If you work in an office, especially in an older building, you’ve probably grown accustomed to harsh lighting, unpredictable temperatures, and stale, stuffy air. This is where aromatherapy, the practice of using fragrance to help achieve psychological and physiological benefits, can help.
Here are five benefits of aromatherapy in the office. You can create an inviting atmosphere of comfort in your own office space.
What Is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to maintain health and support the treatment of diseases. Essential oils are naturally occurring substances, extracted from plant materials. These oils are inhaled through the air via diffusers. They can also be massaged onto the skin and even used in baths.
- The use of aromatherapy as it relates to the healing properties of essential oils dates back to the times of the ancient Egyptians, potentially as early as 4500 B.C.
Today essential oils can be found in your local grocery stores. You can also purchase them through friends and even order online. In a modern culture that’s rife with sceptics of Western medicine, this Eastern alternative has made a hit in the mainstream.
Aromatherapy in the Office
As aromatherapy becomes more popular, scientists have prepared formal studies to quantify its benefits.
- A study within a dental office, it was shown that a fragrance oil blends diffused into the air helped to reduce anxiety as well as improve the moods of patients.
- A 2012 study suggests that aromatherapy can be effective for high blood pressure.
- A recent study on hospice patients concluded that patients considered aromatherapy helpful in reducing their anxiety, pain, as well as their depression and tension.
Whether you’re looking to improve morale, get a productivity boost or decrease stress, there are many ways that office aromatherapy can be beneficial.
1. Aromatherapy in the office can help relieve stress.
Between tight deadlines, management politics as well as long hours, a day at the office can be a recipe for a tension headache!
If you and your colleagues could use some stress relief, consider a fragrance oil blend that contains any of the following:
- Lavender, which has been shown to produce a relaxing effect
- Lemon, which was found to be stress-relieving
- Bergamot, which may be useful in reducing anxiety as well as stress
- Jasmine has been found to produce calming effects
2. Blends can help increase energy and improve mood.
It’s not easy to maintain high morale in an office. This is regardless of whether the people are great and the work is fulfilling. A fragrance oil blend that contains any of the following spirit-brightening essential oils could do just the trick:
- Rosemary, which has an invigorating scent that can help people feel “fresher”
- Grapefruit, which has been shown to have a refreshing effect
- Peppermint, which can serve as a nervine stimulant
3. Certain essential oil blends can enhance focus and increase productivity.
What better time to be focused and alert than when you’re in the office? Essential oil blends that include any of these ingredients can help get employees into the zone of productivity:
- Frankincense, which has been shown to improve memory
- Cinnamon, which can improve performance as well as alertness
4. Aromatherapy in the office may help alleviate certain health concerns, including respiratory and inflammatory issues.
Anything from seasonal allergies to office space with low air quality can lead to eye, ear and throat problems, as well as respiratory issues. If employees are looking for relief, here are some fragrance oils that may help:
- Tea Tree, an anti-inflammatory which may help relieve sinus congestion
- Eucalyptus, which has long been used to alleviate cold and sinus symptoms
- Germanium, which may help shorten the common cold
- Chamomile, which can be used to address inflammation and anxiety
5. Fragrance oils can provide an overall sense of pleasantness in the air.
There’s nothing like taking a deep breath in and smelling a hint of something pleasant in the air. While certain fragrance oils for the office focus on specific psychological benefits, one benefit of aromatherapy overall is that appealing fragrances can provide a general sense of wellness and positivity wherever they are used.
The introduction of therapeutic fragrance oils, in any combination, is likely to be a welcome change for both employees and visitors alike.
Be Mindful of Your Colleagues, and Your Space
Whether you’re an individual contributor or the office manager, it’s important to take into consideration that there may be employees who are hypersensitive to fragrances, as well as some who are allergic to essential oils altogether.
- Are you planning on using aromatherapy in your own private office or cubicle? If so, it may help to ask your neighbors whether they mind if you do.
- If you’re the one responsible for selecting fragrance oils for the office, it might be worth it to ensure more people will enjoy the benefits than experience sensitivities.
- It’s also beneficial to check that your office space has sufficient ventilation to circulate this newly pleasant-smelling air. When it comes to aromatherapy, you can have too much of a good thing–and wouldn’t that just ruin the Zen?
Even if you love what you do and who you work with, an unpleasant working environment can make long days less enjoyable. If you introduce the benefits of aromatherapy to the office, you’ll help provide a more positive environment. You will also have a productive, less-stressed team.
Want to know more?
Stress, depression and anxiety disorders accounted for the majority of days lost due to work-related ill health in 2017/18.
In light of this, it’s important to help you protect your mental health in the workplace. Click here for more on those tips.
Who Is The Author?
Taylor Sicard serves as the Co-Founder and CMO of Homesick, a hand-poured candle company that offers specialized scents to invoke feelings of nostalgia. When he is not working or writing, Taylor enjoys spending time with his fiancé and exploring the great outdoors.