How Art Works at Work

Does the art around you in your workplace impact your performance, motivation, and mood? Many studies have been done that have shown that artwork can indeed improve the employee experience, productivity, creativity, reduce stress, and encourage communication. We are going to dive a little deeper and review how art works at work.

Let’s dive in

BCA and International Association of Professional Art Advisors (IAPAA) conducted a research survey across industries that established a positive relationship between job productivity, stress, morale, creativity, and art in the workplace. 82% of employees said that art was important in the work environment, and 73% said their view of the company would change if the art were removed (The Business Journals).

The modern day office space is often one filled with cubicles, filing cabinets, and other pieces of office furniture. Because people spend so much time in an office setting, this can grow boring and impact their performance and attitude. You can spruce up your workplace by adding artwork throughout.

Let’s review how art works at work and can make all the difference.

  1. Increased Productivity: While it’s not 100% clear why art motivates employees to work harder and smarter, studies around the world have found it to be true. Subjects in an Exeter study were asked to do an hour of work in four different environments, ranging from plain and basic to an enhanced workplace with art and plants. This study found that employees worked 15% quicker in enriched environments. It also found that if employees had personal input on the art in their surroundings, they were 32% more productive.
  2. Encourages Creativity: Art helps to stimulate the mind and make people think out-of-the-box. At work, we often get caught up in “the zone” or same way of thinking. It can be hard to come up with new innovative ideas when we are doing the same things day in and day out and in the same environment. The average person has roughly 70,000 thoughts per day and 90% of them are exactly the same. Art allows people to see things in a different way.
  3. Stress Reduction: According to Forbes, 78% of respondents in a survey of over 800 employees working for 32 U.S companies, claimed art in the workplace helped reduce their stress. Reducing stress in the workplace is important since studies have found that 30% of employees are so stressed that it interferes with their work, making them less productive and impactful. Pieces of art at work can give employees an escape, especially the right pieces, which will boost their mood and reduce stress.
  4. Increases Communication: You have likely witnessed this on your own, but art can open the floor for a conversation and discussion. In today’s workforce many people are busy on their phones or computers and not interacting with coworkers. Having art strategically placed in your office space can generate communication and interpersonal connections.

It should be clear by now that art works at work. It isn’t as simple has just hanging a few pictures on the wall and having that dramatically change your employees’ performance and moods. You need to be selective when choosing artwork for your office space, focus on your organization’s brand and style, and place the art in areas that will encourage communication and creativity.

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