Art in the Workplace
It is undeniable that art has the ability to transport people to a different mental place. Arts also present history, show a perspective and describe a situation that words can’t. This is one of the reasons museums are big attractions in all cities over the world, but not only museums should be the place to feel that way. A simple framed art can make all the difference in the way people relate to a place, including the workplace.
Researchers are available to prove how important art in the workplace can be. It not only provides an aesthetic environment but actually improves productivity. A research by Dr. Craig Knight from the University of Exeter in the UK presents that people working in enriched environment, which basically includes art and plants, worked 15% quicker than those in the lean atmosphere. Additionally, the research shows that workers had fewer health complaints. According to Dr. Knight, less engaged workers are directly associated with the uncomfortable feeling of the environment.
During 12 years of Dr. Knight research, his team has never found that lean workplaces create better results, on the other hand when workers are involved in the process the productivity improves. It is important to note that in the same research, the professor found that when working in an empowered environment, which means that workers were part of the process on where to put the art, workers were 30% quicker in their tasks.
This example in productivity improvement can be part of a bigger subject: the organizational behaviour. As a simple explanation, organizational behaviours are actions to improve the workplace environment, achieving among other characteristics a high-performance team. As an office environment is associated with productivity, framed arts could not be left behind as it increases the worker’s satisfaction.
A survey of 800 workers in 32 different companies in the US shows expressive numbers in the benefits of art in the workplace. Three categories are brought to attention: 78% of the responders believe arts can reduce stress; 64% agreed it can increase creativity while 77% find it encouraging to express opinions. The research was made in collaboration with the Business Committee for the Arts and the International Association for Professional Art Advisors.
Improving working conditions
Although job satisfaction is a broad subject, including different theories, researchers agree that a satisfying job consists of adequate working conditions. As noted above, researchers show that workers feel stimulated by the work environment. It is possible to get an example out of Morgan Lovell experience. Morgan Lovell is a company located in the UK specialized in transforming the work environment. One of the most popular case studies from Morgan Lovell was changing the ThoughtWorks office in Soho area, in London. Morgan Lovell created a colourful environment in which framed arts were highlighted in the office space. The result had a direct impact on workers satisfaction promoting creativity and collaboration, as it can be seen in this video.
One of the subjects mentioned in the video is creativity. This art of making something new and unusual can be directly associated with an environment that stimulates this behaviour. It is important to understand the company needs in order to create an atmosphere using the art. When simply installing a frame on a wall that doesn’t speak the company’s value, it loses an opportunity to connect with other. By showing in the space what the company values it brings an awareness around the office, not only for workers but also for clients.
Another benefit is the belonging feeling that arts bring to workers and customers. It is an effortless way of showing how your company wants to be presented to the world. If a company succeeds in making an environment where the values are presented, chances are high workers will feel connected to their job. A happier and more connected worker will probably make a better job, feeling engaged in the activities of the day.
Based on Dr. Knights research, workers have more chances to do their jobs quicker when in a workplace decorated with art. Productivity then is another benefit art can bring to the office. Last but not least, it is important to highlight a reduction in stress with the contemplative aspects of art. At a time when people are working remotely, bringing a fresh atmosphere into the office encourage workers to be better. If the company succeed in showing its values, will also make workers feel part of the company.
Nowadays companies have noticed the importance of having art in the workplace. Some powerful companies changed their environment and invest in them, as the case of Deutsche Bank. The German investment bank has approximately 60,000 artworks across 900 offices in 40 countries. The best part is that they make it available to workers and customers, and also hosts talks by artists. Even though your company is not big as the investment bank, it is easy to transform it into framed arts.
How to change your workplace
First of all, it is vital to understand what your company wants to show to others, clients and workers. Then based on that approach create an environment. It will be in this connection between the most important things in your company, the people, that companies find success. It is possible to start by thinking on the walls and the possibility of adding colours to it. On a second moment, installing framed arts in the wall is a simple, yet powerful act to change your environment.
When deciding on a framed art it is important to know that people feel more cooperative when in contact with pleasing images. So, starting with something they feel connected is a positive choice. A good way is by picking a beautiful picture from where the company is located. If the company is located in New York City, per example, a picture of the skyline can easily create this connection.
Another type of art that will make a difference in the workplace is the positive-mood images. Nature, as an example, have this aspect on people. It proposes texture and colours that transport them to another environment, clearly a more relaxing one. Arts easy to understand are more appreciated by workers, they will feel the connection with the art and consequently to the company values.
It may seem difficult to change an atmosphere based on the company’s value, but as soon as this process starts it becomes clear what the place should expose. The main point with this is not skipping a step, thinking first about the values, then how to show them in the workplace is a combination that will positively affect the company’s workers and clients.