There are a number of reasons why art can be beneficial in the workplace. They can be broadly divided into two groups, benefit to visitors to the workplace and benefit to the workforce.
How Art Benefits Visitors to Your Workplace
There are a number of different views regarding the use of hanging art, sculptures and interior design benefit visitors to the workplace. This stems from the diversity of the companies that are considering enhancing their workplace for visitors. The first stage in deciding if displaying works of art can be beneficial is to assess the types of visitors that the workplace has.
The reception area is the first port of call for visitors to almost any business. These can vary in size and style, and this will often dictate the type of artwork that you may consider buying. Companies often have displays of their work or products in their reception area. These can actually be treated as works of art if they are produced and displayed professionally. A professional photographer can create artistic wall hangings from almost any product. This would give the product a fresh look and create interest amongst potential buyers, rather than a straight product shot.
Sculptures and works of art, such as oil paintings, can enhance the reception area and create an impression of success. Original art need not be expensive, but it can give the impression of a slick company at the top of their game. It can also act as an icebreaker to potential negotiations.
However, one of the most underestimated benefits to visitors is the use of colour. The psychology of colour is studied by interior designers the world over. They have highlighted the fact that different colours have certain affects on the people’s moods. These colours can subconsciously create a feeling of calm, or the opposite – depending on the colours being used. Many medical practices have soothing colours schemes, and this is included in the artwork chosen. On the other hand, an up-and-coming young software company is more likely to choose bright colours to give a feel of youth and enthusiasm.
The Benefits of Art on the Workforce
Offices or open plan work areas are the best type of workplace to consider displaying art. The majority of workers in this environment will be working on a computer screen for long periods of time. Artwork can provide a well-needed distraction to prevent excessive concentration on a computer monitor. Health and safety initiatives recommend that people take a break from ‘staring’ at the screen and a piece of artwork can offer another focus.
If the workforce is in a creative industry, then displaying art can provide inspiration. This is particularly the case if the art is based on recent successes or products. Again, photography is a wonderfully creative medium for producing original art.
There is no doubt that colour has an effect on the workforce too and an interior designer would be able to offer advice on the best colour schemes to incorporate into the workplace. Art should be enjoyed, but it can also impact on the productivity of the people who see it. The colours should not be so calming that the staff falls asleep at their desks – but neither should they give then high blood pressure! A mixture of colours reflected in the art is often the best solution.
Finally, the personalisation of different areas of the workplace should never be underestimated. No matter how strong a corporate identity is, all employees are unique. Displaying art is another way of highlighting this individuality. Of course, art can be used that compliments the company colour scheme, rather than having a complete makeover to match the colours of the wall hanging or sculptures, but having unique pieces emphasises the fact that the company treats each of its members of staff as individuals. Yet another example of the psychological impact that art can have in the workplace.