Workers love an environment with more art on it; studies say

It turns out, high pay and salary is not the only thing that drives an average worker. Studies find out that more artworks inside their workspace make them more productive too.

Splashes of colors and exciting curves can alter the mood of a meeting room or spark a new idea for a campaign like a light bulb on top of your head. Aside from making a bland and boring office, can artwork have a direct impact on employee productivity, better company image and spatial benefits? It seems the answer is yes.

Some people may see paintings that hang on the wall, or sculpture on empty corners are just space-fillers, something that interior decorator puts there only for the sake of it. True enough, the impact of art in the workplace is often underestimated. Many would think that it is all about just the aesthetics of the office, but, what they fail to see is the impacts of art more than what it meets the eye.

According to research, art has the power to boost creativity and reduce stress among office workers who are trapped inside the office for 8-9 hours per day. The relaxing, contemplative aspects of art can help lower the stress levels of what we all recognize can be a high-stress setting, which in return, can boost their drive to work faster and better. One team of researchers from the Exeter University’s School of Psychology found that employees who have control over the design and layout of their workspace are not only happier and healthier they are also up to 32% more productive.

It is also interesting to note the contrast of how art affects the male and the female’s brain. A study found that the impact of art on the individual employee regarding work ethic/motivation, creativity, stress-level and general well-being seems to be higher on women than on men. 80% of the male respondents all agreed that art only has a little or minor effect on their work ethic and motivation, while 54% of the female office workers recalled how art has a moderate to a significant impact on their creativity at the office.

When it comes to art as a tool for stress relief, 47% of men and 80% of the women noted that art at the office could reduce their stress-levels and 92% of the women believe that workplace art affects their general working health and wellbeing, while 71% of the men think so.

For everyone, being surrounded by art can cause good vibes, inspiration, motivation, and passion. Imagine how workers would react if their workplace is not as dull, uninspiring, bland office white walls and clutter everywhere? Of course, the environment and setting take its toll on their performance.

Artworks on the walls also ‘distract’ the workers, in a positive way. It serves as something that keeps their eyes off the computer monitor and screen, which can have adverse effects on their wellbeing.

“Longer distance views, away from computer screens or written documents, allow the eyes to adjust and re-focus, which reduces fatigue, headaches and the effects of eye strain in the long term. Views also have a positive impact on wellbeing, in part by providing a mental connection with other groups of people while in a safe space,” states a report from the World Green Building Council.

Investing in a quality art for your office and workspace is one proven useful measure of retaining staff and encouraging them to be in the room, at a time when people increasingly want to work remotely, says Alex Heath, managing director at International Art Consultants, which advises workplaces on art.

This trend will not only benefit your employees but can also improve your reputation and identity as a company. Art is one of the many concrete ways of manifesting the company’s values. Because art is relevant in the branding of a company’s image, it is also considered one of the most concrete ways of establishing a connection, as well as leaving a lasting impression both on the employees who see it day after day, and on clients who visit either once or frequently. An office’s design—from the layout, colors, lighting and decorative pieces only goes so far in identifying how a company wants to be perceived by its employees and clients.

Knowing Which Artwork to Display Is Important For Your Hotel Business

The days when artworks are hung on hotel walls and rooms for the sake of filler or decoration is long over. Gone are the days when hotels were just a place in a foreign land offering a place for you to lodge, filled with nondescript prints as wallpapers along halls and mass-produced paintings. Today, hotels turn their lobbies, hallways, and suites into gallery-like spaces, displaying famous artwork as part of their décor—hotels are not just hotels, they are transforming into art galleries, where you can spend a night or two.

Hoteliers are thinking even farther outside the frame, installing art in the most unexpected of ways and challenging guests to think more deeply about their experience. Art has become a fundamental, rather than ornamental, element of hotel design. More and more members of the hospitality sector have been actively investing in art to make over their hotel and add to its value, story, identity, and edge compared to the other competitors.

