Art in the workplace serves more functions than simply being decorative. Various research has demonstrated that art works to reduce stress, encourage opinions, increase creativity.
Where people work matters to them, to the extent that environment can be a key factor in productivity.
Fine art dealer and Cheshire-based gallery owner, Sarah Samuels, talks about how art in business can mean motivating employees by inspiring them.
“Surveys in both the UK and the US indicate that many businesses now recognise the role art can play in helping to reduce stress and boost productivity.”
“It can reflect corporate culture in ways that are different and stimulating.”
While, naturally, in most workplaces the emphasis is on focusing on tasks and enacting strategy, there is a place for distraction.
“Distraction is not always a bad thing. It can be positive, if it helps people feel better and, in so doing, restores their energy and concentration levels.”
“The German investment bank, Deutsche Bank, has the world’s largest collection of corporate art. However, this is not simply for prestige, or as an investment. Rather, the company encourages its employees to take a keen interest in the art it displays in 900 offices, across 40 countries.”
It hosts talks by artists and has an interactive app employees can use to discover more about the artwork they have on the walls of their offices.
“Figures from University of Exeter study suggest that enriched workplaces – those that have arrangements of artwork and plants – encourage faster working with fewer health complaints”
“Art can inspire feelings of creativity and innovation in the people looking at it. It stimulates, but also soothes”
“Having the right kind of artwork can make people want to spend more time in the office and help retain staff. Some businesses are now consciously using art as part of a retention strategy.”
A Different Kind of Asset
As an asset for a business, the value of art is not simply monetary, because it is genuinely transformative.
“Art illustrates issues of collective identity and common concern, so consequently, in a workplace setting, it can support feelings of unity.”
“Businesses should consider art’s strategic potential, in building a positive, corporate culture”
“Artwork fosters productivity, through restoring mental energy and reducing stress and boosting the brain’s performance.”
“Choosing this asset, therefore, is also crucial. Things businesses must consider are content and positioning. Simply opting for something blandly generic will not engage people, but then neither will something overly complex or abstract.”
Sarah Samuels Fine Paintings has been in business over 30 years. Sarah has built her business on trust – of the artists she represents, and the customers she sells art to.
Her recent Spring Exhibition featured paintings by John Martin RBA, Graham Painter and other well-known artists.
“Graham Painter’s works, looking into waterscapes, have, worked extremely well in corporate settings because of their restorative, soothing qualities.”
“Art should be a pleasure, and it should be for everyone,” concludes Sarah. “In the workplace, a younger employee can benefit from the positive distraction of art just as much as a veteran member of staff.”
For an accompanying read, please visit Sarah Samuels’ interview in Property Aspects Magazine, What is the Place of Art in Office Design?