Apart from the cognitive benefits, an artfully done up workspace also helps create a unique character and personality for the brand, driving strong brand recall.
Does a workplace really need art?
Think of every workplace you have ever visited. Chances are you won’t be able to recall most of them. Reason? The same old cubicles, drab walls, sterile furniture, and so on. But the ones that do have a strong recall are those with interesting aesthetics that contribute to the ‘feel good’ factor of the place.
Interestingly, more often than not, art plays a subtle yet important role in achieving this effect. This is because art, as a creative expression, encourages the viewers to explore an ‘open’ and ‘out of the box’ thought process – an asset most valuable in dynamic and competitive business environments, especially in the case of SMEs and startups.
With the advent of the global economy, the corporate work environments have witnessed a drastic transformation from being a workstation-oriented infrastructure to an employee-focused engagement platform.
With millennials comprising 46.4 percent of India's working age population, the need for modern workspaces to upgrade to versatile working environments has further necessitated the need for transformation.
As a result, apart from engaging HR policies, businesses, and corporate houses today are also focusing on aesthetic work spaces, art being a major part of this exercise.
Further, research by Exeter University’s School of Psychology has shown that art at the workplace not just helps reduce stress (78 percent agreed) but also boosts creativity (64 percent agreed) and encourages the expression of opinion (77 percent agreed).
According to the study, the positive effects on employees were highest at organisations that offered them the chance to play an active role in planning their workspaces. And when employees feel relaxed, happy, motivated and valued, it great for business.
Apart from the cognitive benefits, an artfully done up workspace also helps create a unique character and personality for the brand, driving strong brand recall – especially for vendors and stakeholders who visit the space for meetings.
A tastefully curated art installation can speak volumes about a brand’s corporate philosophy, core values, work culture and its commitment to quality services. Thus, a brand can skillfully utilise the walls of its workspaces and transform them into vibrant pages of their corporate handbook.
While the positive effects of art are well understood, it is still far from being a commonplace phenomenon. This is mainly because of the huge monetary investment currently required to own a piece – an expenditure that is definitely not on the priority list of SMEs and startups. Another factor that has been hindering the access to great art is the permanence of the purchase and the owner’s inability to change it to match the changing tastes and times.
‘Art on Subscription’ as a concept offers patrons an opportunity to choose from a wide range of curated artworks by celebrated artists at a monthly fee that is a fraction of the original artwork cost.
Further, there is always the flexibility of switching the art piece after a few months with a new piece, to match the changing tastes and needs of the patrons. Thus, SMEs and startups can revamp their workspace using art at a fraction of the original price, while enjoying the flexibility to change and adapt with times.
The fact that art is essential in a workplace is a no-brainer. What employers need to realise is that they don’t really have to invest in buying artworks in order to experience them. Nor do they have to live with the fear of growing out of them after a year or two.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)