Art in the workplace performs a more significant function than many realize. Some of the less conventional types of artwork can become great conversation pieces, and colorful paintings can jazz up meeting rooms. However, one often-overlooked effect is artwork’s ability to increase productivity.
Research performed in both the US and Europe has revealed that office artwork has the following effects:
- Strengthening interpersonal client and employee bonds
- Physical well-being
- Heightened mood
- Overall performance
Studies on Art in the Workplace
Exeter University’s School of Psychology found employees with control of their workspace layout and design up to 32 percent more productive, as well as healthier and happier. Over 2,000 office employees were involved in this initial study.
Two further studies, including one at Exeter University and another in commercial settings, also provided interesting results. The employees who worked in spaces that featured plants and artwork were 17 percent more productive than those who worked in bare, functional spaces.
The Business Committee for the Arts and International Association for Professional Art Advisors surveyed 800 employees working for 32 companies and had some interesting findings about the impact of office space art. These companies included a range as diverse as law offices and food distributors.
Some of the results that this study yielded included:
- 77 percent finding that more people expressed opinions
- 64 saw increased creativity
- 78 percent saw reduced stress
Cass Business School Studies found that employees of both genders overwhelmingly agreed that workplace design affects their workday. The male respondents placed a higher value on art as one of the elements of interior design. In the same study, only 17 percent of women considered art an essential interior design component.
Does Gender Make a Difference?
The overall impact of art in the office appears to be more significant for women than for men. Women reported a higher degree of creativity, as well as reduced stress levels. The women who responded were more likely to say that art used in the office space affects their well-being.
What Art in the Workplace Achieves
There are several things that workplace art achieves, including:
- Functional, way-finding art that represents the company or the team
- Zany and otherwise fun designs that serve as stress relievers
- Pieces with unique materials that add variation and texture
- Conversation pieces that are thought-provoking
One thing worth remembering is that art encompasses more than just wall, framed, and canvas art. Sculpture and even textures can play a role as art forms.
- Wall murals feature wall-length images or the use of shapes, as commonly seen in tile mosaic-style murals
- Wall graphics take up less space, but draw attention, such as logos or images relating to a specific department
- Framed art includes both paintings and photographs, as well as relevant certificates
- Canvas art uses one of the most common art mediums to showcase both images and three-dimensional designs, also adding texture variety to the space
- Sculptures present three-dimensional art forms often used as standalone pieces, as well as wall plaques
- Textures & finishes use paint effects and colors in unique ways to bring attention to an area of the room, tile, carpet patterns, furniture fabrics, and plants all create a visible impact without being in a frame or actual “art” on a wall.
Even in industries that ordinarily have a more conservative-looking space, open and fun looks are likely to create a relaxing atmosphere. One of the effects that this approach offers is a setting where both employees and their clients feel satisfied.
One of the significant overall benefits of using art is giving employees more control over their environment, which results in better performance. Office artwork that is participatory leads to even better performance, among employees. Extensive input in the use of art leads to better information processing and management, as well as better detail orientation.
How Art Can Be Functional
The layout of most workplaces is a combination of hallways, doors, and cubicles that can overwhelm most people. One of the functions that artwork can fill is providing direction for specific areas, such as using unique artwork to designate a particular department.
Art has a lot of uses for effectively communicating non-verbal brand messages. Art that shows prestigious locations or people conveys success, while multi-cultural art suggests diversity. The artwork used can also say a lot about collective identity.
An example of collective identity, or common concern issues, would be art related to health or environmental issues. Demonstrating a common concern for these issues increases unity within the organization or between the company and its customers or clients. Another advantage is that the art can highlight the work of local artists.
How Art Can Decrease Stress
Office environments that involve a lot of highly-focused work often have a high-stress level. Art is a significant influence that not only reduces stress but helps restore employees’ mental energy for tasks. Another de-stressing effect that art provides is reducing anger levels, which are high in far too many workplaces.
How Art Can Add Variation
Unusual-looking art might suggest that the company thinks outside the box in how it does things. However, figurative or representative art is likely to bring about better responses than abstract art, because there is a better understanding of what the art is designed to represent. The use of variations like patterns or textures can help add to the overall effect.
How Art Can Be Thought-Provoking
When innovation and creativity are fundamental to a company’s way of doing business, artwork can catalyze meaningful discussions. Images that involve familiar places or things please most people and make them more receptive to new concepts. Sculpture and similar art forms can bring about a sense of awe, which also increases the positive effects of the art.
Choosing the Right Art
When employees can choose art carefully and have more significant influence over their offices space design, the effects will bring about higher productivity and employee satisfaction.
Boxer Property utilizes a variety of types of art in their co-working and collaborative office spaces. Take a look at some of the properties which incorporate art into these offices available for lease.
Featured Properties with artwork:
Houston co-working office space at Arena Towers, located at 7322 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX.
Dallas executive suites now located at 4425 W Airport Freeway, Irving, TX.
New Jersey collaborative office space available for lease at Halsey Corporate Center, located at 90 East Halsey Road, Parsippany, NJ.