Artwork in the workplace would improve productivity, say culture-hungry Londoners

Alys Key
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Employees would most like to see landscapes on their office walls (Source: Affordable Art Fair)

Modern workplaces now offer everything from an office sauna to paid puppy leave, but Londoners say one simple change would make them more productive.

Over a third (37 per cent) of London-based workers surveyed by the Affordable Art Fair said that having artwork in the office would improve productivity.

This beat out some popular workplace gimmicks of recent years. Sleep pods were supported by a fifth of respondents, while just 16 per cent thought ping pong tables would be a good addition to the office.

At the moment, the majority of Londoners (59 per cent) are unable to see any art from their desks, while 41 per cent say there is no artwork in their workplace at all.

In response to the findings, the Affordable Art Fair has teamed up with uber-cool shared workplaces WeWork, displaying some pieces in the company's Aldwych site.

“This isn’t just about making our workplace walls more attractive or having art for art’s sake," said Dr Harriet Shortt, a lecturer at the University of West England. "This is about helping our workforces become more reflective, imaginative and inventive."

A fifth of Londoners said art would offer a chance to take a break, while the same amount thought it could help to stimulate discussion and new ideas.

The survey also found that employees would most like to see landscapes in their office buildings, closely followed by abstract paintings.

It follows a push towards greater wellbeing in the workplace, with one app even claiming that happiness is the key to bigger profits and faster economic growth.

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