The smell of successful change

The power of scenting the office

When designing an office, we pay an enormous amount of attention to its aesthetic values. We concentrate on the furniture, the fixtures, the finishes, the lighting, the colours and closely consider the impact these aspects have on the eye.

We also focus on comfort, with great attention paid to the experience of our staff, the ergonomic designs, soft furnishings, carpets and how the ‘feel’ of this environment will be received by our visitors. We consider the quality of air, the use of natural light, the acoustics and more, constantly assessing the physical impact of the building on its users. In short- the power of ‘sense’ is paramount to our working environments.

Why then, do we rarely consider the smell of a workplace?

Well, now we do. Where Workplace Works is working in partnership with Air Aroma, to enable our clients to recognise the value and benefits of using scent, allowing them to utilise it within their working environment.

To tell you more about the value and benefits of this, we speak to William Rabey from Air Aroma in the UK…

Q. Just how powerful is our sense of smell?
Our sense of smell is incredibly powerful and has a dramatic effect on our behaviour. It is believed that our sense of smell affects 75% of our daily emotions as it has a very close connection with our ‘olfactory gland’ and our limbic system. This gland enables us to register a scent, and the limbic system, governs our emotions and memories.

Also, we have scent receptors located in the nose which connect directly to a particular part of our brains which processes and records memory and emotion. This is the reason that certain fragrances can immediately take you back to a time, place or certain memory, emotion or feeling.

Each of us are able to recognise around 10,000 different smells or odours and can recall a smell with 65% accuracy after a year, whereas only 50% of visual memories can be recalled after just three months.

Q. So, why use scent in the workplace and what can it do?
Not only can the use of scent in the workplace attract new customers, in can improve the experience of staff, heighten value perception, expand brand recognition and customer satisfaction.

For example, first impressions count for a lot, and this is often exemplified by the design of a businesses’ reception area. Many organisations spend tens of thousands of pounds on their reception desk alone- which can often go entirely unnoticed- but rarely do we take advantage of the opportunity to provide a fragrance to enhance a visitor’s first impression. Scents allow you to do exactly this, by connecting with visitors on a deeper emotional level, resulting in a more memorable experience- at a fraction of the cost of the desk! If a client or visitor has a good experience of your business, when they return, they will then associate this scent with their previous positive experiences.

Q. Can bespoke scents be created for a business?

A. We work with many organisations to develop a signature scent that is entirely unique to their brand. Much like the creation of a logo, this scent is developed by understanding the brand personality, the vision of the business and its ambitions.

Once this signature scent is fully developed, we are able to implement the fragrance across the organisation’s various locations, allowing the scent to be universally associated with the brand, across all sites.

Q. How can staff benefit from different aromas?

A. The possibilities of how scent can enhance the workplace experience for staff are endless. We are able to, not only provide certain scents to stimulate particular behaviours, but also emit them in particular places, at certain times in the working day. This means that we can provide different aromas for different zones within the office, that are associated with the way these spaces function.

For example, Where Workplace Works often refer to an activity-based design that provides various working environments as opposed to an open plan office with single desks. Fragrances can reflect and enhance this concept, in each respective environment provided. For example, you could consider a citrus based fragrance that encourages creativity, for areas that aim to be collaborative. Quiet areas which offer space for contemplative work may wish to use a rosemary infused aroma that stimulates the mind and provides mental clarity. It might be that, to combat stress, you wish to infuse the whole office with a lavender based fragrance from exactly 09.30-10.30, to help staff get over the stress of the commute.

If you are interested in providing office areas with biophilic design, (perhaps to enhance wellbeing), this can be complimented with aromas associated with the outdoors, further enhancing the impression.

If you are planning an event, you can send out a fragrance that is either bespoke to your brand or that might simply be pleasant to those attending, and impressions can be further enhanced in those plush meeting rooms, by using a scent with classic woody notes, to compliment the deep pile carpet and luxurious furniture. These scents will align with the activity taking place in each respective environment.

Then there are even aromas with zero fragrance, that neutralise other odours that you would prefer to mask. These could also be timed to come on across lunch hours in case a chicken tikka meal has been consumed in an area that visitors may smell (or colleagues may be complaining about).

The list goes on.

Q. How has working with Where Workplace Works helped you?  

A. Partnering with Where Workplace Works has already been hugely insightful for me, as their knowledge of the workings in the modern workplace are outstanding. The workplace is a relatively new market for Air Aroma, so this partnership works perfectly.

WWW also work with many businesses to improve their working environments, and so they have a strong awareness of the issues businesses currently face. Just recently, Graham, raised a point about the lull in energy and productivity that can often be experienced ‘post-lunch’ in the office. We discussed the possibility of infusing the workplace with a fresh aroma at this particular time to invigorate and stimulate workers- which is a fantastic idea!

If you are interested in considering the ways in which scent can benefit your business, contact Where Workplace Works on for further information…

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