Art has the power to fascinate and uplift the spirits. It can also have a relaxing and healing effect on the body and mind. Furthermore, art can instill curiosity, increase creativity, and otherwise transform spaces where people may spend hours at a time.
Many employed Americans spend around 40 or more hours seated at a desk or standing at another type of work station. When employees are able to have control over the layout and design of these spaces, Exeter University’s School of Psychology found that they were happier, healthier, and more productive. In fact, they were up to 32% more productive, which points to the positive effect that encouraging this practice can have on day-to-day business operations.
Another study found that when people had art, plants, or other workplace decorations that this also had a positive effect on their productivity. These employees were 17% more productive than their counterparts without decorated spaces.
Many workplace challenges can potentially be addressed when employees are able to have art in their work environment. When asked whether this did make a difference, the participating businesses agreed that it provided the following benefits:
- Reduced stress: 78%
- Increased creativity: 64%
- Encouraged expressing opinions: 77%
It’s interesting to note that the results of another survey showed similar results. While 94% of the participants believed art made their workplace more welcoming, 61% agreed that it also stimulated their creativity.
Furthermore, when participants visited an art gallery, they noted that they were less stressed after viewing art for 35 minutes. It’s important to note that they were able to explore the gallery in any way that they chose, which may also have created a more relaxing atmosphere. After exiting the gallery, the participants had lower levels of cortisol, which is referred to as the stress hormone.
Art can also make a significant difference in hospitals and medical centers. The Arts for Health staff conducted a feasibility study on the neurology floor at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. In addition to hanging 18 large pieces of local art on the walls of this floor, they also hung other pieces in patients’ rooms. The patients reported that as a result of this, they felt more comfortable and more at home. These patients also commented that they felt the medical center cared more about them and their well-being.
In 2013, the Arts and Health Alliance conducted a survey with 129 Veterans medical centers. Over 50% of these centers offered bedside arts programming, and over 40% offered the following types of exposure to art:
- Rotating art exhibitions
- Permanent art collections
- Commissioned paintings or sculptures
When subjects in a 2011 University of London study viewed a beautiful painting, their blood flow increased ten percent in the “joy response” part of their brains. This is the same blood-flow response when a person looks at someone they love.
Given the results of these studies, when art is present in workplaces such as hospitals and other types of care facilities, it has the potential to make a positive difference. In order to learn more about the type of art that will work best in a specific environment, a corporate art consultant can be contacted. Since corporate art consultants have extensive experience with locating fine art for a variety of settings, they will be able to make recommendations accordingly. It’s also important to note that corporate art consultants specialize in providing art for specific types of venues such as hospitals, hotels, restaurants, and other business establishments.