Essential Oils for Office & Workplace Wellness
By Caryn Gehlmann
Most of us spend a great deal of our time at work. If you enjoy aromatherapy at home, you might be wondering if you can use essential oils for office life, too. We’re happy to report that companies, both large and small, are now using aromatherapy to help their staff deal with stress more effectively.
We get asked the following questions: Should aromatherapy play a part in a workplace wellness program? And what if you don’t have an official wellness program—can you still use aromatherapy to promote a healthier work environment? What’s the etiquette around using essential oils for office settings?
In answer to the first question, yes, aromatherapy can be a wonderful addition to your company wellness program. It used to be that wellness programs were an extra perk for cutting-edge corporations, but now companies are seeing the financial benefits of wellness programs. For example, more and more nurses tell us that essential oils not only complement their patient care, but they also help them personally deal with on-the-job stress. Studies reported on by American Nurse Today back that up, as they revealed a significant reduction in perceived stress levels from nurses who used aromatherapy at work.
Our e3 team of Clinical Aromatherapists and healthcare professionals love to partner companies who want to include aromatherapy as part of their wellness programs. We’ve partnered with several hospitals to help them develop aromatherapy policies and to use essential oils as part of their staff wellness program.
Companies interested in an aromatherapy program will want to ensure that they “do no harm” by using only certified, therapeutic-quality essential oils. The next step is to identify specific concerns for staff that can be enhanced by aromatherapy. We also encourage standardized policies and procedures. For example, you want to address whether you will allow for a diffuser in a common area or if you require personal diffusion. Finally, due to the misinformation circulating on the internet regarding the use of essential oils, it’s a good idea to include education, so your staff knows how to use essential oils safely.
What if your company doesn’t have an aromatherapy program? How can you effectively use essential oils for office and workplace applications to promote greater wellness for all?
Here are 3 tips to successfully using essential oils for office and workplace settings:
1. Choose the Right Scent for the Time of Day
When we smell something, our limbic system interprets the emotional significance of an aroma. This explains why an essential oil can trigger a behavioral response in our body and why certain aromas are stimulating, while others calm us down. So in the morning, you may want to use an uplifting scent like Peppermint, Rosemary, or e3’s Concentrate or Revitalize blends. Towards the end of the day, you may want to start winding down a bit, so Lavender, Ylang-ylang, or e3’s Stress Relief blend might be good options. The key is to listen to your nose—and see how your body responds to different smells. Your choice might depend on how you’re feeling that particular day. (Click here to download our free guide.)
2. Choose the Right Application Method
Direct inhalation is one of the best ways to benefit from aromatherapy. You can’t always diffuse essential oils in your workplace, but you can use a personal diffuser, an aromatherapy bracelet, or something as simple as a cotton ball with one drop of essential oil that you can tuck into your pocket or in a desk drawer you open frequently. Just remember to enjoy a wonderful deep breath when you need a moment. Review our application methods for additional suggestions on how to use essential oils safely and effectively.
3. Be Sensitive to Your Co-Workers Sense of Smell
Essential oils don’t have the same effect on every person. So before you use a room diffuser or lather yourself in scent, it’s a good idea to make sure everyone is happy with the selection. We’ve found citrus is a popular scent for most people, so Bergamot, Orange Sweet, or e3’s Revitalize blend are a good choice for a common area. However, if you don’t have everyone’s buy-in, it’s best to use the personal diffusion options we shared above.
Whether you’re with a company looking to integrate aromatherapy into your wellness program or someone simply looking to use essential oils for work, we’re here to support you. E3’s team of clinical aromatherapist can help you come up with a selection of essential oils that will help you enjoy your workplace more! Please contact e3 with any of your questions.