Effects of environmental colour on males and females: a red or white or green office

Appl Ergon. 1990 Dec;21(4):275-8. doi: 10.1016/0003-6870(90)90197-6.


This experiment assessed the effects of a red versus a green versus a white office environment on worker productivity and mood. An equal number of males and females completed a mood questionnaire before and after proofreading in one of the three offices. It was predicted that the subjects in the red office would report more tension and possibly make more errors. However, the subjects in the red office made the fewest errors, while the subjects in the white office made the most errors. Females scored significantly better on the proofreading task, and reported more tension and less vigour than males in the experiment. Subjects who worked in the red office found the colour of their office more distracting than subjects who worked in and rated the white office. The subjects in the white office reported that they would like to work in this environment and considered this colour most appropriate for an office. The authors speculate that a sterile, white environment may not be as conducive to work as is believed.