However, owners of hotels could have a hard time choosing and buying artworks for their businesses. Thanks to art consultants, telling their brand’s story through art is easier, as well as choosing the pieces that are relatable to their guests and complementing to their interior in general.

Here are some points to consider that could help you decide better and know more when it comes to buying artworks for your hotel:

Art as your hotel’s identity and brand voice

What story do you want to tell your guests? What kind of hotel are you? More importantly, what kind of people run this place? Your art could be one way of making one-way conversations with the people who will choose to stay in your property. Your goal should not only be one of the hotels with the biggest art collections but be a hotel that tells their story, their brand and their identity through the artworks seen inside it.

A successful hotel doesn’t always have to have the most expensive, most popular and biggest art pieces in the world. Most of the time, it’s about the connection that is felt by the guests through art and how did it make them feel during their stay.

Know what guests like

According to art consultants, pieces that depict nature—be it random illustrations of landscapes or local views are a hit when it comes to hospitality art. This is because art that shows a vast space can magically make a room bigger, and for hotels, it’s everything.

Tricking the guests’ mind that the room is a lot bigger by displaying artworks with nature theme can be very beneficial for hoteliers. At the same time, it can also do wonders for rooms without windows or without views. Nature-themed artworks are also more colorful, making the room more vibrant and alive. At the same time, there are guests who like paintings that depict true-to-life scenarios, events or people. This is one way to create a brand for the industry, especially if the artworks were commissioned by local artists.

Through these artworks, the hotel can transform itself into a gallery or museum where guests can learn a lot about the place. These artworks narrate the identity of the area or hotel itself through the works that depict its traditions and culture.

Hotel owners and art consultants know that abstract art can be beneficial for both the hotel and its guests. According to studies, looking at abstract artworks has positive effects on the brain and body.

When exposed to art, the brain relaxes and releases hormones that calm the body and nerves, making the viewer more comfortable and stress-free. Abstract art is also one of the most popular art themes because it’s generally safe, open for interpretation and can serve as a conversation starter for guests and staff.

There should be a connection

Hotel owners, guests, and other parties should have a connection with the art too. The guests should not be the only one who needs to feel the connection and relate to the artwork, but you as the owner as well. Why did you choose that specific work? Did it make you feel something? Art is not only for the eyes to enjoy but also for your soul to reckon with.

Set your budget and projections

Of course, selecting the artworks is not only the main concern in sourcing art for your hotels. There are other deciding factors such as the budget, space and time frame among others. You will be needing to set your parameters early on so that the options that will be suggested to you by your art consultant is within your range and conditions.

Being an hotelier, you should know your business—how it works and how our investments returned. Just like any property, art is a business of investment. It is important to really think about your decision; whether you are sure of shelling out capital in acquiring art. Of course, investing in art doesn’t mean you have to spend millions to acquire that Michelangelo masterpiece, but then again, your returns are based on your investment at the end of the day

To narrow down your options, consider your budget. While many luxury hotels have been allocating a huge chunk of their budget for acquiring art, some small time or boutique hotels may have lesser options dictated by their budget. It is important to remember that the price of these artworks is not definitive of the impact it will give your brand and your business as well.

Pairing Frames and Hotel Artworks

An artwork and the right framework needs to be a perfect match. A frame can accentuate and enhance the beauty of an artwork, a photograph, or anything that you put on display. The perfect frame will make your painting, photograph, or piece of artwork stand out on your wall.

This trick is especially helpful for hotels which use the power of art in attracting and building rapport with their guests and potential clients. Today, Hospitality Art is one of the dominating trends in the industry as a marketing strategy and communicating tool to connect with their clients and other people as well. However, many hotel owners still find it hard to choose the right artwork for their hotels, let alone paring the best frame that should go with it.

Professional framing is invaluable, however, learning information from them will let you reap the benefits of having a well-displayed art, towards your advantage. Even when using professional framers, it’s important to have a good idea of what you want – of what type of frame will work best for your piece of art.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The best frames are an extension of the art they surround, not its antithesis.” True enough, hoteliers should find the perfect frames to place an artwork for it to enhance its beauty and effect on its viewers.

