By Julia Gifford
For years, millions of employees and customers across the nation have been consigned to working in drab, uninteresting offices with painfully bare walls. Fortunately, times are changing: business owners are beginning to realize the tremendous benefits to decorating their workplaces with fine art. Last year, a study from the British Council for Offices found that over 90% of employees believe that featuring art prominently in the workplace boosts overall productivity, while 86% of those surveyed explicitly agreed that art is “more relevant than ever” in today’s office environment. While the reasons to display artwork in the office are endless, today we will be focusing on just five, as follows.
- First Impressions
A well-placed piece of art can greatly affect a customer’s initial view of your place of business. To use an example from the medical industry: the difference between a waiting room with no art or amenities and one with a few strategically placed pieces of fine art is palpable. The former suggests that the practice, at best, has fallen on hard times, or at worst, doesn’t care at all about the comfort of their customers. The latter, meanwhile, bespeaks a certain class and elegance, especially if particularly unique or beautiful pieces are chosen. Meanwhile, prints of famous familiar artworks can be subconsciously comforting to clients and customers otherwise unused to an office environment.
- Inspiring creativity
According to an article from Virtual Strategy Magazine, innovative art installations can lead to innovation in turn. Employees are more likely to feel inspired and motivated in an office that demonstrates innovation visually, and art is the easiest way to do that. While there are a number of hypotheses as to why this is the case, most managers agree that it has to do with perceptions of value: art in the workplace suggests that the employer values creativity and this encourages employees to themselves innovate.
- Sending a message
One of the most interesting trends in office art, particularly in high end places of business, is the use of art to communicate company values. This can be as subtle and abstract or simple and clean as the employer likes: a company that values ambition might decorate their office with paintings of sweeping geometric figures and classically-inspired nouveau statuary, while those that hold their corporate history close might prefer a Rockefeller inspired painting of the company’s founding. Both are equally valid when it comes to art, and can prove equally inspiring to employees and managers alike.
- Keeping with the times
To put it frankly, art is extremely cool right now. Right now more than ever before, there’s a focus on creating fun, exciting work environments to entice the best and brightest employees. Bare walls seem drab and wretched, while halls flanked with fun and exciting pieces of art make an otherwise unremarkable office come alive with character. This is where it pays dividends to choose unique pieces of art, rather than the sort of mass produced office art one sometimes sees in office supply stores–those fade into the background quickly, while unique pieces stick in the mind and make the workplace stand out in potential specialists’ memories.
- It’s easy
Rather than spending hours individually picking and choosing different pieces to showcase, and then spending hundreds of dollars purchasing them, rental services allow workplace interior designers to quickly pick out carefully designed collections of art for a fraction of their purchase price. Each collection brings together styles from around the world to carefully evoke certain emotions or themes, while giving your office a distinctively cool, cutting-edge, modern appearance.