Gently waft peppermint through the office to boost productivity

by Stephanie Zillman09 Nov 2012

Research published in the North American Journal of Psychology has uncovered an interesting little productivity idea for HR: the smell of peppermint could boost workers’ productivity.

The study was undertaken by a team of researchers who tested a previous hypothesis that suggested a positive link between video game play* and the administration of peppermint scent.

The team went on to assess the combination of video game play and peppermint scent administration on physiology, mood, game performance, and task load.

Participants in the research experiment firstly played video games with no scent administration, before being assigned to repeat the game during which they were exposed to the scent of peppermint.

Interestingly, participants in the peppermint scent condition showed greater improvements, such as completing significantly more levels, more hits, more stars, and distance completed.

Further, participants in the peppermint condition reported less mental demand, perceived effort, and anxiety.

Yet HC warns against being too heavy handed with the scent of peppermint, as perfume in offices has been known to have unexpected outcomes…

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*Participants played 3 Nintendo Wii Fit Plus games requiring cognitive and hand/eye reactions.


  • by IN 9/11/2012 3:38:04 PM

    This isn't new research. This was a finding back in the 70's and 80's and has been used in production environments for years. It seens that everything that is old is new again.