Why art in your office can increase productivity

If you thought uncluttered, clean white walls are the perfect environment to get work done, research suggests otherwise. Nancy Kwallek is a professor at the University of Texas School of Architecture and has devoted much of her life to researching the effects of office colours on workers’ mood and productivity. Nancy’s extensive research has led her to the conclusion that a sterile workplace actually hinders our ability to work. “White doesn’t help us be productive, and most work environments are white, off-white, or gray,” says Kwallek.

After looking at all the studies available, design group Herman Miller agree with Nancy. “Colour has the inherent ability to invoke an assortment of moods and even affect the productivity and creativity of workers.” Below are their findings of the colours that can bring out the best (or worst) in office workers.

Campfire by Garry Purchase

Campfire by Garry Purchase

Red: With associations of passion and excitement, red can raise the energy level. It stimulates the senses and works great in spaces where focus and attention needs to be at their highest.

Blue: Calming, relaxing, and serene. Blue can ease the mind and open it up to new ideas. In the workplace, this can translate to increased creativity and better brainstorming.

Green: For a color that’s kind on the eyes, go green. It evokes a sense of cheer and comfort. It’s even believed to help people relax—not surprising, given that it’s the prevalent colour in nature. If you want to lessen stress, green might be the way to go.

Yellow: Yellow is associated with positivity. It’s high-spirited, cheerful, and filled with hope. But be careful not to use it in excess. Studies show that people are more likely to lose their temper in yellow rooms.

So let’s free the world’s office workers of boring white walls. Inspire creativity and increase productivity simply by hanging some colourful art. Have a look here for some ideas.

Kim Leutwyler talks art, queer identity and self expression.


  1. Wow, I can’t believe that art can really improve productivity. Thank you for sharing this article.

  2. Thanks! I never thought that art can actually boost office productivity. I am going to share this on my wall!

  3. Brett Downes says:

    This is great. some of those pictures are awesome, so not sure if it will distract me or push me on haha.!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *