As you can see I am doing a different kind of video today because I…
Artwork in Your Office is Not Just ‘Nice to Have’
Enlivening your office with carefully chosen artwork can help you build a better business.
Wouldn’t we all prefer to work in a beautiful, tastefully decorated workspace compared to a purely functional office? Isn’t it refreshing to rest our eyes on captivating artwork whenever we need a brief break from our duties and stresses?
In so many workplaces walls are left bare, or are covered with fact sheets, project tracing charts, and the oh-so-popular mission statement. This is a real wasted opportunity, for so many reasons.
Carefully chosen artworks can lift the vibe of your office. They can bring your space to life and send the message to everyone that their feelings and experiences matter.
But as we know, bringing good quality artwork into the office takes time, money and effort. So is it all worthwhile?
Artworks are not just ‘nice to have’
Putting photographs, prints or paintings on the walls can provide many tangible benefits to your people and business.
Enjoying artworks can make you feel more positive and help reduce stress.
As shown by science, artwork can actually trigger physiological changes in your body. (This is why many hospitals have artworks on their walls. Patients often experience less pain and heal faster in environments decorated with photographs or other art.)
Art is a wonderful tool to bring personality and humour into the workplace. It can express something about who you are and how you think that no branding or marketing statements can. It can help bridge cultural gaps. And what better environment to build great relationships with team members and clients than one that offers a glimpse of the real you?
People tend to be more productive in welcoming, pleasantly decorated spaces, compared to purely functional, barren offices, and the difference is actually measurable. An extensive study has found that employees work 15% more productively, on average, when surrounded by artworks and plants. And performance improves to an even greater extent when people are involved in the creation of their environment.
Creative pieces of art or decorations in your workplace can help you and your team think outside the box.
When running a creative session, you will likely come up with more and better ideas in a stimulating space that doesn’t look like a traditional office. The key is to bring in pieces that are somewhat unusual and surprising, and which you don’t associate with work.
Meaningful art can spark insightful conversations. While chatting about an interesting piece with a colleague, you may learn something new about them even if you’ve known them for years. Perhaps you find out that you have more in common than you previously thought. Or you end up exploring new territory together and discovering innovative new solutions to problems.
These results are magnified when you keep things fresh by changing the artwork a few times a year.
Here is the icing on the cake
One of the benefits is especially intriguing, in my opinion. I’ve learnt about this recently from a specialist who helps create inspiring spaces where people connect over art.
The process itself of choosing artworks for an office can be a catalyst for positive change.
Just think about it – this is quite an unusual situation. You’re debating with other decision makers what kind of messages you want to send to your team and also to visiting clients. You’re trying to agree on what kind of experiences you aim to create and how you want to make people feel while they are at work.
As part of this conversation, you’re also painting a future picture of your business (metaphorically speaking, of course).
You’re touching on business objectives, external and internal branding, as well as personalities and individual preferences. You’re also discussing boundaries, evaluating what would be a safe choice and what would be too risky.
While talking about art in your workplace, you’re looking at your business through a different lens than on any other day. In this headspace, you have a greater chance of coming up with transformative ideas to long-standing issues.
On the challenging side, this innocent subject – decorative artworks – can generate some passionate arguments. If there are any hidden conflicts within your team, these will likely rise to the surface, and misalignments will become exposed. Facing these can be confronting, but working through them will only strengthen the team and the business.
The results can be spectacular
Businesses often experience cultural shifts after bringing artwork into the office. Team members feel more engaged, connected to each other, and proud of their workplace. Owners who took the leap of faith to introduce bold, thought-provoking pieces are seeing the pay-off for their investments and the risk they have taken.
Now, does it still seem too costly and difficult to bring art into your workplace? You be the judge.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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