Looking to unlock employee creativity and boost workplace morale at the same time? The confluence of science and small businesses are showing us how to do just that.
Scientists can now demonstrate that art increases people’s happiness. An Italian study took saliva samples from 100 volunteers before and after viewing an expansive fresco on the ceiling of a famous basilica. After a couple hours of perusing the art, researchers found the participants’ levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, had dropped dramatically.
Anyone who has visited an art museum doesn’t need science to be convinced of the calming and often energizing effect of art. This is an important phenomenon to consider when creating space for your workforce and deciding what type of culture you want to cultivate.
The artwork you choose (and you should strongly consider curating art in the workplace) will have an effect on the moods of everyone who enters the space. So, it’s important to have an informed and consistent theme of energizing pieces that elicit the responses you want from your employees, partners, and clients.
Moreover, science finds that actually engaging in the artistic process carries more psychological and physiological benefits than just viewing art. Some health experts belief engaging in creative endeavors are as important to wellness as eating a balanced diet and exercising. Being creative can alleviate symptoms of depression, improve immune functions, expedite the healing process, and according to the Mayo Clinic, delay cognitive decline.
An easy option is to involve employees in the process of choosing either the art pieces for the office or what themes should adorn each department. Give each worker the chance to weigh in through an email campaign, set up an art competition between departments, or have workers elect committees to represent their interests and ideas.
An even better option would be to host regular painting events. Companies like Painting with a Twist and Paint Nite set up venues where participants can follow a painting tutorial by professional artists and complete a composition while relationships can blossom and employee creativity can bloom.
Whichever route you choose, it can only help workplace morale and creativity to foster an appreciation for artistic expression as an important aspect of professional development. Both the individual workers and the company as a whole can’t help but benefit from an infusion of art at work.