Looking to make your workplace more conducive to cooperation? Our favourite sci-fi blog io9 points out a study indicating that rooms lightly scented with clean, pleasant smells can encourage people to behave more virtuously.
Photo by charles chan *.
Chen-Bo Zhong, an assistant professor of organizational behaviour at the University of Toronto, recently concluded that people in lightly scented rooms show a greater willingness to act selflessly. In a series of experiments, Zhong found that people in rooms that had been sprayed with an air freshener were more likely to show an interest in volunteer work, and more likely to distribute money fairly in a trust-based investment game, than people in unscented rooms.
A good-smelling room may not be enough to end that long-running feud between co-workers, but it couldn't hurt. Either way, anything that can help make your workplace run even a little bit more smoothly seems worth trying out.