The Power of Scent: How Scenting Increases Office Productivity

power of scent


Our sense of smell is probably the most commonly overlooked of our 5 senses, but research has shown that our sense of smell greatly affects our behaviour. Our sense of smell has a greater influence on our minds than what we are conscious of. Not only does this affect our emotions, it also affects our perceptions and behaviour. This creates opportunities and benefits for businesses to explore when targeting customers. Scent marketing has been on the rise in businesses, proven to increase positive associations with the business. However, premium scenting can do more for your business than marketing to your customers. This article explains how our sense of smell can be beneficial to businesses and their employees.

Our Sense of Smell

Humans can remember approximately 10,000 scents but have you ever wondered how our sense of smell works? Our olfactory system, which is our sense of smell, involves very complex physical, chemical and mental processes. In our noses, there are 5 -10 million scent receptors which is mainly responsible for our sense of smell. With the help from nasal mucous, scent molecules are dissolved and sent to these receptors. These molecules bind with the receptors, triggering a chemical reaction which sends a signal to the brain. This is how we smell. What’s so amazing about scent is that it develops before a human is born. Research has shown that when a mother consumes certain types of food, infants seem to prefer these scents as well.

Scenting and Its Influence

Our sense of smell is not just a separate system on its own. It is connected to different bodily systems such as our sense of taste. This is why when you smell something, you can easily imagine what it tastes like. Sensations of flavour are mixed into the air we take in from our mouth, which gives us this phantom taste.

Our sense of smell has also been shown to be linked to different parts of our brain that control perceptions, memories, reward behaviours and emotional and unconscious responses. This means that our work behaviour, productivity and mood can be affected by office odours. What we smell can affect how we feel, and how we act without conscious effort. Have you ever smelt something bad in the office such as carpet odour or dirty dishes in the pantry sink and then felt irritated or angry? That’s the power of scent.

Impact on offices

Premium scenting for offices can prove extremely beneficial. Our sense of smell allows businesses to create multisensory triggers at a subconscious level that improves employee morale and productivity. It has been shown that scent itself does not directly affect us but instead brings up past experiences and memories. Depending on the scent, it can trigger both positive and negative memories. This causes a ripple effect  where our emotions, behaviours and work performance are affected as well.

As specific memories are triggered with certain scents, the emotions associated with the memory are also recalled. For example, a pleasant sea breeze aroma can bring back recollections of island vacations which makes us feel relaxed. This calms us and gives us a sense of peace, which can increase employee morale and customer perceptions. However, unpleasant smells such as smoke or carpet odour can bring up bad memories that may upset us or make us uncomfortable.

Emotions in turn affect our behaviour. Pleasant smells, which are associated with good memories, can increase happiness, motivation and inspiration.This directly impacts work performance and culture. As they say, a happy worker is a productive worker. This also reduces absenteeism and improves engagement. Research has shown that unscheduled absenteeism cost approximately RM 11,000 per employee per year. Premium scenting can not only reduce this cost, but increase long term revenue from productive employees.  

Is Scenting Safe?

Every scent that Initial provides has undergone rigorous experiments and tests to ensure the safety of our customers. Our scenting services comply with various international safety standards such as the International Fragrance Association (IFRA), Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEEDS), the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). Our customers safety are our number one priority and you can be rest assured that our scenting solutions are safe.

Recognising the impact of scent and utilising it can greatly boost business performance. With Initial’s Premium Scenting, we deliver a consistent and uniform coverage to enhance customer experience and increase employee productivity. With our expertise, we are sure to find the perfect scent that embodies your business.  Contact us now at 1300 882 388 to start your premium scenting journey.


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