When is the last time you thought about the scent of your workplace?

Although we rarely think consciously about the smell of our places of work, aromas can have a big impact on how we feel within a workplace. In 2017 we wrote a guide to ensuring your offices smell great, highlighting the effects of smell on key business issues like client perceptions and staff morale. The post included tips for achieving a perfectly fragranced office space – from trialling different diffusers and fresheners, to regularly airing your workplace.

In today’s guide, we’ll be taking a closer look at which scents are most beneficial in workplaces. Don’t worry – although aromatherapists claim scents can have near-magical effects, we won’t be getting too mystical. Instead, we’ll be thinking about the strong associations scents create, thanks to the olfactory sense’s powerful effects on our memories and emotions.

For example, while the smell of your grandma’s house might be incredibly comforting, this isn’t a smell you’d associate with a dynamic business. A “new car smell” of leather and technology, however, might create an unconscious impression of dynamism in the minds’ of visiting clients.

That’s not to say that your offices should smell like the inside of a Mercedes Benz S-Class. Rather, that the way your workplace smells has a direct influence on how your business is perceived (and how your employees feel). Many client-facing companies, including big brands like Muji and Starbucks, now actively use scents to increase sales – right under our very noses!

So, which scents create the best impression in an office space?

1. Lemon

Scents with lemony notes may be particularly good for enhancing concentration in the workplace. A study by the Takasago Corporation found that 54% of typists made fewer errors when they could smell lemon. In contrast, just 20% made fewer errors when they could smell lavender. The sharp aroma of lemons may also lead visiting clients and contacts to associate your business with freshness and vibrancy, two very desirable characteristics in a company.

2. Coffee

Although the smell of stale coffee can be unpleasant in workplaces, fresh coffee aromas may actively enhance productivity. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that coffee-like scents improved performance on an analytical reasoning task and primed participants to expect both higher performance and alertness from themselves and from colleagues.

3. Jasmine

If lemon and coffee smells are not quite your cup of tea, you may want to consider trailing the softer, more floral scent of jasmine in your workplace. Some research exists into the effects of jasmine upon mood and brain waves, suggesting that the scent reduces feelings of drowsiness, while increasing feelings of well-being, activeness and freshness – and excellent combination of emotions to evoke in the workplace!

The Abbey Cleaning Service provides specialist office cleaning across South Wales. From ensuring your workplace smells fresh every day, to one-off deep cleans for businesses moving premises, we ensure spotlessness in every scenario. Talk to our team about your commercial cleaning needs today: call us on 029 2067 9323 or fill out our enquiry form.

[Image credits: lemons, coffee, jasmine]