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THE FRESH ART EFFECT: WHY ROTATING ARTWORK IS MORE MEANINGFUL THAN YOU MIGHT THINK

From Turning Art:

Whether your company is faced with office relocation, remodeling, or moving into its very first space, creating a welcoming work environment is instrumental in establishing your company’s culture. With mounting research demonstrating a causal link between employee well-being and productivity in the workplace, thoughtful investments in decor and design, including rotating art have become the new normal.

Factors such as furniture, lighting, plants, and open floor-plans are significant in contributing to a productive environment, but artwork maintains a unique ability to serve the aesthetic atmosphere while also communicating a direct and positive message about a company’s culture and value--even through its presence alone.

Despite the rejuvenating nature of change, the “new leaf” feeling proves fleeting, as the fresh and exciting quickly become the familiar and routine. To combat this inevitable pitfall, many companies have turned to rotating their artwork collections throughout the year.  Art rotation provides a unique opportunity to keep spaces fresh and adaptable to new trends or seasonal tastes without disrupting workflow.

A study from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, known as the “Fresh Start Effect”, found that temporal landmarks are direct motivators in aspirational behavior. The research explores why people are more likely to commit to setting goals or breaking bad habits at certain landmark times of year, such as birthdays and New Year’s. The author proposes that these milestones allow us to leave the bad and undesirable in the past to give way to new mental periods, creating the sensation of a fresh start. Changing your space’s artwork in sync with temporal landmarks provides a tangible, visual agent to reinforce the “fresh start” feeling. For businesses, those opportunities present themselves to a team at various points in time, including the start of a new year, each season, or every quarter.


The benefits of art rotation do not end at the turnover alone, as individual piece selection goes a long way in contributing to a MOTIVATING AND POSITIVE ATMOSPHERE in the workplace too.  Art selections can be tailored to voice a company’s mission, relate to its field or product, act as a spotlight on the local creative community, or become a hybrid of all three. In addition, rotations can be set to themes that are important or meaningful to the team. Whether they are based on the time of year or quarterly goals, use your artwork to communicate the value of community, culture, and employee well-being.

However, the reality is that for many companies, making thoughtful artwork selections is just one of many daunting tasks amidst the labored undertaking of designing or redesigning a space, and the prospect of revisiting selections multiple times a year may sound downright overwhelming. Previously, reconciling those very legitimate concerns against the substantiated notion that office environments do have a direct effect on productivity was either extremely costly or extremely time-consuming, and sometimes both.



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