At Artupia, we all agreed on one point: we had different professional experiences, bad or interesting, but it is the first time that we find ourselves surrounded by paintings in an office (especially for our developers!). I personally find it really interesting since it encourages us to exchange our point of view about what we like or dislike in a painting... a good exercise to promote communication between colleagues. I also think that sharing thoughts and ideas about art allows you to get to know and connect with the people who work with you, a bit better.
Upon searching on Google, I was surprised to find out that "art in workplaces" is actually a popular solution for companies around the world who want to boost their employees productivity and promote corporate values.
In fact, according to a study conducted by Viking, 53% of employees declared that having paintings in their offices makes them happier, whilst 54% think that art should always be present in working environments. Even if there is no scientific explanation to explain the study's results, I instantly could think of a few reasons myself. In the end, we spend majority of our day at work and the impact of an environment on our performance is something we can’t debate. A high-stress environment will considerably impact the performance of your employees whilst stimulating surroundings will encourage them to be creative.
If it's so simple, why don't all companies hang artwork in their offices?
Well, art has been seen as something reserved to an elite group for decades and is only starting to be more accessible to a wider audience in recent times however, its impact in the workplace is constantly underestimated and undervalued. Let s talk about 5 reasons why you should introduce art into your workplace, for the benefit of all.
Art reduces stress
We already discussed how art can evoke emotions in people and help them to relieve stress in order to relax. According to a study led by Forbes, 78% of respondents in a survey of over 800 employees working for U.S companies affirmed that art in the workplace helped reduce their stress and allowed them to release pressure. Paintings on a wall is a welcoming distraction for employees during a break. Foster artworks with colors like blue, green, white, grey, light pink and other pastel shades, to soothe your employees’ eyes and minds.
Art boosts productivity
If it is not 100% clear why art in workplaces ignites energy, a very serious study led by the Exeter University’s School of Psychology affirmed that employees are 32% more productive in an environment where art is showcased. In my opinion, art boosts productivity because of its effect on our creativity (see next point). Undoubtedly, when you feel creative and stimulated by an environment, your motivation dramatically increases and in turn, so does your productivity.
What subjects or themes represent "productivity" for you? A spinning boat in the ocean or a guy diving?
Art stimulates creativity
Art enables you to think outside of the box and see from another person's perspective.
Erwin Schrödinger, an Austrian philosopher and physician, said something really interesting about perspectives that particularly reflects our way of thinking in Artupia:
“The task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen, but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.”
Provide employees with the opportunity to conceptualize their problems from a new angle and to find innovative solutions. Let them experience how art has the potential to awaken new parts of their minds and can offer new visionary dimensions.
This painting -"Paesaggio" - is a great example of how art can reveal perspectives: the artist, Alvin Valenti, wanted to depict a blue sky melting on black hills. Some of us in the office see it from another angle; an aerial view of ocean waves, crashing onto nearby cliffs.
Art enhances communication among employees
On one of my very first days working in Artupia, my colleagues showed me this beautiful artwork: When The Night Comes One Light One Soul by Andrea Solaja, and asked:
“What do you see? What is, according to you, the story behind this painting?”
I won't tell you the authentic story behind this painting as I'll keep the suspense for another article I’ll be soon writing about our talented artists however, the simple question about this piece led to a really thought-provoking debate about sad vs. inspiring stories.
Art-debates are a fantastic way to improve communication amongst colleagues but also develop/explain a point of view or personal belief in front of other people. I dare you to tell your boss with tact and diplomacy that no, the woman on this artwork is not a dancer like he thought, but something much more interesting.
Art represents your company values
Last but not least, art represents your company values and reveals another aspect of your business to clients. When traveling for example, we pay attention to a hotel interior design: objects, colors, furniture, and canvases on the wall. All these external elements come together to create an atmosphere and send us a subliminal message like "relax and enjoy your holiday." The same happens for clients when coming into your offices. Show them your values, your objectives, your “thinking outside of the box” attitude with meaningful paintings on your walls.
Our offices in Milan are located in a very nice courtyard and people often stop by to look at our paintings. If there is one thing that we can take away from this is that any visitor we had, interested or not in art, was smiling when looking up at all these artworks which represent our company and our goals: they appreciate the story of how Alberto, our CEO, founded Artupia, our vision of the art industry, and our approach towards our artists.
There are many reasons to introduce a bit of art in workplaces, from the aesthetical to the motivational aspect. Art is for anyone who wants to experience it and at Artupia, we deeply believe that the more we share it, the more we enhance our spaces of living. On our website, you will find a lot of unique handmade paintings from emerging artists who, like us, think that art should be accessible to the largest audience possible. And as our artists are really talented, you also have the option to create your own custom painting. Now it’s your turn to be creative!