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Insights

Smell: Using Natural and Synthetic Smells to Create the Ideal Office Environment

Offices have changed from the traditional blank walls and rows of desks, to including plant displays and natural features. This trend has become more prevalent as businesses strive to create more homely environments and recognise the human connection to nature. One of the side effects that has been recognised from this is that even the smell of the plants can improve employee’s performance and the office environment. Reams of research has been undertaken to work out what the best smells are to create a hardworking environment and what their effects are. 

Improved Cognitive Ability

Human Beings have a symbiotic relationship with nature. Just being in nature will stimulate and improve brain function. By adding natural scents to the office whether that is using fresh flowers or synthetic smells The human olfactory senses perk up and sharpen cognitive function. Some notable examples of this are Pine or Forest air fresheners or Lavendar and Geraniums 

The added benefit of having more natural plants when achieving this effect means a space that is filled with more oxygen produced straight from the plants. This can in turn potentially lower the chances of employees falling ill and requiring time off work. It is well documented that Green certified offices have 30% fewer sickness-related absences, highlighting the importance of biophilic elements for employee well-being. 

Enhanced Mental Health 

Spending time in environment with a pleasant smell have shown to significant impact on mental health. There are some scents that will lower cortisol levels in your blood in turn anxiety level. Over a long enough time, scale this will make an employee feel calmer and more focused on their job. Some of the best examples of smells that have this affect are more citrus smells or if you are diffusing, Sandalwood. 

Increased Creativity 

Browns University has previously conducted a study that certain positive scents can improve creativity. Not only that but employees will also have improved problem solving and rationale ability. The way this works is that nice, familiar smells can make you feel more comfortable. When you are more comfortable you are less on guard and have room to divert attention to problems and creative challenges. This is like how warmer, softer lighting can make you feel safer and less seen, promoting creativity boosts. 

Enhanced Company Image and Talent Attraction 

An office space that utilises pleasant smells in its design, can have a profound impact on your existing employees but also, on those that you wish to attract and clients and customers. nice smelling elements enhance the overall feel of your working environment. When potential clients or prospective talent see your office in person, they formulate a positive view of your company making it a more desirable place and a more memorable place. One which people will be more likely to work with or for. 

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