In the previous article, we wrote about the evolution of the office and how we ended up spending most of our days there and then we touched on the revolution of Covid-19 and it’s devastating effect on our personal & working lives. All of us have been impacted by the pandemic and our working day has changed immeasurably. However, many people are now returning to work and some of us are back behind a desk – albeit socially distanced and adhering to other health and safety measures. In this article we will look how art can help can possibly ease us back to normal working again – whatever ‘normal’ is, and wherever that work is taking place?
So why do we have art in offices, and what purpose does it serve? A more burning question might be ‘do we even need to think of art while Covid-19 is dominating our work lives?’ We would argue Yes! The work environment is suddenly front of mind for just about every single person & company today – owner or employee, senior manager or office junior, start up, SME or large corporate. While you are making the office as safe as we can, why not make the office as nice as you can? Indeed you could argue that it will be even more essential than ever to think about interior design and how that can influence staff comfort, happiness & motivation when returning to the office after all this time away.
As you resdesign your workspace & implement all the Covid measures – think about what’s on your walls or partitions? Rather than being an afterthought, office art should be an important consideration. A body of research exists explaining how well-thought-out office art can inspire staff and increase wellbeing and productivity.
Goethe once said that we ‘should hear a little music, read a little poetry and see a fine picture every day’ and it’s proven that artistic pursuits stimulate & inspire further creativity. Rather than trying to artificially force people to be creative with inspirational slogans or clichéd images of achievement, genuinely impressive artworks, paintings or photography, can naturally encourage creativity to flourish. Inspiring and interesting artwork creates talking points, stimulates discussion and encourages innovative thinking.
Staring at a computer screen all day is a modern work curse. Having a reason to look away and to re-focus reduces fatigue, headaches and the effects of eye-strain in the long term. Regularly changing what’s on the walls or displayed in your office will encourage people to break from their screen, take a look about them, and give their eyes (and mind) a much-needed rest.
Looking at artwork may also provide our brains with some distraction from the task at hand which, contrary to popular belief, is not necessarily a bad thing. Studies have shown that the daydreaming brain is incredibly active, engaged in a whole host of vital mental processes. In other words, even when we think we are switched off our brains don’t really slow down at all. Instead, they are busy at work replenishing our reserves of mental and physical energy, which in turn increases productivity, replenishes attention, solidifies memories, and encourages creativity – all important attributes in the world of work.
A well designed office with tasteful interiors isn’t just a nice employee perk - the employer also benefits, by selecting art that reflects the company’s identity, brand, vision, marketplace or affiliations. This helps both staff and visiting clients to understand what your company is all about, and what your values are. By taking pride in the workplace and providing a pleasant office environment the employer can also influence productivity and motivation by showing that they value their staff, and at the same time they are also stimulating their team’s creativity and mitigating for stress.
So, if you are coming around to the idea of selecting some workplace art for any one of the above reasons, how do you go about choosing the right pieces?
In the next article we will highlight some ideas on how to choose the right art, how to place it, and how we can help you with this.