When choosing a frame, the two big things to consider are what you’re framing and where you’re putting it. Frame options range from traditional to modern and simple to ornate. There are no hard and fast rules, of course, but keeping these options, and your parameters, in mind, finding the right frame for your artwork is a cinch.

Before you select frames for the artworks in your hotel lobby, rooms, and foyer, check the infographic below to know more.

Pairing Frames and Hotel Artworks

Why you should surround yourself with art

Contrary to the common conception that the arts are just for plain aesthetics, it does more than serving the visual. In fact, numerous studies have proven the positive effects of art—looking at it and even making it, to our brain and overall mental health. Did you know that our brains are originally hardwired to process art? Some parts of the brain that are associated with contemplation are automatically sparked when viewing art, even if they aren’t thinking about it critically. So, whether you like it or not, your brain is activated whenever you see one!

Did you know that our brains see art as a reward?

You may be surprised to know that our brains are programmed to consider looking at art a reward. This is according to the findings of one study that explored the movements and state of the brain whilst exposed to art. Viewing the works of famous painters like Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, and other artists more strongly activate the brain’s “reward system” compared to the brain activity that happens when looking at photographs of similar subjects, according to the researchers at Emory University School of Medicine.

Four male volunteers and four females were asked to view paintings made by famous and unknown artists and photographs with the same subject as of the paintings. Imaging technology revealed that when an individual viewed a painting, the ventral striatum (part of the reward system) was more strongly activated, compared to just looking at the photograph version.

The results reveal that not only did art viewing stimulate the ventral striatum, but it also activated the hypothalamus which is the part of the brain that is associated with appetite regulation and the orbitofrontal cortex, which is responsible for calculating risk, impulse control and detection of social rules.

Did you know that art encourages creative thinking?

Contrary to popular belief, creative thinking does not mean using the right side of your brain.It involves getting both hemispheres of your brain communicate with each other. This is according to Dr. Lawrence Katz, an internationally recognized pioneer in neuron regeneration research. Art enhances problem-solving skills.

A study proved that improve the critical thinking skills of students and children. This means that the greater exposure they have to works of art, the higher the rates of brain development is possible.  Art also improves the attention to details ability of the brain.

Did you know that art can give as much joy as being in love?

Scientifically speaking, being in love is characterized by increased blood flow and a faster heartbeat. The brain releases hormones that make you feel happy. Well, art can give that similar effects on you.

Some artworks, as perceived most beautiful by participants, increased blood flow in a certain part of the brain by as much as 10 percent – the equivalent to gazing at a loved one. These are paintings by John Constable, Ingres, the French neoclassical painter, and Guido Reni, the 17th-century Italian artist, produced the most powerful ‘pleasure’ response in those taking part in the experiment.

“The reaction was immediate. What we found was the increase in blood flow was in proportion to how much the painting was liked. The blood flow increased for a beautiful painting just as it increases when you look at somebody you love. It tells us art induces a feel-good sensation direct to the brain,” says Professor Semir Zeki, chair of neuroaesthetics at University College London and the one who conducted the experiment.

Did you know that art can relieve stress?

Art can decrease stress levels. This is proven by a study conducted by researchers from the University of Westminster. After a lunchtime visit to an art gallery, participants self-reported their stress levels before entering the gallery and then spent 35 minutes exploring the space in any way they wanted. Upon exiting, they expressed being less stressed. Furthermore, they also had lower concentrations of cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone.

Our brain gets excited whenever it is exposed to art. In fact, art therapy is considered one of the possible ways of helping patients with mental illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, since drug treatment for dementia symptoms is generally not very successful.

Do you care if your hotel has good art?

Hotels are safe and comfortable accommodation, found in almost every part of the globe. From the kind of traveler they serve to the types of marketing strategies they develop and observe, the face and motivations of the hotel industry have definitely changed–and is continuously changing.

