How art in your office can immediately support better mental health and wellbeing for your valued people.
In the past few years, we’ve seen a big shift in how and where we work. Many of us now prefer more flexible options including working remotely, part-time, job-sharing and even a staggered retirement. Why? Because people have realised that remote working can offer a better work/life balance without the stress and financial burden of the commute.
We’re much happier and often more productive because we’ve removed the overwhelm and burnout that drove us to depression and increased stress. In short, our mental health and wellbeing are significantly improved.
But in the last couple of years, companies have been keen for a return to the office and have been trying to establish mutual ground by offering hybrid work options to their employees. However, there has been considerable pushback with people even choosing to leave their jobs over a full or even part-time return to the office.
Why the reluctance to return to the office and what can you do about it?
A study by McKinsey identified that 1 in 3 of us found the return to the workplace negatively impacted their mental health.
Research also shows that the most common reason we don’t want to return is that many of us are enjoying the freedom and flexibility of remote working and we’re just not willing to relinquish it.
Simply put, we like being at home. As already said, we’re happier, and as such, our health and wellbeing have improved.
Aligned with these outcomes, there’s also another reason that’s emerging; our offices just aren’t enticing enough. Prior to the pandemic we just accepted we needed to work at the office, there was no other option on the table. Today, that’s simply not the case. We have proven that, for some people, working from home can be great and compared with the comforts of home how can the formalities of the workplace successfully compete?
Eliminating décor depression with art.One solution is simple
Create thoughtfully designed workspaces that are engaging and enticing – spaces where your people love to hang out and work.
According to Dr Craig Knight, who has studied the psychology of working environments, office design is one of the top factors when it comes to workplace happiness. A dark and dingy environment will not promote a positive mindset. Carrying out a pressurized job in an uninviting atmosphere will only increase stress-related issues.
“A quality workspace design leads to a less stressful and more productive atmosphere. It’s essential that employers take the physical work environment of their employees into consideration. Employees need to feel comfortable and calm in their physical work settings to produce their best work.” Forbes 2019
Fill your office walls with art that boosts good mental health.
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to create positive workspaces is by renting carefully curated artwork. Relatively quick and easy to integrate into your current space if you work with a specialist art rental firm, your people will not only love their workplace but you can encourage them to get involved in the selection process thus empowering them to support one another.
The positive impact on mental health and wellbeing through art in the office.
Companies like Deutsche Bank have been using art to counteract the negative impact their people are experiencing on their return to the office. The German investment bank has the biggest collection of corporate art in the world, with some 60,000 artworks across 900 offices in 40 countries not only for aesthetic pleasures but because they fully understand the significant benefits for the mental health and wellbeing of their people.
"Artwork in the workplace can significantly boost morale and productivity while reducing anxiety and stress."
While this is a great initiative, most companies can’t afford to do this, but the good news is that art rental is an affordable and practical way to try out various options for your offices. Whether it’s a stunning landscape, or a modern abstract piece reflecting your brand or a large scale mural, art can trigger us on an emotional and physical level and the response can be powerful.
We recently installed a bespoke collection of contemporary art for a London, law firm.
Having moved into a Cat A refurbished office on Paternoster Row, near St. Pauls in London, our clients office had a minimal finish and big bright white walls. The space needed an injection of personality. Once the rented office art was installed the impact on their team was palpable,
“It is our first day today and everyone is absolutely loving the art and the atmosphere it creates."
Chris, Business Development & Marketing Director
The cost of mental health in the workplace
Never a truer word spoken as the costs of poor mental health, absence and presenteeism have continued to rise significantly for UK businesses.
"Poor mental health cost UK businesses an estimated 17 billion pounds with the equivalent of 125 million days off work for mental health reasons over the last 2 years."
With workplaces bearing the financial brunt of mental illness in terms of staff short and long-term absence, many businesses are launching their own workplace initiatives to try to counter the negative effects of the pandemic such as showcasing artwork within the workplace.
One such initiative is being backed by the WHO and funded through a series of charity auctions at Christies with the aim of supporting arts-based treatment initiatives.
"Numerous studies confirm that employee’s mental wellbeing is crucial for engagement at work."
Research by the University of Warwick found
"a 12% boost in productivity when people are happy, with companies that invest more in employee support reaping greater benefits. Now, more than ever, mental health in the office is an important design topic."
Work Design Magazine
Is Art the Answer?
The healing power of art lies in its capacity to evoke feelings and emotions through the medium of sight. It can have an immediate effect on mood and encourage positive behaviours. Art can inspire conversation and encourage participation, the right piece placed in the right location can motivate and stimulate your workforce.
‘Art in the workplace has been shown to benefit employee well-being and performance. Viewing artwork, particularly realistic nature scenes, helps workers restore mental energy and reduce stress. Unsurprisingly, both of these effects boost brain performance.’
Work Design Magazine
GingerWhite can assist your own workplace initiative and create a positive statement about you and your business while motivating your workforce with a refreshing and inspiring environment.
Working together with the GingerWhite team, they can advise on selecting the right colour palette, artists and styles that reflect your values, your brand and your people culture. You can also get your teams involved in the process to drive engagement and collaboration, including using our staff voting tool.
Once installed your chosen art can inspire and influence mood by creating positive talking points to encourage social interaction within your team and improve the overall employee experience and engagement.
Plus renting art with GingerWhite means that you can shift the mood too, with bespoke packages offering a change of artwork every 6, 12 and 24 months.
Here’s a great story about one of our Real Estate and Construction clients. Having relocated in 2018, they wanted to enhance their unique workspace with custom art work. Our brief was simple,
“We want to create a homely feel for our office to nurture our people and enhance wellbeing.”
Formerly a Victorian Warehouse, this fascinating mixed use building was tucked away behind the Hatton Garden jewellery district in London, EC1. The thoughtful redevelopment retained the warehouse façade as it wrapped around the attractive landscaped courtyard. The building includes 25,000sqft of high specification commercial office space over 5 floors, with the design retaining many of the original warehouse features.
We carefully curated a selection of contemporary works for each of the spaces within their office and the impact on their people has proven a great success. So much so, that we now continue to change their art installation on a regular basis, working with their team to not only improve the aesthetics but importantly their emotional wellbeing.