychological effects on people. In the working environment, savvy business owners utilise colour psychology to achieve a range of things; from boosting employee morale and creativity to triggering positive moods in customers. That’s why it’s absolutely paramount that your business chooses the right coloured artworks to help define different work spaces and achieve your business goals (Turning Art, 2018).

In modern offices, your employees won’t stay in the same workspace all day. They’ll go from either the serious conference room to the collaborative common space to the laid-back lunch room. So, when you’re outfitting these areas, steer away from using artworks with the same colour schemes over and over again. This is because you want your employees to be able to walk into different work spaces feeling refreshed with a new mindset, in order to boost their productivity (Turning Art, 2018).

Jaganpa Dreaming by Jorna Napurrurla Nelson - Original Painting - 91x91cm. Courtesy of Yarn Gallery, Shutterstock, 2021.

Now, this doesn’t mean that every room in the office has to be decorated with a different coloured artwork to generate different physical and emotional responses. Afterall, you don’t want your office to look like the set of a kids cartoon! That would cause your employees to feel overwhelmed and confused. Here, it is important to choose artworks that compliment the colour scheme you have chosen for your brand personality. This involves choosing complimentary colours and the correct colour saturation (Turning Art, 2018).

So, here’s a little guide of how to utilise colours effectively in working environments:

Red: is an all-physical colour, invoking passion and encouraging movement and productivity. The colour has been scientifically proven to increase the heart rate and blood pressure of anyone near it. If your office has a highly energetic creative environment, then choosing artworks with red is the way to go! Flight centres also love to use red in their office decor to encourage action and movement, energising and motivating customers to get moving on booking their next adventure. This colour is not the best choice for offices that need high levels of concentration and calculated decision-making processes (Brandwatch, 2014).

Yankirri Dreaming by Margaret Nangala Gallagher - Original Painting - 152x61cm (SOLD). Courtesy of Yarn Gallery, Unsplash, 2021.

Yellow: encourages feelings of optimism, self-worth, happiness and playfulness. Including a yellow artwork in your employees’ shared office space is a great way to lift their spirits and invite their ego to take centre stage, ultimately encouraging creativity and a sense of pride in one’s work. Make sure you don’t go overboard with yellow in the office as it’s bright colouring can cause eye fatigue. Consider choosing a warmer tone of yellow, as it can help your business convey joy, warmth and positivity (Brandwatch, 2014).

Mingkirri by Clarise Nampikinpa Poulson - Original Painting - 76x61cm. Courtesy of Yarn Gallery, Shutterstock, 2021.

Blue: is considered to be calming and the colour of concentration and focus. The colour is associated with the sky and the sea, and the different shades of blue can have different effects. For example, try choosing an artwork with soft, lighter shades of blue to reduce stress and tension in the conference or meeting room. You can also choose an artwork with stronger, deeper shades of blue to aid in concentration and focus in these spaces. Many financial institutions, medical companies and social media companies utilise this colour in their workspaces as it is associated with the positive qualities of trustworthiness, stability, loyalty and strength (Brandwatch, 2014).

Majardi by Kelly Napanangka Michaels - Original Painting - 76x76cm. Courtesy of Yarn Gallery, Shutterstock, 2021.

Green: is predominantly associated with nature, health, balance and growth. Since green often resembles connection to the outdoors, try adding an Indigenous artwork with green in the breakroom or common areas to give your employees a sense of escape from work. It will help your employees and colleagues re-energise and reset on their break, coming back to the desk with a fresh, clear mind. Green artworks are commonly seen in conservation and environmental organisations where nature and decision-making is vital. Since green also represents wealth and growth, you can find light to mid shades of green in financial and energy companies (Interactive Space, 2017).

Wardapi by Melissa Napangardi Williams - Original Painting - 71x46cm. Courtesy of Yarn Gallery, Shutterstock, 2021.

Brown: connects to stability, support, comfort, practicality and grounding. Associated with earthiness, brown is commonly seen amongst landscaping, earth moving and agriculture companies. The overuse of paintings in brown can appear heavy and dull, passive and unsophisticated, so be sure not to do so. Artworks with warmer, earthy shades of brown are excellent in the reception area or personal offices as they suggest credibility, openness, approachability and friendliness (Interactive Space, 2017).

Ngalyipi Vine by Pauline Napangardi Gallagher - Original Painting - 107x61cm. Courtesy of Yarn Gallery, Shutterstock, 2021.

We hope these tips have inspired you to consider incorporating First Nations art into your office decor. By doing so, you are not only celebrating one of the oldest living cultures on the planet, you are  communicating respect and recognition for the First Nations artists who put their heart and soul into these magnificent works. So, if your business is a first time buyer of Indigenous art or is adding to the office’s collection, we hope that you find an artwork in Yarn Gallery that connects and speaks to your team, whether it be on a philosophical, educational or emotional level.

You can browse the beautiful collection of Indigenous artworks on Yarn Gallery here. To find out more about Yarn Gallery, check out our previous blog here. For further inspiration, check out Yarn Gallery's Instagram here!

For further enquiries about the acquisition of an artwork, simply call or email our Customer Service team and we can forward you to Yarn’s Art Consultant.