Did you know that scents are so powerful that they can shape and drive our behavior? In fact, scents have the ability to evoke both positive and negative psychological states of mind. Specific scents can even boost productivity.
How many times have you smelled something that reminded you of your childhood and made you feel warm and safe? How many times have you smelled something bad that’s encouraged you to move away or leave a room?
Though we often process smells unconsciously, we can harness the power of smell to our advantage and use it to shape our emotional, physical, and mental state. Some, if not most people, use aromatherapy at home to cope with stress, create a more welcoming environment, or simply relax.
However, aromatherapy can also be a powerful tool in the work setting. All you need is a little bit of understanding of how different smells affect us.
Fragrancex created an infographic on 12 scents that can help drive productivity and improve work performance. Whether you’re tackling an analytical problem or working on a creative task, there’s a smell for that.
Rosemary has been shown to have a positive effect on memory and increase alertness.
Vetiver can increase oxygenation of the cells, making it ideal to aid concentration.
Just the scent of coffee can promote wakefulness and alertness. It’s a great scent for tackling analytical reasoning tasks.
Lemon has been linked to improved cognitive function and fewer errors.
Jasmine is often used to promote positive moods and emotions; it’s a refreshing smell that tends to re-energize us.
Like lemon, citrus smells are great for wakefulness and alertness and they’re great to give people an energy boost.
Cinnamon can improve performance on high-focus work and is also linked to better memory.
If you’re tackling a difficult or long task, then you should try peppermint, which has been linked to prolonged attention, while enhancing alertness.
Ginger is great to get an extra energy boost as it’s been shown to fight fatigue and ease pain.
Pine can help reduce stress, elevate your mood, and increase alertness. It’s great for focus work.
Lemongrass has been shown to ease anxiety and reduce stress.
Lavender improves concentration and can also have a refreshing effect.
How to Add Scents to the Workplace
Scents not only improve productivity and performance, but they can also enhance the overall workplace experience, whether you work from home or an office.
There are various ways to add aromatherapy to your workplace, whether you outsource it to a company or do it yourself:
- Use oil diffusers and essential oils
- Use candles, though keep in mind your building’s policies as some properties might not allow them
- Add reed diffusers throughout the workplace
- Install air fresheners
- Use room sprays
- Use the real thing, i.e. add a plant of rosemary or lavender to your workspace, or leave out some cinnamon sticks and coffee grounds
Pro tip: If you want to go all the way in, you can even consider having a branded smell for your coworking space or corporate headquarters.
Some Final Words of Advice
- If you manage a workspace, consider adding different scents to different work environments, like citrus smells in meeting rooms, vetiver in private offices, rosemary in brainstorming pods, etc.
- Be mindful of people’s preferences and sensitivities; some people are more sensitive to smell than others, if you find that people are getting headaches or reporting any other type of negative feeling, consider having some scent-free areas or switching up the scents.
- Experiment. Don’t be afraid to mix things up to see what works for you and what doesn’t.
- Try, at all costs, to use scents that are natural and avoid using artificial ones.
Score your private office at 520 HUB and fill it with your favorite productivity scent!
by Cecilia Amador de San José, AllWork.Space
Diffuser Image by Anke Sundermeier from Pixabay