How Art in the Workplace Affects Productivity

How Art in the Workplace Affects Productivity

Investing in ART pays dividends: A case study

M Many agree that art changes the way they perceive the space around them – their environment. People love decorating their homes with things they enjoy and inspire them.

As Rupert Dixon stated in his article, The Role of Art in Interior Design, “Art informs the mood. You can tell a lot about someone by the books he or she reads and the paintings on the walls”. What story do you want to tell with your space?

Art in the office

But what about our workplace? What stories do our office walls tell our clients and partners about our business? Unfortunately, the impact of having art in our working space is still underestimated.

That’s why I’m happy to share a story of an IT company, whose working space breaks all stereotype of technology people being nerds wasting away in front of a computer all day.

When one of the owners of Perconti Data Systems was shopping for office space in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, she strategically chose an office on the first floor, with big windows and high ceilings. This office is the first one you see when you enter the building. You simply can’t miss it! Then she took the building owner by surprise, demanding new flooring and a change to the layout.

Art and Productivity

She didn’t stop there. Her intention was to decorate the office with original art and sculptures.  The building owner agreed, but with one stipulation, the blinds must be closed all the time. “It’s a business environment and we want our first floor to look presentable and professional for visitors.” She agreed and began her magic.

Now the company’s been there for more than 8 years. The blinds were never closed and she was asked—on numerous occasions—by the building owner to show her office to his future lessees as an example of a successful office arrangement.

Art in the working place

Art Office

Here is how her decision affected the business:

  1. It benefited the company’s personal growth. Research by Exeter University’s School of Psychology found that people working in a space decorated with art or plants were 17% more productive than those in a lean space.
  2. It saves time. The research found that people who worked in the enriched office worked about 15% quicker than those in a lean office.
  3. It affects health. People working in a creative space have fewer health complaints.
  4. It created stronger relationships and easier communication with office visitors.
  5. It made an impact on the owner of the building’s reputation and how clients look at the entire building.
  6. It supports the art community since their works are in a plain view in one of the busiest business environments of St. Petersburg.

Dee Perconti in her officeDee Perconti. Perconti Data Systems.

And there is another double bonus. Every single room in the office is also decorated by each member of the team: showing their personalities, inspirations, and personal décor preferences. And you know what research tells us?  Productivity doubles when people are involved in creating their own space. Can you imagine the quality of the software Perconti Data Systems creates because the employees enjoy working there, and how it helps to change the world around us?

Alex Heath, managing director at International Art Consultants, says:

“[The word] aesthetic, in the truest sense, means ‘energy-giving’, which is what a workplace needs; rather than a bland, industrial environment which can be more like giving workers a dose of anesthetic.”



Citations
The Impact Of Art In The Workplace by Karen Higginbottom. Forbes.com
Art works: how art in the office boosts staff productivity by Kristie Brewer. Guardian.com
The role of art in interior design by Rupert Dixon. Murofineart.com

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