5 Reasons to Hang Art in the Workplace

5 Reasons to Hang Art in the Workplace

To be a successful company you cannot be isolated from the society where you do business. There is a growing trend for employers to make their office an inviting, inspiring and encouraging place of work. An effective way to do that is with art at the workplace. Art is a way to connect with others - it provides a place for communication, expanded thinking and creativity.

Employees spend a large part of their waking hours at work. 82% of employees find art important in the work environment. 3 out of 4 employees said their view of the company would change if the art were removed.

Art obviously has a decorative function, but it does more than that in the workplace. Research has found that there is a positive relationship between art at work and job productivity, stress, morale and creativity

Art in image from the Concrete-Fabric collection by Jildo-Tim Hof

1. Increased efficiency and productivity

According to this university study with more than 2,000 office workers, employees are happier and healthier if they have a say over the layout of the workspace. This can lead to up to 32% more productivity.

The research also found that people working in enriched places, decorated with plants or pictures, were 17% more productive than those in bare and functional spaces.

There are many studies and researches that all have similar conclusions: art at the workplace positively impacts productivity.

A 2016 report by Forbes with 800 employees from different companies revealed that:

  • 78% of respondents said that art helped to reduce stress
  • 77% agreed that art encourages expression of opinions
  • 64% said that art increased creativity at work

2. Boosted creativity

Art inspires and boosts creativity. Creativity at work is necessary to generate new ideas, encourage innovative thinking and improve problem-solving abilities.

Studies from Seoul’s Hongik University found that people with an “open attitude toward aesthetic experiences” were more likely to be inspired. In turn, this led to a better ability to generate creative solutions. When this power of art appreciation is extended to the workplace, it can help to enhance performance in product design, brand-naming and problem-solving skills.

If your eyes wander off while at work and land on art it can actually boost creativity. This effect is noticeable even when viewing art for only a few minutes. Viewing art creates new connections in the brain and can inspire new thoughts.

Art in image by Chris König from his Glacial patterns collection

3. Shows the company culture and image

In addition to art in the workplace improving employees’ well-being and productivity, it can positively impact your visitors’ experience as well.

Art speaks and can help to portray the company’s culture and image to visitors, clients or patients. It is an easy way to impress your visitors and even bring a sense of calm or happiness. Art at work makes employees believe that the company cares about more than work.

Art in image by Tom Kluyver from his L'estate collection

4. Helps create a sense of community

Interesting artworks can stimulate conversation, encourage a moment of reflection and it could even spark discussions among employees about whether they like the art or not.

The art in the office can be a visual ‘reminder’ that an organization’s culture values creativity and innovation. Art tied to a company’s mission also reminds employees of the meaning behind their work, increasing the sense of purpose and community.

When employees are exposed to images they find pleasing (including images of places they feel connected to) they tend to feel more cooperative and open to considering different opinions.

The interpersonal interactions resulting from this will lead to positive staff engagement and can help to forge a sense of community in the business environment.

Art in image by Chris König from his Glacial patterns collection

5. Helps keep your employees engaged

Art in the workplace helps to create more personalised spaces and a positive work experience, as people feel more comfortable spending time there. By getting your employees involved in picking art for the workplace you can build the sense of community even further within the company.

Each of the benefits mentioned above leads to an office where people feel happier, less stressed, more creative, more connected and therefore more engaged.

Engaged employees feel a strong emotional connection to the organisation and want the business to succeed. They identify with their company’s values on a personal level and have a sense of purpose within the workplace.

Getting started

How do you get started with placing art in the workplace? There are a few questions to consider:

  • Is there an overarching theme that would support your company’s values, vision and goals?
  • What kind of media do you want to focus on? Paintings, sculptures, art and photography prints, mixed media, etc.
  • How much are you willing to spend on art in the office and do you prefer quantity or quality? Make sure to match this with the company values.
Art in image by Tom Kluyver from his Trees collection

In terms of the artworks themself, there are a few general points to keep in mind. The most positively received artworks have:

  • A moderate amount of visual complexity, such as impressionist paintings. Too simple or too complex art tends to negatively influence one’s mood.
  • Colours and patterns should not be so familiar that they’re boring, but not so unfamiliar that they’re confusing.
  • Horizontal and vertical lines as these are easier to process than diagonal lines. So too are curving lines (as opposed to straight ones) and symmetrical images over asymmetrical ones.

Overall, viewers generally prefer to feel they understand an artwork, so pleasing and interesting visuals are recommended over challenging ones, such as abstract art.


Workplace art at Tones Gallery

At Tones Gallery, you can discover different styles and sizes of photography prints. We offer all types of artworks ranging from simple to more complex pieces. We work with emerging artists and all our art is certified. Have a look through our gallery and find artworks for your office today.

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