While the open-office concept was meant to replace the siloed workplace of the cubicle farm era, some research suggests the layout may actually discourage collaboration between coworkers. How can we get back to the intended purpose of the modern office—to foster collaboration and productivity, rather than inhibit it? While we may not have all the answers, we’re here to make the argument for wall art. Here’s how hanging a few uniquely curated pieces can transform the workspace from humdrum to inspiring.

 

Decorating Can Be a Team-Building Activity

Who better to consult about office décor than those who will be spending the better part of their time working in the space? In an excerpt from his book, Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives, published to TED Ideas, economist Tim Harford describes a comparison tying employee productivity to involvement in the design process.

The 2010 experiment, conducted by psychologists Alex Haslam and Craig Knight, tested four different office environments to see how each one affected productivity. While study participants in an office decorated with large photo prints and plants were reportedly more productive than those working in a barren space, the most successful group was the one whose participants could arrange the decorations to their liking.

In addition to satisfaction and productivity, involving employees in the design of their spaces can be a great exercise in teamwork, especially for newer teams. Employees can get to know one another in a fun and laidback way, while managers and supervisors can start to gain insight into how their team members prefer to approach projects. 

Art Promotes Mental Well-Being

 

Art is proven to have a calming effect, which can benefit mental health. A Mic article exploring the impact of art on the mind and body highlights a University of Westminster study, which found a decrease in stress levels after participants visited an art gallery during lunchtime. While we absolutely advocate hitting the art gallery at lunch, we realize that’s often not the most practical endeavor—so why not bring the gallery into the office?

Your Team Will Feel More at Home

As employers work to meet the preferences of the increasing number of millennials and Gen-Zers in the workplace, we’re seeing a transition from the strictly office-based, nine-to-five structure to more flexible arrangements that facilitate greater productivity—for example, allowing employees to work from home a few days per week. But as it turns out, these younger generations may be looking for more of a home away from home. In 2015, the office solutions firm Continental Office spoke with a group of soon-to-be graduates of The Ohio State University about their desires for a future workplace, naming “a comfortable environment” and a “work space that feels like home” as the top two responses.

With these generations now very much a part of the workforce, employers should be prioritizing elements like comfort and aesthetic in workplace design—and having art on the walls is a must!

Curate the Ultimate Collab Space with YAG Curate

YAG Curate is the latest service from Your Art Gallery in which our visual consultants work with you to curate the perfect collection for your space. Purchase a set as-is or create a customized collection to achieve your desired aesthetic. Visit www.yourartgallery.com//curate to learn more, and fill out the form at the bottom to start the process!