When giving a talk at a meeting of the Association of Administrative Professionals NZ earlier this week , I was reminded of the value of art, or to be more precise, the importance of having something interesting to look at; in essence, having a room with a view. Like so many groups in Christchurch post-quake, the AAPNZ have had problems in finding suitable places to meet after work. Somewhere with a data projector which also has access to tea and coffee facilities. This month however, they were fortunate, thanks to one of their members, to be meeting at the auction rooms of Harcourts Grenadier.
It was a very positive meeting with lots of heads nodding in agreement about the prevalence of sore necks, shoulders and backs when employed in the line of administration work. Another lively topic of discussion was the awful experience of gritty, tired eyes in the workplace, so I was delighted to see in an adjoining room which (while it unfortunately had no windows) had two wonderful large ( about 130cm x 130cm) Norman Rockwell prints. A prolific and talented 20th century artist, Norman Rockwell illustrated many copies of the infamous Saturday Evening Post amongst other publications with his paintings which depict scenes of everyday American life.
Why I found this so refreshing to see is that so many offices I go to have nothing on the walls for staff to look at. Not only do blank walls make for a very dreary, uninspiring environment, they can also make it tough on people’s eyes without something different to refocus their vision on from time to time, so it really was a pleasure to see.
Giving people a room with a view need not be expensive either. There is some wonderful artwork available to buy online, including some from local NZ artists, or if you prefer, you can lease or rent something appealing. Businesses like Art Rentals in Christchurch have a wide selection and of course when you lease artwork, it gives you the opportunity to easily change the view from time to time.
Either way, it doesn’t take much to fill a gap and make a big difference in a workplace, bringing not only relief to the eyes but also a smile to people’s faces.