Yet when creating an appealing and supportive work environment, we think of a comfortable and posture-correct desk and chair, colors and textures that help boost our productivity and creativity, cabinets and containers to help us stay clutter free, and accessories that are inspiring and beautiful, but we often fail to consider what an important part fragrance plays in an ideal work environment.
Our Work-Space Should Appeal to Our Sense of Smell
A work space can look and feel sensational in terms of great design and overall harmony, but it should appeal to all of our senses, and if its scent is less than good, the entire motivational impact and desire to be there can be lost in a flash. We have all walked into a space that didn’t smell fresh. You just want to leave.
If you work from home, there’s a great deal of activity that can affect a home’s bouquet, such as people, pets, cooking, vacuuming, and even changes in the weather. Odors can sometimes accumulate in fabrics and porous surfaces, too. In older homes especially, years of dust, animals, kitchen and laundry room use, and general family activity can have a cumulative negative effect.
Not Bad, but Not Inspiring Either
Often, a work space doesn’t necessarily smell bad, but it’s just sort of flat. Since you are fabulous, this “flat-fragrance” is not good enough for your office! You want fabulous, so your haven of creativity and productivity can encapsulate you in good feelings that inspire and invigorate.
You also want an environment where you can be focused and get really clear. Fragrance can refresh you and help elevate your mood at work. Sometimes we begin our work day feeling unmotivated, or we may be struggling with feelings and emotions that linger on from our “real lives”, or we may even be in a slump or fog, and we have trouble zeroing in on a task or making a decision. Fragrance can help by kick-starting the brain and offering a different neural-pathway for your thinking.
Research supports that fragrance does affect our mood, our productivity, and our feeling of well-being. Our sense of smell is directly tied to the area of the brain where emotions and memories come from (the limbic system). Research also shows that pleasant and desirable fragrances can improve work performance.
Clean & Purify the Air and Add Fragrance
To help boost your emotions and manage your moods during your work time, make an effort to purify the air and add fragrance in your office area.
You purify the air mainly through periodic “housekeeping” tasks such as vacuuming upholstery and draperies and sweeping to remove dust and pet hairs. Mopping will further remove particles you may not see with the eye. Then, special fabric sprays can be applied directly to upholstery and window treatments to ward off or even absorb “odor molecules” that tend to attach themselves to fabric fibers. You can also clean the air with the use of certain types of oil lamps that are designed to purify the environment.
Adding fragrance is the FUN part, and you can actually BOOST your business productivity this way. I am going to cover some basic fragrances and fill you in on how they can help your mood, your thinking, your creativity, and your work flow. I’ll also give you the 411 on easy ways to bring fragrance into your office so you can get starting SMELLING SUCCESS right away!
You Have Choices!
There are many invigorating fragrances to choose from for your office or work space, and each one listed here will definitely benefit your body andbrain. Keep in mind though, that aromas do affect different peeps in different ways, but generally speaking, here’s what you can expect from youroffice fragrances:
Peppermint will invigorate you. This scent actually helps stimulate the same area of the brain that controls wakefulness and gets us up each morning! Peppermint can also help increase your tendency towards physical movement—so hooray to peppermint if you are feeling a little sluggish or lacking in motivation. It will help you get out of your fog as it increases your alertness. By the way, it also enhances memory!
Cinnamon in the nostrils can actually cause you to be more alert and more prone to generating ideas, because is believed that the scent increases blood flow to the brain, feeding it with needed oxygen and glucose, two vital brain foods! Cinnamon can also help you to recover from exhaustion and fatigue while increasing your levels of attention and awareness.
Lavender will help relax you, and sometimes this is needed at work, especially if a client or your crazy (occasionally) life has got your tummy in a wad. It has been shown that exposure to the lavender scent works to decrease the heart rate. Lavender is an exceptional scent to use when you have to work but can’t because you are stressed or emotionally burdened. It puts your mind at rest. It also helps relieve some headaches. Lavender decompresses you so you can better focus. Since it does relax, a little lavender goes a long way.
Lilac helps to improve memory and can also help with decision making.
Citrus (such as orange, lime, tangerine, grapefruit, and lemon) benefits you in several ways. Mostly, it will energize you and wake up your senses! It’s a good choice if you went to bed late the night before! In addition, citrus scents are associated with and trigger feelings of happiness. This is the perfect scent to use when you want to call past customers or contact a colleague by phone for the first time. It lets your “friendly” out! Citrus scents stimulate and uplift, helping you to break free from lethargy and giving you focus and clarity. Citrus helps concentration, which cuts down on mistakes in the work day. It has also been shown to help eliminate stress and even anxiety. These are certainly the scents that can lift your spirits in more ways than one!
Pine is a scent that helps us feel grounded and connected to the Earth and gives us a mental feeling of openness, which is great for business planning. It is both physically and mentally energizing. The fragrance also helps relieve muscle tension.
Woodsy and Musky scents (such as sandalwood, sage, and amber) help invigorate your mood and soothe feelings of irritation. They also help to lift feelings of depression. Some, such as sage, can help reduce stress by stimulating the production of serotonin. This helps your mind to unwind and relax which is vital creativity. In addition, these fragrances increase our sense of self-confidence and add to our feelings of being unique. Such scents can really come in handy if you are ready to create your brand marketing, work on your Unique Value proposition (UVP), or write your “story”!
Rose will help you to relieve tension. We all have days when we are feeling a little annoyed, irritable or disrespectfully challenged by others. That’s when you can sniff the fragrance of roses. The sweet, dreamy scent helps melt away mental tensions and can even diminish headaches. It is believed by some researchers that the fragrance of roses can help women in balancing the hormones.
Vanilla will help keep you from sugar cravings and munching on sweets after lunch (provided you did eat lunch), which in turn can save you from those blood sugar level spikes and crashes we often get from downing cookies late in the work day. Smelling vanilla gives us the sensory stimulation that actually consuming the sweets does, but without the mood swings! Vanilla also makes you feel happy in a relaxed way, good for talking with customers!
So there you have your lifestyle lesson on fragrances fitting for the work space. I’ll end with a simple quick list of ways to bring these fragrances into your work environment:
Fragrance oil lamps
Fresh citrus fruit in a bowl
Specialty air conditioning filters
Add a second layer:
Flavored lipstick or lip balm
What’s a favorite scent or aromatherapy tip you enjoy while working?
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