How Art in the Workplace Affects Productivity

How Art in the Workplace Affects Productivity

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

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 would your space tell?

But what about our workplace? What stories do our office walls tell our clients and partners about our businesses and those who run it? Unfortunately, the impact of having art in the workspace is still underestimated.

This is why I’m happy to share a story of an IT company whose offices break all the stereotypes of those in the tech industry being nerds, wasting away in front of a computer all day long.

When one of the owners of Perconti Data Systems was shopping for office space in downtown St. Petersburg, she strategically chose an office on the first floor with big windows and high ceilings. This office is the first one seen when you enter the building – and it had to make a statement. Then she surprised the building manager when she requested new flooring and a change to the layout.

You would think this was plenty, but 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 times. He stated, “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 eight years. The blinds are never closed, and she was asked—on numerous occasions—by the building owner if he could show her office to future lessees as an example of a successful office arrangement.

But it all started with an idea of creating a Happy Place.

Dee says:

“I set out to create a ‘happy place’ for us at the office.  It became known as an art gallery at City Center, even though we have a software design company.

As you walk through you will see major works by many local and international artists; Rose Marie Prins, Helmut Preiss, and Mirella Cimato.  Also, there are many pieces of street art that we brought back from Africa.”

“Since our company is a family business, my husband and son unleashed their creativity in setting up their offices. My husband, Sal Perconti, has underwater photos he took while scuba diving and my son, Brian, has his photography work in his office. We also have a collection of Cuca Romely, and sculptures and vases that appeal to me. I have only one of my pieces hanging here.”

“The pride and joy of this space is a seven-foot expressive painting of an African woman named Bona, created by Lawrence, an extraordinary Creative Clay artist with a disability.”

“Our surroundings are critical to our health, mood, creativity and productivity.  We look forward to spending time at Perconti Data systems.”

Here‘s how her decisions affected business:

  • 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.
  • It saves time. The research found that people who worked in an enriched office worked about 15% quicker than those in a lean office.
  • It affects health. People working in a creative space have fewer health complaints.
  • It created stronger relationships and easier communication with office visitors.
  • It made an impact on the owner of the building’s reputation and how clients looked at the entire building.
  • It supports the local art community since their works are in a plain view in one of the busiest business environments of St. Petersburg.

And there’s a double bonus. Every single room in the office is also decorated by each member of the team. This allowed them to show 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 their 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 an anesthetic.”


* This article was published in the March/April 2019 issue of St. Pete Life Magazine –