Art has the power to spark passion, deep elation, sensations of love, bliss, and even imagination. And today, there’s a growing mass of research and scientific evidence depicting just how art impacts mental wellbeing, health, brain function, and feelings of love.
With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that art is often incorporated into the workplace –– a growing trend over the years as organizations realize how much environment plays a role in a team’s performance and satisfaction. Not to mention, the art selected can also say a lot about an organization’s culture and brand.
Whether you work in a larger office setting or the privacy of your home office, take a look around. Do you have visuals that inspire you or help reduce stress? Are there pieces that are conversation starters or express who you are, what you stand for, or simply what you love? If not, it might be time to consider adding artwork to your space –– especially since we spend the majority of our days in work environments.
Here are just a few ways art can benefit the workplace.
Art communicates and unites
Art can say a lot about your organization –– your culture, what you stand for, a collective identity, and even how you approach business. For instance, edgier, modern pieces may portray a creative, less traditional way of doing business. And whimsical, more abstract or colorful art could give some insight into your fun culture.
Art communicates culture not just to outsiders coming in, but also to your team –– helping reinforce messages and a way of being. In that same vein, it can also evoke a sense of community and togetherness by selecting pieces from local artists, commissioning a local muralist, or even having your team contribute to that mural or help select works of art.
Additionally, when individuals can choose and display personal art in their spaces, it serves as a form of expression and adds a layer of rich context to their story. It also gives them a feeling of ownership and pride in creating their own space.
The same goes for home offices, particularly if you’re conducting a lot of Zoom calls these days. Art displayed in the background can give your conference call mates a glimpse into your story and serve as a conversation starter. In this way, art can be a powerful connector, especially if it evokes a positive memory or feeling in others.
Art reduces stress, boosts performance and morale
Art has long been used in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities to help advance well-being and morale. And it has a similar effect in the workplace, whether that’s the home office or a shared workspace.
It has been shown to help reduce stress and restore mental energy, which can boost brain performance, and it does this in part by transporting viewers to another place. For instance, nature scenes are known for creating positive distractions and are commonly used in healthcare settings to reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue. According to an article published by Ashford University, this occurs because the act of viewing art stimulates a process called embodied cognition –– in which mirror neurons in the brain turn visuals like action, movement, and energy into felt emotions.
Artist and founder of Culture Collective, Jacob Devaney, once said this of embodied cognition: “When you observe a profound piece of art you are potentially firing the same neurons as the artist did when they created it thus making new neural pathways and stimulating a state of inspiration. This sense of being drawn into a painting is called ‘embodied cognition.’”
Along with the emotional side of the coin, art and creative environments can kickstart productivity. Throughout the workday, you’re likely engaging the left hemisphere of your brain, associated with analytical and methodical thinking. When adding art and creativity into the mix, you’re opening up the powerful potential to engage both hemispheres of the brain, a process referred to as brain synchronization or whole-brain functioning.
Selecting art for a workspace
No matter where you work or what your profession entails, there are easy ways to integrate art into your work environment.
For the home office. The bottom line is, choose pieces that speak to you, or motivate, calm, or inspire you in some way. You might start by identifying what you most need in this space. If it’s energy, performance, and creativity, you could opt for an abstract or more action-oriented, colorful piece of art. If it’s calm and serenity, a nature scene might do that for you. But keep in mind, art is not limited to pieces that can be hung on the wall. Sculpture and handcrafted furniture offer other ways to incorporate art into your space.
In the workplace. Determine the message you want to convey or the feeling you want to inspire in those who use this space the most. You might consider getting your team involved in helping select art or allow them to take on specific spaces or select art for their own space. Don’t forget to use your walls. Murals, inspiring quotes, or even company core values can be artfully displayed and tell an important story. Again, art is not limited to what can be hung on the wall. Consider sculptures large and small placed throughout the space or add in artful furniture pieces. These could become favorite gathering spots for your team.
Uninspired workplaces are a thing of the past. And considering we spend the majority of our lives in workspaces of all varieties, they should inspire us and make us feel good. What kind of story does your space tell? What kind of experience does it create?
We’ll soon be launching an online art-buying experience so you can fill your workspace (or any space!) with art from your favorite Celebration of Fine Art artists from wherever you might be! If you’d like to know about the launch of this, join our VIP list.