Art 101

5 Ways to Decorate Your Office With Art

Research shows that a creative environment keeps employees happier and can even improve productivity. But what’s the point in knowing this if we don’t know what to do about it?! Read on our 5 step guide to decorating your office with art. (Feel free to share this with your boss...!)

By Mandy Poernig

Okay, so a creative environment is thought to keep employees happier and more productive.  But what’s the point in knowing this if we don’t know what to do about it? 

 What artworks should we choose to facilitate wellness in employees, and how do we make the workplace a happier, more productive place with art?

Firstly, how is art supposed to help?

I’m not going to bore you with an essay, but new research by Exeter University’s Dr Craig Knight suggests that:

Art in the office can help to reduce stress by calming the viewer

Art can connect with people emotionally and elevate mood and morale

Art can improve productivity by 15-30%

I’ll be honest, I absolutely believe that our office environment can influence how we feel in our work place and in turn improve productivity. Not just because of the research but from first-hand experience. I’ve been in a grey, soulless office... Inspiring it is not.

Mat Cahill at JAGShaw Baker's London office

What is this Enriched Environment that everyone’s talking about?

Dr Knight’s research advises that an enriched environment is highly effective at increasing productivity. It’s pretty simple to create an enriched environment: just adorn your walls with art and fill your shelves with planting. It’s a small investment for a happier and healthier workforce, and here’s how…

Chemical Plant & Church by Gina Soden

IRESS UK's London office


Grand Canyon South Rim

Eleanor Cunningham

Think of a colour….Now how do you feel? It’s widely accepted that colour can affect our mood and connect with people emotionally. If your employees work in a high pressure environment then try bringing in soft shades of blue to help reduce stress. Okay, it won’t change their responsibilities but it will give them a more relaxing environment to help manage any stress! For some blue hues to ponder over Grand Canyon by Rise Art newbie Eleanor Cunningham and A Dreamier Blue by Andrew Kinmont are first-class starting points.

A Dreamier Blue

Andrew Kinmont

2. Inspire With Purposeful Pieces

Choose pieces that are purposeful for your employees. Should the works stimulate, soothe or inspire your staff? Art can be so much more than decorative. Tech innovator IRESS feature Victoria Horkan’s vibrant work to encourage creativity and it’s not hard to see why; the feverish brush strokes, vibrant colours and sense of movement all contribute to the energy exuding from her works. When you choose your artwork consider what you want it to inspire in employees.

Blue Sapphire & Butterfly Series 6 by Victoria Horkan

IRESS UK's London office


3. Make It Meaningful

Remind staff of the positives, like JP Morgan Chase. They display artwork from every country they operate in. If their staff weren’t already excited to be working for a company that encourages global mobility they certainly will when they see the art. Makati by Rebecca King and Alexanderplatz or Brooklyn by Gerry Buxton provide inspiration of the cultural kind.


Rebecca King

Alexanderplatz & Brooklyn

Gerry Buxton

4. Be Brand Centric

Choose art that represents your brand, like Love Home Swap. This company is all about ditching the hotel and doing a home swap, offering travellers a way of exploring new places in comfort and style. So it makes sense for their office culture to represent their brand ethos, right? Bold and colourful map artworks from the likes of Ursula Hitz and Kristjana Williams are dotted around this modern office, giving all the employees wanderlust I'm sure...!

Map of NYC by Ursula Hitz & Alexandra Jardin Wild World by Kristjana Williams

Love Home Swap's London office

5. Let your employees have some of the fun….

People spend a minimum of eight hours a day at the office, staring at a computer screen ‘getting stuff done’. They’re a business’s biggest expense and biggest asset, so it makes sense to invest in an environment that will harness their potential. Research has shown that allowing employees to choose the art that dresses the office can lead to feelings of empowerment, with productivity increases of up to 32% compared to just 17% when they had no say.

Why not sample the Rise Art Try Before you Buy Scheme and rent a range of artists encouraging employees to play around, discover and suggest the works that are right for their office space? Our corporate services team even offers a fun and interactive voting tool that encourages employees to be directly involved in the art selection! Want more details? We’ve drafted a brand new sparkly whitepaper based on Dr Knight’s research that we’re publishing soon, but if you need the facts now then get in touch with our corporate team.

Inspiring Artworks for the Office | A Curated Collection


Browse our collection of contemporary artworks to get inspired and find the perfect pieces for your office. Need more help? Find out how our experts can help you!


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