Enhancing Performance on Work Tasks

using color and scent to improve performance on work tasks
Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels

If you own or manage a business, you want to make sure that your employees are being productive. A surprising way to help workers concentrate on their tasks is by manipulating your office environment with color and scent.

Warm vs. Cool Colors

Colors have a definite effect on our mood. Although different people have varying color preferences, cool colors tend to be relaxing while warm colors are stimulating. How can the color of a room affect work? Researchers found that people in rooms with cool colors like blue and green performed better on on highly demanding tasks like an IQ test. However, they did better on detail-oriented tasks in a room with warm colors like red or yellow. The cool color had an even bigger effect on people who were highly educated.

Stimulating vs. Relaxing Scents

Young people were influenced significantly more by the stimulating scent than older people. This may be because the sense of smell declines with age. If you have older workers, you may want to increase the scent intensity to get the same effect. Peppermint had a particularly strong effect on scores on detail-oriented tasks for educated participants and women.

Matching Scent & Color

The researchers tested two conditions: where scent and color matched in terms of relaxing/stimulating and where they clashed. They used sandalwood as the relaxing scent and peppermint as the stimulating scent with either blue (relaxing) or red (stimulating) walls. They discovered that IQ test results were best in the congruent situations (sandalwood with blue and peppermint with red). Mismatching the scent and color had the most negative performance effect on those with medium education

If you want your employees to do something demanding such as strategic planning, have them work on it in a cool color room with relaxing scents. If you need workers to be accurate in detail-oriented tasks like contract negotiations with vendors, move them to a warm color room with a stimulating scent.

Contact your Air Esscentials rep to find out how to implement a workplace scenting program.