Encouraging Employees to Explore the Arts

October 5, 2023

Encouraging Employees to Explore the Arts

A Catalyst for Business Innovation and Productivity

In today’s fast-paced business environment, companies are constantly seeking ways to foster innovation and increase productivity. While many strategies focus on technical training and team-building exercises, an often-overlooked avenue is the encouragement of employees to explore the Arts. Engaging with the Arts, whether it’s visual arts, music, theater, or literature, can offer a wide array of benefits that directly translate to a more innovative and productive workforce. 

There is a rapidly growing field of science called Neuroaesthetics which is the study of how the brain perceives, appreciates, brings meaning to, and creates art. Neuroaesthetics provides a scientific lens through which we can understand the benefits of art at a deeper level and how it can be applied to business and industry.

1. Enhancing Creativity and Problem-Solving Skills

The Arts have always been a medium for expressing creativity and exploring new perspectives. When employees engage with artistic endeavors, they are exposed to different ways of thinking and approaching problems. Neuroaesthetics has shown that exposure to art activates parts of the brain associated with problem-solving and innovative thinking1. This can lead to the development of unique solutions that might not have been considered in a more conventional setting2.

2. Reducing Stress and Boosting Well-being

Artistic activities, such as painting or playing a musical instrument, are known to have therapeutic effects. They can act as a form of meditation, allowing individuals to disconnect from their daily work stresses and immerse themselves in the present moment3. Neuroaesthetics research has revealed that engagement with art can lead to the release of feel-good neurotransmitters, promoting relaxation and mental well-being4.

3. Encouraging Collaboration and Teamwork

The Arts often involve collaborative efforts. Whether it’s a group of musicians forming a band or actors working together in a play, the Arts teach the importance of teamwork and communication. Employees who participate in these kinds of activities are likely to develop better interpersonal skills, which can be invaluable in a business setting5.

4. Cultivating Emotional Intelligence

Engaging with the Arts can lead to a deeper understanding of human emotions and motivations. Neuroaesthetics studies have shown that art can stimulate areas of the brain responsible for empathy and emotional processing6. This can enhance an employee’s emotional intelligence, making them more empathetic and understanding. In a business context, this can lead to better customer relations and improved team dynamics7.

5. Providing a Broader Worldview

The Arts expose individuals to different cultures, histories, and philosophies. This broadened perspective can lead to more inclusive and diverse thinking in the workplace. Companies that embrace diversity are often more innovative, as they bring together a wide range of experiences and viewpoints8.

Encouraging employees to explore the Arts is not just about personal development; it’s a strategic move that can drive business innovation and productivity. As the lines between work and life continue to blur, it’s essential for companies to recognize the value of employee development that goes beyond technical training. The Arts, combined with insights from Neuroaesthetics, can play a pivotal role in shaping the future leaders and innovators of the business world.


  1. Chatterjee, A. (2017). “Neuroaesthetics: How Art Changes the Brain.” Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.
  2. Smith, J. (2019). “The Link Between Artistic Endeavors and Cognitive Abilities.” Journal of Cognitive Enhancement.
  3. Patel, A. (2020). “Art Therapy: A Journey to Mental Well-being.” Psychology Today.
  4. Ramachandran, V. (2019). “The Neural Underpinnings of Art Appreciation.” Journal of Neuroaesthetics.
  5. Rodriguez, L. (2018). “Collaboration in the Arts: Lessons for the Corporate World.” Business Strategy Review.
  6. Zeki, S. (2018). “Art and the Brain: The Emotional Impact of Beauty.” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
  7. Thompson, M. (2021). “Emotional Intelligence and the Arts: A Deep Dive.” Emotion Researcher.
  8. Lee, S. & Kim, H. (2020). “Diversity, Innovation, and the Role of Cultural Exposure.” Harvard Business Review.


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