Art Consulting

By Wellington Fine Art

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I did some research on the benefits of art at work, and the reasons commonly cited for having it involve:

Happy & Motivated

Individuals will find the artwork a pleasure to be around.

Helping reduce stress

The relaxing, contemplative aspects of art can help lower the stress levels of what we all recognize can be a high-stress setting.

Pride motivates.

And that's good business.

Having art in the workplace is really about pride in one's environment. It shows management cares enough about the employee experience - and the customer experience - to have a thoughtfully maintained facility that people feel good about working in.



Employees want to feel good about where they work. They want their physical location to be a source of pride.


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Contrary to what your boss might say

Being distracted at work is not always a bad thing. If the object of your distraction is a work of art, it can actually boost productivity, lower stress and increase wellbeing.

This is according to Dr Craig Knight, who has studied the psychology of working environments for 12 years at the University of Exeter, where he heads a research group called Identity Realisation (IDR).

[ Link to source ]



“There is a real tendency to opt for sanitised, lean workspaces, designed to encourage staff to just get on with their work and avoid distraction,” he explains. But there isn’t a branch of science in the world which believes this approach boosts productivity or makes for happier workers, according to Knight. “If you enrich a space people feel much happier and work better; a very good way of doing this is by using art.”



Knight and his team have conducted studies into the most effective work environments by asking participants to do an hour’s work in four different types of office space:

Lean

Containing only the things necessary to do the tasks.

Enriched

Featuring art and plants which were already arranged.

Empowered

The same art and plants but participants could choose where to put them.

Disempowered

Participants could arrange the art and plants themselves – but the experimenter then undid these personal touches and reverted to the enriched layout.

The team found that people who worked in the enriched office worked about 15% quicker than those in the lean office and had fewer health complaints – this figure then doubled for people who worked in the empowered space. As for those who’d seen their personal touches undermined; their productivity levels were the same as those in the lean space.

“In 12 years we have never found that lean offices create better results; and the more involved people are in the enrichment process, the more they are able to realise a part of themselves in the space,” explains Knight.

He is emphatic that by art he doesn’t mean so-called “motivational posters”, which say things like “there is no I in team” or “whatever the problem, be part of the solution”, because these don’t work at all.

Art is a way of retaining staff and encouraging them to be in the office, at a time when people increasingly want to work remotely, says Alex Heath, managing director at International Art Consultants, which advises workplaces on art.

“Some companies consciously use art as part of their retention strategy,” he says. “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 anaesthetic.”

The company has helped number crunchers at ratings agency Moody’s to reap the benefits of having art in the workplace. An art committee of employees came up with the strapline “making sense of what you see” and the offices were decked out with photography which requires careful examination and decoding.

Elsewhere, Heath says they have commissioned bright and bold contemporary pieces for waiting rooms or recreational spaces because they make for good talking points, while sculptures and huge textile works with acoustic properties are a good-fit for deadening the sound in clattering marble foyers.

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