From its basic principle and mission: to serve as a home in every city for the citizens of the world, many, if not all, hotels are stepping up their game, developing not only their facilities and services but also how they can reach a bigger audience and impact them on a greater scale.

Art Tourism or Hospitality Art is one of the most common and effective approaches hotels strive to do and perfect. Indeed, art is one of the hotel industry’s newest marketing strategies. Hotels with interesting art displays, thought-provoking pieces, and controversial works will always be talked about. Intrigue and curiosity is one method of driving people to your property’s doorstep. At the same time, magnificent, jaw dropping collections are also the talk of the town.

More and more hotels from anywhere in the globe have been investing millions in acquiring good art for their guests. There is a growing number of hotels all over the world who compete with the leading art galleries in acquiring art works, that essentially will attract more guests. Some even convert their property to an exhibit, hosting programs that hone the interest of people art—in any of its forms. Some hotels are investing millions in art, becoming what experts may call “de facto galleries”. But does it make a difference to guests?

Do hotel guests really care or notice if their hotel has good art? The answer is yes, they do and they love it.

Artworks are not merely used in the hotel lobby as decorations. They are not simply blank space fillers, which interior decorators put just for the sake of it. As new breeds of tourists and travelers dominate the jet setter and globetrotter demographics, a different level of art perception and appreciation is being developed and employed.

Artworks are a great way to stimulate the hotel guests’ minds. Since art can be viewed through different lenses and perspectives, they can stir conversation as well. Thought-provoking art is a great way to make guests feel something about the artworks, as well as your brand as a hotel.

Moreover, art becomes allowing guests to travel far without leaving the hotel. A lot of paintings, sculptures and other art forms displayed inside a property allows guests who are in time constraints to know more about their location or country, by showcasing history, tradition, famous people and historical events through art.
Guests who can’t squeeze in a time to visit local art galleries and museums can have a good look and experience of the local’s art through a hotel which houses a good amount of artworks.

Not only that, artworks sometimes make hotel guests stay. “It’s hard to walk by art and not look at it. I’m much more motivated by the location and the quality of the rooms,” frequent traveler, Nick Winter told CNN. “When I do find myself staying somewhere with a thought-provoking painting or installation, it stops me in my tracks. I wouldn’t choose a hotel for the art, but I would certainly remember my stay if the art was amazing.” And then it makes you really look at it and wonder—who made it, why did the artist make it? What are the reasons behind this painting?

“Some guests come only for the art and my services,” says Domoina de Brantes, art concierge at Raffles’ Le Royal Monceau in Paris. “We have a huge collection of more than 300 pieces, revolving exhibitions of photography, plus I recommend a specific cultural event to guests every day,” she shares during an interview with CNN Travel. “They want to be kept informed of the latest exhibitions and art events, so I get enquiries from them every day and also reach out to them with an art newsletter.”

More than anything, art can make guests feel the connection to the hotel, its people, and other guests. You don’t need language to understand it. That is one thing about art displayed in a hotel, in a foreign country with language barriers. Aside from it being a conversation starter, art has its own unique way of bringing people together—even if they don’t speak the same language.

This is because art appeals to the emotions. It can affect greatly compared to words. Looking at artworks can make you experience a roller coaster of emotions—longing, empathy, anger, lust, disgust, connection, happiness.

Art says things that words just can’t say. Art shows things that words can’t say: How a sunset really looked 300 years ago, how people dressed 1,000 years ago, and how they carried their bodies; how an anonymous woman might have felt about an anonymous man or anonymous child in a strange land. What pain looks like. What heartache looks like. What desire looks like. What love looks like. What the world did look like and what it could look like.

In the end, travel should be intended, as a unique experience that allows your luggage to be full of beautiful memories when you go home. It is the best souvenir you get to collect in your mind, rather than some material things that dust and will break down after years.

Hotel art offers more than just being merely decorations on empty spaces and blank walls. It gets people together because of the connection it creates—which don’t need words nor common language. It appeals to the emotions, which, at the end of the day, the core of every guest traveling either for work or leisure.