Creativity Makes For Productivity

Finding: Art in offices can boost worker productivity.

If you have ever been to an art gallery, you know how easy it is to get lost in a piece of artwork. Whether you like or dislike the piece, you can still find yourself staring at it for several minutes. Art has a way of capturing the human imagination and redefining how we perceive the world. In a study conducted at the University of Exeter, it was found that art can encourage workers to complete tasks faster and with higher quality.

Art Encourages Productivity

To some, it may seem as if art poses too much of a distraction; that abstract objects don’t belong in a place of business. However, Dr. Craig Knight, head of the research group Identity Realisation (IDR), believes otherwise.

“There is a real tendency to opt for sanitized, lean workspaces, designed to encourage staff to just get on with their work and avoid distraction,” he explains.

According to Knight’s research, happy workers make for better workers. This means that small adjustments to the surroundings of workers can inspire them to work faster and with precision. For his experiment, Dr. Knight used the Deutsche Bank as evidence to further explain his theory.

In the German investment bank, there are over 60,000 pieces of art throughout the building. Employees can then download an interactive app that will educate them on the piece and the history behind the artwork. Even more extraordinary, the bank even hosts talks by the artists themselves, which allows to share and discuss the intricacies of their artwork.

What Can Art Do?

In the hours of research done by Knight and his team, it was found that people who worked in “Enriched” offices, worked 15 percent quicker than those of other offices. But how did the team come to this conclusion? Well, Knight separated the different types of offices a business could have in to four separate groups.

The first group, called the “Lean” group, were the businesses that consolidated their office space to only include things necessary to do their tasks.

The “Enriched” group were the businesses that featured art and plants pre-set in their office.

The “Empowered” group were the businesses that had the same art and plants as the enriched group, but the participants could choose where to put them.

And, lastly, the “Disempowered” group were businesses that participants could arrange the art and plants as they pleased, but the experimenter undid the personal changes at the end of the day.

Using these groups helped decipher what types of offices provided the most worker enjoyment and which offices were able to produce more work. Another factor that was measured were the numbers of health complaints received from employees. Of all the teams, the enrichment group had the least number of health complaints and a great increase in productivity.

In the 12 years that Knight has studied art in work environments, he has never seen a lean group be able to produce more, or better, work than other groups. Both, disempowered and lean groups were unable to produce as much as the empowered or enriched teams.

Fractal Coworking, Business Offices for Rent

At Fractal, we value how design can encourage employees. Making small adjustments to your work environment can result in huge benefits, not just for your employees but for your business as well. If you are interested in your own office space, contact Fractal Coworking today.