The Art of Productivity in the Workplace

August 24, 2016

Didn’t catch Sue’s column in the Memphis Daily News earlier this year? No worries! Check it out below.

Sue Layman Lightman_Headshot

It’s no secret that a happy employee is a productive employee. What makes a happy employee? There are many factors, such as compensation, respect, open communication, ownership in work, etc., that an employer must cultivate over time to see results. However, one of the simplest ways to boost productivity in the workplace is by creating an enjoyable work environment.

In the 2010 study, “Cubicle, Sweet Cubicle,” conducted by Dr. Craig Knight and Dr. S. Alexander Haslam, psychology professors at the University of Exeter in England, found that employees in an office with art work approximately 15 percent faster than those without.

Many businesses have come to me for assistance in this area. Upon my first examination of the workplace, I usually notice walls that bear a neutral hue with dull, monochromatic paintings or none at all. Livening up your workspace with colorful pieces of art is an easy way to put some pizazz in the office environment. Doing so has also been found to boost employee morale and enhance customer experience in your place of business.

Art strengthens employee morale in two main ways – boosting creativity and helping reduce stress. Art inspires people, especially abstract pieces. The lack of image causes the mind to wonder what the piece means or what the artist was hoping to portray. This stimulation of the mind can inspire the viewer to unlock his or her own creativity, which can lead to the creation of innovative ideas that can help out with many aspects of the business. In addition, creating a pleasant work environment with art helps relax employees in stressful situations.

A study by the International Art Consultants in 2011 found that 94 percent of respondents believed that art makes their workplace more welcoming and 61 percent agree it also stimulates creativity. I can attest to this from the positive responses I hear from clients who host my paintings in their businesses.

The aesthetics of art in the workplace also enhance overall customer experience. A well-designed office shows that the business takes pride in the work environment. For instance, the waiting room or reception area is usually the first opportunity that a business has to make an impression on a potential customer. Making them feel more at ease from the start will make them happier while doing business with you. Additionally, employees who work with happy customers are more likely to be productive. And, happy customers who work with productive employees are more likely to continue giving your company their business.

While the art of productivity in the workplace can be complicated, the addition of art can be one simple way to quickly achieve desired results. The benefits of art in the workplace may subtle but are valuable. Who wouldn’t want more productive employees and happier customers?

Sue Layman Lightman, artist and owner of Sue Layman Designs, can be reached at 901-409-7870 or