If you commute to your job, you spend a lot of time at your workplace. The average American spends about 1,600 hours per year at the office. Even though you’re thriving in a career and workplace that is fulfilling and allows you to live out your passions, there’s always room to make the office a more inviting and productive place.
Aromatherapy in the workplace can give an office a quick, no fuss face-lift! Essential oils have qualities that can truly enhance your work environment. From encouraging focus, to purifying the air, to boosting the mood, there’s something for every office personality.
You should check with your supervisor and co-workers before diffusing essential oils in the office, and make sure you’re diffusing in a well-ventilated space. For example, if you are using your diffuser in an individual office, place the diffuser on the far side of your desk or a few feet away from your desk on a side table or ledge. If you’re diffusing in a shared or open office space, choose a central location where the aroma molecules will have room to rise and disperse as evenly as possible. It’s safer to plan ahead than to risk toxicity.
Here’s a rundown of our five favorite work-enhancing essential oils for the office:
How it benefits the office: One of the most popular oils to promote productivity and concentration, rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis (L.) is lauded for its uplifting and stimulating effects on the mind and memory. This is an ideal oil for an office environment where deep concentration is a necessity.
All about the aroma: Rosemary’s aroma is strong, fresh, and uplifting. It is a middle-note and blends well with lavender Lavandula angustifolia (Mill.), cedarwood Cedrus atlantica (G.Manetti), bay Laurus nobilis (L.), or citrus oils. This is a strong aroma, so dilute well and be sure your officemates enjoy this green, stimulating scent, too.
How it benefits the office: A sweet and uplifting citrus, bergamot Citrus aurantium var. bergamia (Risso) orange is the signature flavor of Earl Grey tea, and the essential oil has been shown to have significant mood boosting qualities. It’s a delightful and powerful purifier in a DIY office cleaning spray. Plus, who doesn’t swoon for the scent of fresh orange?
All about the aroma: Bergamot is a bright, clean, and happy top note. A distinctive citrus, it imparts a refreshing, characteristic Eau de Cologne fragrance. This oil is ideal in invigorating summer and mood-boosting blends. Try blending bergamot with cypress Cupressus sempervirens (L.), geranium Pelargonium graveolens (L'Her.), lavender L. angustifolia, and sandalwood Santalum album (L.) essential oils.
How it benefits the office: Geranium Pelargonium graveolens (L'Her.) is a luxurious floral perfect for the self-professed “flower children” in the office. A notable mood lifter, geranium offers the hope of spring flowers on dreary days.
All about the aroma: This delicious, balancing aroma is akin to rose Rosa damascena (Mill.) essential oil, but is significantly more affordable for the office budget. Geranium is a light, high intensity middle note, so you only need a few drops to fill your office with the aroma of flowers. Geranium blends well with bergamot C. aurantium var. bergamia, clove Syzygium aromaticum (L.), and juniper Juniperus communis (L.) essential oils.
How it benefits the office: The fresh, lemony aroma of lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus (Stapf) will invigorate your senses and open your mind. Your officemates will feel awake and aware with this energetic, earthy essential oil. If your workspace has an issue with fruit flies or gnats, lemongrass can act as a natural insect repellent.
All about the aroma: Fresh, earthy, and citrusy. Lemongrass is a lively and herbaceous top note. Try blending with lemon Citrus limonum (Risso), lavender L. angustifolia, or rosemary R. officinalis essential oils.
How it benefits the office: Everyone loves the spicy, warm aromas of fall. When the leaves start to change and you want to “pumpkin-spice” everything in the office, clove Syzygium aromaticum (L.) essential oil is your best friend.
All about the aroma: A fresh and comforting top note, clove’s warming and spicy aroma adds a peaceful and grounding ambience to any office. It’s lovely around the holidays. Try blending this fun spice with bergamot C. aurantium var. bergamia, clary sage Salvia sclarea (L.), lavender L. angustifolia, or ylang ylang Cananga odorata (Lam.) var. genuina.
Office Essential Oils – Honorable Mentions
There are way more than just five essential oils to use in the office. Really, it’s about crafting an aroma that is right for you and your co-workers. Why not have a “blending party” as a team-building exercise? ACHS President Dorene Petersen gives a great breakdown of how to blend essential oils in this blog post here.
Here are even more delightful essential oils you can try out in the workplace:
- Cypress C. sempervirens
- Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Blume)
- Black Pepper Piper nigrum (L.)
- Clary Sage S. sclarea
- Grapefruit Citrus paradisi (Macfad.)
- Ylang Ylang C. odorata var. genuina
- Ginger Zingiber officinale (Roscoe)
- Lavender L. angustifolia
- Lemon C. limonum
- Lime Citrus aurantiifolia (Christm.)
- Vetiver Vetiveria zizanioides (Nash)
Happy Office Diffuser Blend
If you’re skeptical about blending essential oils yourself, don’t fret. Give this pre-blended recipe a try the next time your workspace needs an aromatic lift. Don’t forget—check with your co-workers and supervisor before diffusing essential oils in the office.
Geranium Pelargonium graveolens essential oil: 6 drops
Lemon Citrus limonum essential oil: 2 drops
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis essential oil: 2 drops
Blend essential oils and add to diffuser. Be sure to follow the instructions on your diffuser—they are all different.
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This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.