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      Office art boosts productivity

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      Research at the University of Exeter shows that displaying works of art at the office can help boost productivity, lower stress and increase general wellbeing among employees.

      Dr Craig Knight, who has studied the psychology of working events at the university for 12 years, is heading up a research group called Identity Realisation (IDR).

      The group has found that employers tend to choose “sanitised, lean workspaces designed to encourage staff to just get on with their work and avoid distraction”. However, Knight says every branch of science will dispute the effectiveness of this approach.

      “If you enrich a space people feel much happier and work better; a very good way of doing this is by using art,” says Knight.

      Knight and his team asked study participants to do an hour’s work in four different environments:
      Lean (containing only necessary tools)
      Enriched (featuring art and plants in fixed locations)
      Empowered (the same art and plants with the ability to arrange them personally)
      Disempowered (the ability to arrange the objects, which were then put back into their original positions by the team).

      Participants who worked in the enriched environment were 15% faster than those in the lean office and reported fewer health complaints. This figure doubled in the empowered setting. Productivity results for those in the disempowered room were the same as those in the lean office.

      “In 12 years we have never found that lean offices create better results,” comments Knight – and the more involved employees are in the process, the better their potential in the space.

      Read the original article at bit.ly/1naYYRn

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      AUTHOR

      Molly Dyson

      Former Editor – PA Life

      All stories by: Molly Dyson