How To Remove Bad Odours In The Workplace


At times, the air in the workplace is not as fresh as you’d like it to be. Some odours can be harmless but annoying, while others can pose health risks. Regardless of how safe an unpleasant smell is, it can impact employee productivity and satisfaction. Here is a simple guide on eliminating unwanted workplace odours.

Sources of Unpleasant Smells In The Office

You must first identify where foul odours in your office are coming from before you can get rid of them. Here are the usual sources of workplace odours:

  • Food

Smells from food range from mild to intense. To some people, an odour can make them feel queasy even if they smell delicious to others. In addition, there is the problem of any leftover food left out in the fridge, on a desk, or in the trash bins and allowed to decay.

  • Cleaning products

Regular and thorough cleaning routines can help eliminate bad smells, but using harshly-scented products or those with fumes can cause unwanted scents and effects in your office. Fragrance chemicals can be toxic when inhaled into the body. Such exposure can impact your health – skin allergies, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and neurological conditions.

The Importance of a Pleasant-Smelling Office

Companies are becoming increasingly aware of the effect that office space can have on worker productivity. Did you know that new studies are linking smell to how effectively we work? The following explains this connection:

  • When people were exposed to a scent they liked, creative problem-solving was found to be better than when exposed to an unpleasant smell.
  • One study found that employees who worked in the presence of a pleasant-smelling air freshener reported higher self-esteem and higher personal goals. They were also more likely to employ efficient work strategies than participants who worked without exposure to any odours.
  • Pleasant aromas have been found to enhance vigilance during tedious tasks and improve performance on word plays and puzzles. In contrast, participants subjected to unpleasant odours struggled to make judgement calls and had a lower frustration tolerance.
  • A Japanese study found that particular scents can increase alertness, resulting in higher productivity rates.
  • Research supports the finding that scents can be used to improve concentration levels and prevent mid-afternoon brain fog.
  • Pleasant odours are also more likely to enhance our social behaviours.

Eliminating Bad Office Odours

Here are some strategies to keep your workplace smelling fresh and pleasant:

  • Have good ventilation in place and consider odour-extracting fans in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Maintain a reasonable distance from work desks and meeting rooms to break areas and the kitchen.
  • Purchase cleaning products that are not harshly scented and do not produce fumes. As much as possible, use green cleaning products only to get rid of the bad smells and cut down on the strong scents and harmful chemicals.

There are also a number of scents that can help you achieve increased staff productivity. You may want to discuss diffusing scents in the workplace with your team, as some of them may have sensitive noses.

  • Cinnamon can help fight mental fatigue and enhance concentration.
  • Citrus can help fight mental exhaustion (grapefruit), uplift mood (lemon), ease stress (orange), and alleviate symptoms of depression (bergamot).
  • Lavender helps reduce anxiety and stress.
  • Peppermint energises, refreshes, helps in concentration and stimulates the mind.
  • Rosemary improves memory, energises the mind, and encourages clear thinking.

What To Avoid In Managing These Odours

It is tempting to mask an unpleasant smell with air fresheners. You should avoid this and get rid of the odour source first. The next step is to ventilate the space properly until the odour dissipates. Again, it is important to talk to your employees about the use of essential oil-based air fresheners. If everyone is okay with it, choose the safest product you can find in the market.

How Professional Office Cleaners Can Help

Stubborn, foul-smelling odours often linger in hard-to-reach and clean areas. Experienced and well-equipped cleaning professionals are prepared to deal with these stubborn smells that emanate even from hardly identifiable sources, such as old carpets and furniture. They utilise green cleaning and extraction tools, which are safe and environment-friendly. Also, they have the proper cleaning equipment for each kind of a mess. So, if you want to save time and effort and ensure thorough cleaning and disinfection, consider hiring the service of a professional office cleaner.

Get in touch with our cleaning team today for a quote.

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