New research from office furniture firm Viking has revealed an appetite for art in the office, with 54% of UK workers saying they think that all workplaces should have art.

The research, which surveyed 1,500 British workers highlighted that businesses which fail to provide artwork for staff could be missing out on serious benefits:

  • 53% of workers say that art makes them happier
  • Half of employees (50%) think artwork in the workplace reduces stress
  • 49% think it gives a good impression to new clients and potential employees

There was also feedback from employees on what type of artworks they would most like to see in their workplace. Popular options were:

  • Artwork type: painting (30%)
  • Artwork style: contemporary (24%)
  • Artwork subjects: coastal scenes (24%)

The project, which was carried out in the UK, Austria, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, used survey results to collaborate with students to produce ideal office artworks for each country.

Despite having preferences, most people have no control over what appears in their office. Only 28% of employees have any power to influence the artwork where they work. There are several reasons why people are limited in this:

  • 38% say their companies are limited due to budgetary constraints
  • 30% are limited due to a lack of appreciation of artwork on the part of their employers

The importance assigned to art in the office looks set to further increase, as over two-thirds of under 35s (64%) think that art should be in every workplace, compared to just 49% of over 35s. Younger employees also place more value on the benefits of art in the workplace:

  • 54% of under 35s think art increases productivity, compared to one-third (34%) of over 35s
  • 58% of under 35s think art reduces stress, compared to under half (45%) of over 35s
  • 60% of under 35s think art increases happiness, compared to 49% of over 35s

Clare Porciani, Senior Manager HR Operations UK & Ireland at Viking, commented on the research:

“Artwork can have a whole host of benefits for businesses. It impacts everyone from employees to potential clients. This research has indicated that those who do not install meaningful artwork in their work and office spaces risk missing out on easy wins when it comes to staff productivity and impressing contacts.

“When placing artwork in your workspace, consult with employees and make them feel part of the process to really reap the full potential of your investment.”

Photo Credits: eOffice

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