Could you describe what’s on the walls of your office? So much corporate interior décor is formulaic and uninspiring – easily overlooked and serving no purpose. But rather than being an afterthought, office art should be an important consideration, says Richard Morris, UK CEO, Regus.

A body of research exists explaining how well-thought-out office art can inspire staff and increase wellbeing and productivity. So what are some of the main advantages of including artwork in the workplace?

Creative stimulus

Having art around you can inspire creative reactions. This creativity needn’t be forced through inspirational slogans or clichéd images of achievement. Impressive artworks or photography can become interesting talking points, stimulate discussion and creative potential and help to generate innovative thinking.

A reason to re-focus

Staring at a screen all day is a modern work curse. Having a reason to look away and to re-focus reduces fatigue, headaches and the effects of eye-strain in the long term. Regularly changing what’s on the walls or displayed in the office will encourage people to break from the screen, take a look about them, and give their eyes a well- needed rest.

Welcome distraction

Admiring artwork may also provide our brains with some distraction from the task at hand- which, contrary to popular belief, is not necessarily a bad thing. Studies have shown that the daydreaming brain is actually incredibly active, engaged in a whole host of vital mental processes.

In other words, even when we think we’re switched off our brains don’t really slow down at all. Instead, they are busy at work replenishing our reserves of mental and physical energy, which in turn increases productivity, replenishes attention, solidifies memories and encourages creativity- all important attributes in the world of work.

Brand values

What you display on the walls or the floorspace speaks volumes about your brand. Taking pride in your work environment tells staff that you care and provides them with a clear brand philosophy. Involving employees in the decision-making process can really drive debate and engagement. And what about including work from local artists or colleges? Not only does this boost your standing in the local community – thus helping your search for employee talent – it can also be a great way of generating column inches in the local press.

With the move towards remote working and flexible workspace, many businesses are looking to stamp their identity on the space that they consume. Forward-thinking workspace providers enable businesses to personalise the office space that they use and involve clients in the discussions around communal space artworks.

Cultivating innovation and fresh thinking in the workplace has never been more critical to being competitive, driving growth and maintaining a happy and productive workforce. Inspirational workspaces are helping professionals to deliver inspirational performances so if artwork isn’t in your budgeting for next year, perhaps it’s time to reconsider. By doing so, you can help create the right environment for the generation of ideas and better business planning – to the obvious benefit of both staff and business alike.