Gently waft peppermint through the office to boost productivity

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

Related story: Office perfume spritz sparks psychosomatic hysteria

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


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