Latest research by Brookfield Properties and The School of Life reveals positive impact arts and culture have on worker creativity, engagement and mental wellbeing

October 9, 2022

Ahead of WHO World Mental Health Day (10 October), new research evidences for the first time since the pandemic the positive benefits of arts and culture in the workplace for office workers’ wellbeing, creativity and connectivity. The Art of the Workplace Report reveals what makes offices nationwide happier places to work and the importance of wellbeing in the workplace – including enlightening insights on what motivates younger employees.

Emily Forgot installation at Prinicipal Place by Brookfield Properties


Commissioned by Brookfield Properties, a leading commercial developer, landlord and a 30-year patron of the arts, in partnership with The School of Life, a global organisation helping people lead more fulfilling lives through their books, app, films, therapeutic services and corporate offering.  

The survey among 3,000 office workers nationwiderevealed that today’s workers want art, culture and wellness-enriched workspaces to promote learning, creativity, contentment, socialisation and a sense of pride – and this is particularly true of younger employees. Further findings revealed:

  • 63% of 18-to 29-year-olds prefer working in the office to working at home; this increases to 75% of those who work in offices with a lot of art.
  • 64% of workers think cultural and social events in the workplace help them work more effectively.
  • Nearly seven in ten office employees (67%) stated that they would benefit from a wellbeing app to connect them to cultural events in the workplace.
  • 69% of adults believe that having interesting and visually attractive artworks in the office positively impacts their wellbeing; and 77% agree that having interesting social, cultural or wellbeing events available contributes to their wellbeing.
  • 87% of workers who have no exposure to cultural events (arts, wellbeing and social events at work) at work feel uninspired day to day in their workplace.
  • 86% of those who have access to a wide range of events and activities feel their office provides a good physical and mental barrier which aids work-life balance.

The in-depth report, layered with expert commentary, indicates that thoughtful arts, cultural and wellness events in the workplace make people feel engaged, motivated, and energised, and helps create a sense of community.

With over 20,000 building occupiers across London, Brookfield Properties believes in the unique ability of art and culture to transform spaces, bring people together and the importance of supporting the creative community.

“There is no doubt that the pandemic has disrupted working habits, and as a result companies are re-examining their working environments and engagement with their employees. We hope the Art of the Workplace Report will help support the business case for employers to invest in creating spaces and cultures that enrich their employees’ lives – not just their productivity and creativity at work, but their mental health and wellbeing as a whole – and aid future planning for the workplace.” explains Brookfield Properties‘ Executive Vice President Dan Scanlon.

Notes to editors:

The Art of the Workplace Report report was carried out by Perspectus Global, an independent research and insights agency, and co-authored by The School of Life, with expert input from Dr. Craig Knight, who began researching the psychology of working environments in 2003 at the University of Exeter.

Download Art of the Workplace: A Report on the Positive Impact of Arts and Culture in the Office Environment  

Quotes from industry experts:

Saff Williams, Curatorial Director, Brookfield Properties

“Across Brookfield Properties’ portfolio, I have witnessed first-hand the positive impact that a culturally enriched environment can have on both occupiers and the wider community, and the importance of the use of art and culture to create a workspace that inspires and provides people with a sense of pride and increased levels of happiness.”

Raul Aparici, Head of Faculty at The School of Life

“Having been into lots of offices and conducted many corporate cultural events, it was not surprising that the report showed that young people want to come into the office. There are many reasons behind this, but there is something about face-to-face interaction in the right office environment that can have a significant net positive effect on individuals and the organisation as a whole.”

Dr. Craig Knight, Chartered, Registered Psychologist and founder of Identity Realization Ltd

“There is no trade-off between wellbeing and productivity, the two variables correlate positively, and this research shows that art and cultural experiences benefits performance. Offices without character and a sense of culture do not get the best out of their staff. We’ve found that generally enriching a space with art raises productivity by up to 17%, but if you go further and engage workers it can rise by up to 32%.”

i Survey sample of 3,000 offices workers nationwide including 1,000 from London and 250 from 10 other major cities including Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, and Southampton, who worked in offices that ranged from highly-enriched, artfully decorated environments to lean spaces with little more than corporate branding on display.

Art of the Workplace Report and assets available HERE

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