How Art Can Have a Positive Influence in Your Home Office
Inject some zest into your workspace and daily grind by choosing art that speaks to you.
Walking through your home, it’s probably apparent that you’ve chosen your home’s decor with care. But what about your work-from-home space? While it’s forgivable to have thrown together a temporary work area to accommodate the pandemic situation where almost 40 percent of employees were working from home, many of those remote positions still continue to this day or have been made permanent. If you’re one of those employees that are still working remotely, maybe it’s time to give your home office space more attention.
No matter what your situation is — whether working out of a closet, a converted corner, or a guest room turned home office — bringing art into the space can significantly improve your mood and productivity.
1. Art as Inspiration
Consider turning to art to help you stay positive during the day and to find inspiration in your work. For example, use the art as a sort of vision board, where the scenes depicted reference things you aspire to be or do. Or you could also find art that hints at people, places and activities you love, so that you’re reminded why you’re working so hard.
To circumvent those cliche inspirational quote posters that have run their course, seek out art that is intentional and speaks to your self-identity. The artwork may still have some sort of message attached to it, but that message combined with the imagery should apply directly to who you are.
2. Art to Reinforce Mission
Remind yourself of all the good your work does. Studies by the Harvard Business Review show that a key element of positive workplaces is underscoring the significance of the work being done. So, in addition to artwork that inspires you personally, consider adding some that hit on your professional goals and accomplishments as well. Workplace art can also be a reminder that sometimes there is more to your job than completing the tasks and advancing through the ranks. For example, if your career is people-oriented, helping people and developing new friendships are a fulfilling byproduct that can be emphasized.
3. Art to Help Reduce Eye Fatigue
As many of us know, staring at a computer screen all day long can result in serious eye fatigue. And when you remove the hustle and bustle of a busy office environment, where the chances of getting up and looking away from our screens are higher, the odds of eye fatigue are even greater. By incorporating art into your home office, you’re giving your eyes a reason to take a break from the screen. Just glancing around and allowing your eyes to focus on different surfaces and distances is helpful in reducing eye strain, so be sure to not only place art near your screen, but further away as well.
Artwork can include photographs, art prints, or decorative items, and can be hung on the wall, propped on your desk or positioned on a shelf. The important thing is to make it visually appealing. You actually want your eyes to rest on it and your mind to think about it in order for you to reap more of the visual and psychological benefits.
4. Art to Boost Your Mood
Several areas of the brain are triggered when we look at art, such as our pleasure and reward centers, and the place we process emotions. In December 2020, reporting showed that the emotional states of many work-at-home employees was worse than those who worked on-site. While the pandemic is sure to play a role in this finding, bringing artwork into your work area can have important mood-enhancing merits. In fact, studies prove art makes an impact. One study showed patients at a clinic had less stress and a better mood after viewing art in the waiting room, hallway and exam room; while another showed images of nature specifically lowered feelings of anger in the workplace, and art in general increased happiness and reduced stress.
5. Art for Increased Productivity
Another cool thing about artwork is that color psychology comes into play, especially in mostly neutral spaces. For instance, injecting certain colors into a room, like blues, teals, and select greens, urges the brain to concentrate on the current task. In addition, lighter and brighter mid-tones tend to work well for calm concentration. Hues with more energy, like orange or coral, are good if you have aspects of your work that are high energy, but are typically best used in small doses so they don’t contribute to eye fatigue. When it comes to color psychology, even a tiny addition, like a small print perched on a bookshelf, can make an impact.
All this being said, the benefits of color psychology are not the only way to increase productivity through artwork. According to one study, just the act of personalizing your workspace can make you 32 percent more productive.
6. Art to Help Build Stronger Connections
Personal connections and more open communication can be had with art in the workplace. Allowing others to see a small piece of who you are and what you value encourages them to connect with you as a whole person, rather than just the skills you bring to the workplace. In short, human beings value and recognize truth and authenticity in others.