Does your workplace have to be so boring? Work environments in the capital are changing with more thought applied to interior design and art investment. ArtMan Kevin Wilson elaborates
We spend on average around 2000 hours a year in the office.
What do your eyes see in those 2000 hours? When you look up from your screen where do you gaze? If every five minutes you look at the same patch of wall, then around 24,000 times a year you will look at that same patch of wall.
What if the wall is a colour you hate?
Or worse still, perhaps it’s your nearest colleague’s monobrow or dodgy tooth that your gaze has fallen upon 24,000 times over the last year – get my point?
You need great distractions at work.
Well, surely it’s better to give your eyes a creative rest. If your office is filled with interesting art or great design, then at least you focus on something interesting when you are daydreaming. The same applies to the lobby in the office, what do you look at when you rush through – anything? Nothing?
Businesses in London are slowly clicking on to the benefits of art in the workplace. The positives from the worker’s point of view are pretty obvious, better working environment inadvertently leads to increased well being, which leads to… well, you know… it really is all positive.
When done carefully, art can be a great investment for a company and provide a decent return too. Of course great art is even better if it is incorporated into great interior design.
Ok, so the art or design has to be good, it has to say something and change the feel and mood of the space. If it’s bland or too safe it will just become invisible after a few visits… then what’s the point?
Source: Scott Browning
Source: ©Scott Brownrig
Leading exponents of the invest-well-add-sparkle brigade is the Deutsche Bank who first opened its London offices and London art collection in 1973.
Thirty years later, the bank has offices all around the UK displaying hundreds of works of art. A walk through its London headquarters offers a fascinating introduction to contemporary art.
Deutsche takes it commitment to art seriously and its 100 conference rooms are each assigned an international artist. A biography and wall plaque is featured alongside the artist’s work. The majority of its floors and corridors have also been given themes to help educate and illuminate Deutsche employees – and providing an antithesis to their intense number crunching duties.
Source: Sarah Browning
Source: ©Deutsche Bank
You can’t really get more committed to art than the Deutsche Bank has; it sponsors, educates and pours money into art, presumably as an antidote to the general perception of the banking world.
But, don’t let this put you off. Great art prints can be bought for a few £100 and increase in value. Great interior design can be achieved by the careful application of colour, shapes and themes.
Art can also be hired and rotated on a regular basis to provide a monthly new feel to a space.
Does your office or workplace need to be a dull, soulless white or beige bland box with out of date time planners? Is the only art on the walls pictures of Mary’s last holiday to the Seychelles pinned onto tatty cork boards? IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY.
Come on business owners, do something about the working environment of your workers. And workers of London unite in campaigning to Art It Up!
Kevin Wilson is an international arts consultant, curator and collector. He advises on collections, investments and projects. His clients range from the historical royal palaces, international corporations, to private individuals and collections worldwide.