Why put art in offices?

Date posted:
Mon 09 January 2023

There are many traditional benefits of having art in the workplace including:

  • Identity and branding
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Wayfinding / placemaking
  • Investment

But today we also know that art is good for business…

Getting people back into the office

The office in 2023 is competing with an array of less rigid, more relaxed working spaces (home; coffee shops; the local park) and in order to attract, encourage and retain staff, it is crucial for businesses to make the office a destination of choice; to create an environment that people want to be in. Investing in things that will draw employees in is a sensible and necessary business strategy and is one that workplace art can do much to support.

Happy Staff = Happy Business

Spending time in a pleasant, stimulating environment is quite clearly good for our mental health. As staff wellbeing becomes more and more important, businesses need to consider the impact that work spaces have on their teams.

93.8% respondents in a survey carried out by the British Council of Offices said that art makes the workplace feel more welcoming.

60.8% of respondents to the survey felt that art stimulates creativity in the office.

And unsurprisingly, happy, content staff are far more productive, meaning that a small investment in office environments can have a healthy impact on the bottom line.

For the same reasons, including art in the workplace can help attract and retain staff, keeping recruitment costs as low as possible and helping build long term, stable teams.

Get people involved

Workplace art has a clear potential to act as a stimulus for engaged brain thinking in the office but the key to success – according to one study - is that staff should have some element of control or engagement over the art displayed. Becoming empowered and integral to decision making also helps bond teams together and build loyalty to the company and brand.

To test their hypothesis, the study team created a variety of different office environments, including a ‘lean’ office (a sanitised space with minimal decoration); an ‘enriched’ office (one decorated with plants and art) and an ‘empowered’ office (one in which the occupiers could choose what they displayed and how).

The results were telling. ‘People in the enriched office worked about 15% faster than those in the lean office, with no more errors, and they reported fewer health-related environmental complaints. Productivity and well-being increased even further – by around 30% – in the empowered office that participants customised themselves.’

Keep it flexible

We know that the world has changed beyond recognition over the last few years, and the future is fluid. Rather than committing to artwork that will only suit your current space, when the possibility of moving, downsizing or upsizing your offices is ever-present, renting art is a great way to ensure you are not tied to pieces that are no longer suitable, and the low monthly costs also help keep within budget.

Rotating your art work every 6 or 12 months is also a great way to get staff involved – you could set up an art committee and have them decide what you will see on your walls next!

Click here to find out more about buying or renting art for your office.