5 Reasons Why Companies Should Have Art in the Office
Art does more than add some color to otherwise dreary office space. It could lead to more positive associations between employees and their companies, according to research published in the 2014 article “Artworks at work: the impacts of workplace art” by Christina Smiraglia.
The study interviewed nineteen participants, three Board members and sixteen employees, from the Australian non-profit Independent Schools Victoria to gather qualitative data about the art collection in their workplace. After analyzing the interviews, participants touched on five key benefits of having art in their workplace:
Promoting Social Interaction
For beginners, artwork in the office can serve as conversation starters between employees, clients, and guests. One employee stated that the art in the office “provides a space for conversations that did not exist before,” promoting a growth mindset for employees and a diversity of thought. Furthermore, many of the employees mentioned talking about the art during meetings as a way to break the ice and get to know clients or guests in a more personal way.
2. Enhancing the Workplace Environment
Participants strongly believed that the art on display made significant aesthetic contributions to the office that elevated their overall appreciation of the space. Numerous interviews mentioned the “sense of beauty” that the art provided to the workspace, making them happier about the space.
Coinciding with comments about the aesthetics of the art was an emphasis on the quality of the work. Participants noted that the high quality of the artwork was salient because it gave the art a sense of importance and a perceived value among employees and guests alike.
3. Emotional Response
Art in the workplace elicits a range of positive emotions: joy, wonder, inspiration, and calm – to name a few. Participants in this study cited that they experienced positive emotions in general and, in some cases, positive feelings toward the organization as a result of the artwork. In addition, the diversity of the collection, as in a consistent rotation of new artwork in the office, surprisingly invoked excitement among the participants to arrive at work to see the new art on display.
4. Personal Connection-making
Related to emotional responses, the participants indicated that “viewing the art reminded them of personal experiences” and, in turn, “they showed an awareness of the individual perspectives their colleagues brought to conversations” about the art pieces. This can lead to deeper connections and team-building among colleagues and improve overall job satisfaction.
5. Learning Opportunities
By inviting conversations about art into the workplace and rotating the collection of high-quality art in the office, it encourages employees to stay curious about the world. Participants noted that through their conversations and exposure to new art, they learned about artistic techniques and had a greater appreciation for the art world.
In conclusion, having art present in the workplace could be incredibly beneficial to employees as well as provide benefits to clients and guests visiting the office. Furthermore, having quality artworks and periodically introducing new art into the workplace were identified as “salient features” of the collection in this study that multiplied the benefits of having art in the workplace.
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