Art, More than Aesthetics

The purpose of fine art in the workplace isn’t just for aesthetics or to beautify the space; there are many benefits to its presence with-in your facility. One of the most important aspects of having art in the workplace is that it builds culture and sparks creativity. Art improves the workplace environment for both the employees, who see it day after day, and on the clientele who either visits once or frequently. The culture that art creates can leave a lasting impression of your company on your clientele as well as on your employees; which increases loyalty from both.

Gerbera Daisy Collection - photograph created by Melissa Fague - Abstract Photography

Gerbera Daisy Collection – photograph created by Melissa Fague – Abstract Photography

Heightens creativity – Not everyone is an artist that could create the statue of David out of marble but that doesn’t mean that artistic items don’t promote creativity. Everyone has a creative part of the brain which is linked to problem solving; a skill that is required in every profession as well as in life. This creative side of your employees can present itself in different ways, such as creating a personal sales pitch, a creative way to organize ones workflow for efficiency, presentations of products, writing etc… This creativity increases your employee’s productivity; which in turn increases profitability.

Stress Reduction – Some art can promote relaxation. Contemplative aspects of art can help lower the stress levels of what we all recognize can be a high-stress setting. Having relaxing art in common areas such as a lobby, employee break room, or dining area will help your employees relieve stress in order to tackle the project or workload with fresh eyes and clear minds.

Employee Retention – An employee is more inclined to stay with a company that offers a sense of responsibility, productivity, loyalty and dignity than one that does not. Creating a positive work environment for your employees to grow in will help encourage your employees to remain loyal to you; one hand washes the other so to speak.

Branding – Believe it or not art is important in the branding of a company’s image as well as creating a pleasant and inspiring environment.” Because of the way our minds work when it comes to memory, people tend to relate visual components of an environment to important details; most people don’t even know they do it. For example, a bleak neutral colored, four walled room tends to be boring and uninviting. However, add colorful art to it and the comfort leave of your clientele increases significantly; thus enforcing a positive experience in your facility and with your products or services.

Communication – Art arouses dialogue and debate between your client and you or your employees. Here is an example; there is nothing more uncomfortable than sitting in a bleak room waiting to do something that isn’t comfortable. Personally, this discomfort is most apparent to me when I am going for my check-up. The lobby of the doctor’s office is comforting and relaxed but then you’re called to the examination room…yikes! Once you’re in the examination room you are presented with four windowless walls, a sink, a counter and an examination table with rough crinkly paper stretched across it and horrible florescent lighting. And let’s not forget having to put on a big frumpy robe with the opening to the back so that the rough paper on the examination table sticks to your derrière. Lastly, you have to sit there and wait, alone. I understand that these things are a necessity in life but it is extremely uncomfortable. During this time I get a feeling of vulnerability. So by the time the doctor arrives to the room the feeling of discomfort is high. I, and I’m sure a lot of people like me, don’t discuss everything with the doctor because I’m so focused on wanting my own clothing back on and the encounter to end.

This is an extreme example but this sense of discomfort is also in your clients. They may be uncomfortable talking about their bodies, their finances, their feelings; their motivations for being there…the list can go on. Your job or your employee’s jobs are to service the customer to the best of your ability. How can you or your employee produce the best product to fit the clientele’s needs if the customer is uncomfortable and withholds information? Art is a way to foster conversation and direct focus onto something else; it can be used as small talk or a full-fledged conversation piece to the clients that seem to express more of an interest in art. Just the presence of art in a room can help reduce the discomfort level that holds back free flowing conversation.

Community Building- Purchasing art from local artists can help your company build a positive reputation in the community; it shows your clients that you value the area in which you provide service. It also can instill a sense of peace or comfort, especially if it is a painting or photograph of recognizable location of the area that your client has visited or at the very least seen.

ackermann

Photographed by: Steven Doyle  / Mural by: Franz Ackermann 2009

Investments – Have you ever heard the saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”? Fine Art could be an investment for your company. Take a look at some of the top banks, law firms, computer software companies and even football teams. They all invest in art. The Dallas Cowboys football stadium is covered with fine art pieces. Some of the companies, Like JP Morgan, conduct exhibits and have loan programs with their collection so the public can experience it, while others keep their collection private for the employee’s pleasure. Some companies only collect well known pieces, while others collect art from living artists, or emerging artists. Some collections may be theme based, such as the Barcardi Import Company that only collects Cuban art. Regardless of how they handle their collections or what they may collect, all of these companies understand that art can be financially rewarding in more ways than one.

Being a landscape and nature photographer I try to inspire people with the beauty of our world and with a different perspectives on ordinary subjects. Having art in a person’s workspace or even common areas of a facility is an important part in fostering a positive environment for everyone. It shows employees and clientele alike that management cares enough about their experiences during the time spent there to have a thoughtfully maintained facility. Employees want to feel good about where they work; they want their physical location to be a source of pride and customers want to feel like they invested their money in a solid product or service. When you give them both the source you will receive loyalty and productivity in return. Pride motivates everyone!

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