The traditional office image brings to mind rows of dull cubicles set on a background of neutral walls, with only the occasional splash of green from an artificial plant to liven the atmosphere. This, however, may be a thing of the past. As the visual and creative benefits are further understood, the use of art in the workplace appears to be increasing, breaking out of the confines of the conventional office atmosphere.
“I think that there’s becoming more awareness. I think people are starting to realize… that there are benefits to creating just an awesome environment for people to come to everyday,” explains Alyssa Hanson, a Marketing Coordinator at Canvas Pop and DNA 11, both of which create artwork for personal and corporate use.
But beyond showing a decorative flair, what are the benefits to having art in the workplace and can they benefit everybody?
On the one hand, art serves to “liven up the workplace” and make it a more enjoyable space for employees, says Stefania Rose, a freelance illustrator who has done multiple murals for business settings. But some believe it goes deeper than that. Rose elaborates that “to have something visually stimulating and get [employees] thinking outside the box” is another positive side effect of office art.
Notably, however, not everyone is visually oriented and sceptics may question whether benefits can extend to those who don’t work in creative positions. According to Rose, this shouldn’t be a concern.
“To varying degrees, I think we’re all visually oriented,” she maintains. “To have something to look at, something to get you thinking, something for your eye to move around, I think it definitely helps regardless of what your tastes might be.”
Amy Ferrari is another artist who has dabbled in corporate art. She says that visual stimuli, through aspects such as colour, can have subconscious effects on mood that even non-visual learners can benefit from.
“There’s certain elements of design that no matter if you’re aware of them or not, they still have the same kind of impact on people. So I really do think even if you’re not aware of it, certain pieces can add to the environment,” Ferrari maintains.
But the benefits don’t stop at employees. For those who have visitors to their office, art can speak volumes about the values and culture of a company.
“It shows that a company is really committed to their employees and culture, and to creating a really good environment for people to work in, so I think as a customer you would see that instantaneously,” says Hanson.
In order for this type of impact to be created, Hanson believes that it’s important to have consistency between the company brand and the artwork.
“If you have a well-defined and well-developed brand, then I think it’s really important to tie your artwork into that,” she acknowledges. “It’s more about just maintaining that brand integrity.”
Rose adds that part of the reasoning for businesses to have art in the workplace is because it “really sets them apart and helps define their image.”
Worried about the cost of decking out your office in art? Ferrari suggests having rotating artists contributing their work or renting art. For those who have the space, even an artist in residence could be a possibility.
“I’d love to see something like this grow,” concludes Ferrari. “There’s a lot of possibilities.”
Story by Lindsay Purchase.
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