Pandemic burnout? Art might be the pill you need. – Curaty

Pandemic burnout? Art might be the pill you need.

Burnout, lethargy, and now languish, thanks to Adam Grant’s introduction, have come to define our daily lives. In the past year, our mental wellbeing has been tested by the stress of COVID-19. Many of us are feeling the effects of isolation. After over a year of working from home, in a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review, 62% of participants claimed to struggle with balancing workload and responsibilities. Even if we want to continue working from home, how can we avoid this lethargic feeling? During these trying times, our clients at Curaty have looked to art for motivation to forge ahead. Online art sales have risen during the pandemic with Sotheby’s stating, mostly due to the increase in Millennial clients, 2020 online sales were triple 2019 sales.

The past decade or so has seen an increased interest in personalising our places of work to be more conducive to happiness and productivity. During the pandemic, people have found comfort in working from home because it is where we have the most flexibility to make the space unique to us. In a survey by Slack, 72% of participants prefer to work in a hybrid setting, at home and in their company’s office. As some companies set back-in-office dates, how will they bring this personalisation and belonging aspect of working from home into the office? At Curaty, we’ve developed a prescriptive service to help address this issue in the workplace: art.

Studies have shown that looking at art, especially art that we enjoy visually, can improve cognitive ability, release dopamine, promote creativity and even increase empathy for others. Research has proven that curating your personal space with art can enhance productivity.

A scholar of psychology at the University of Edinburgh, Dr. Craig Knight and his research team found that offices with curated art led to employees improved work efficiency by 15% more than when they worked in a space without art.

Anastasia S. "Mint Green, Burgundy and Prussian Blue Hue" & "Nautilus, Gold and Copper Circle," 2021, 50x50x2cm, Spray paint on cotton rag paper, mounted and framed. 

In addition to promoting productivity, looking at art for periods of time has proven to lower our stress and improve happiness. Neuroscientist Oshin Vartanian suggests that observing art can “activate our pleasure and reward systems”. This can have a great impact on the lowering of cortisol levels in our brain.

A work of art on your wall could even open your mind to become more empathetic. A study at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art explains how people who observe art often demonstrate a greater understanding of society and “greater historical empathy.” Looking at art that another person created introduces us to other points of view which can motivate us to think in new ways or view our own opinions in a new manner.

No matter where you are working, we have all experienced a demanding year emotionally and physically. Many of us have felt the effects through burnout and a lack of motivation. As people adjust to their new normal, at Curaty we emphasise the importance of art in solving issues in the workplace and providing an outlet for your mental wellbeing.

Ready to learn more and find the right art solution for your workspace? Click Here to Book a complimentary consultation to Chat with one of our curator's.

This article was researched and written by Curaty team contributor Cecily Hutchison.

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