No Walls, No Problem: How to Incorporate Art into the Open Office

When it comes to fostering creativity, it’s no secret that art plays a vital role in the workplace. In fact, a survey conducted by the British Council for Offices (BCO) determined that nearly 88 percent of respondents felt art is more relevant in the workplace than ever before. But with the trend of open floor plans so widespread comes a bit of a conundrum: How do you incorporate art and creativity into the office if there’s no place to put it?


Mural at PTC's Office

Mural Art in PTC's office (Photo: Warren Patterson)

Get In Early

During the initial design process, it’s extremely helpful if you can determine what kind of space you will be able to dedicate to art. Not only does that help you settle on what kind of square footage you’ll need to create your ideal office environment, but it can also help to secure the finances you’ll require. That way, art can be included in your overall budget from the ground up, and will help to establish the type of image you want your company to represent.


Hanging Plants at The Brattle Group's Office

Hanging Plants in The Brattle Group's office (Photo: Duncan Lake/Cresa)

It’s Easy Being Green

Plants can play a vital role in the office, both visually and physically. Not only are living green walls extremely attractive to look at, but their ability to improve air quality by removing carbon dioxide is beneficial to employee wellness. Plant walls can also cool down the room and save energy during the dog days of summer.


Mosaic Art at Akamai's Office

Keyboard Key Mosaic Art in Akamai's office (Photo: Duncan Lake/Cresa)

Be Multi-Dimensional

Just because you don’t have tons of wall space in your office doesn’t mean you’re down for the count. Consider sculpture and 3D art, which can stand alone and provide intriguing focal points for both employees and office visitors. Get creative with your decor, too: lighting fixtures, shelving, area rugs, and art/graphics on glass can be great accents that inject life into an office space even if it doesn’t have traditional walls.


Sound Masking Panels at Cresa's Office

Acoustic Panels in Cresa's office (Photo: Duncan Lake/Cresa)

Maximize What You’ve Got

Instead of thinking about the wall space you don’t have, consider turning the walls you do have into large-scale artwork. There’s good reason why wall murals are extremely popular in the offices of some of the world’s most famous companies, like Facebook and Google. They allow companies to put a unique, personalized stamp on their space, and they don’t take up any floor space. Also, if your office is on the smaller side, murals don’t block foot traffic or sunlight. Another creative idea is acoustic art panels, which not only have a unique aesthetic, but benefit sound absorption in busy offices.

If you’re interested in finding the ideal office space for your team, Cresa’s experienced real estate advisors and project management team can serve as a valuable resource to find the right space (and art collection) for your organization.