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How to create an aesthetically pleasing working atmosphere for your employees?

Kirjoittanut: Karoliina Kovalainen - tiimistä Hurma.

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It is said that creating a positive and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere for your workers goes beyond helping them remain productive and profitable. If you do it right, it might help them actually enjoy their time at work.

I wrote my thesis this autumn about atmosphere design and sensory experience in brick-and-mortar shops. This time, I am going to discuss the same theme from the perspective of a leader. I bet that it is possible to use the same theories that I used when writing about shop’s, when writing and learning about the environment of a working place.

This is going to be our last autumn in Proakatemia. After that, we are going to graduate and some of us might continue as entrepreneurs. Most likely, when you are an entrepreneur, you are also a manager – if you have employee(s). That’s why I wanted to give something concrete for my team members about my new knowledge about atmosphere design. You might also wonder why am I writing in English? Well, this is also my last chance in Proakatemia to try to improve my language skills by writing essays in foreign language, so I’m going to accept the challenge one last time! Here goes nothing.

When starting a business, you must remember that the way you treat your employees is the way they treat your customers. That’s why it’s very, very important to treat them as kings or queens and give them the best working atmosphere possible.

At first, remember to give them space for creativity and independence. Don’t make too sharp rules to treat the customers. Show them the baseline and create “a service trail”, but don’t expect them to follow it directly every time. That’s how you make the customer experience as natural and spontaneous as possible. Your employees might have some sense of humor or their own shiny personality that makes your customer buy more and more when it’s used in the right spots in every meeting.

The atmosphere also depends of the sensory experiences. The sensory experience includes the senses of smell, sight, touch and hearing. So, if you want to create an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere, in addition to feelings, remember to also focus on making a pleasing sensory experience.

Let’s start with the sense of smell. When the scent in a workplace – no matter if it’s a brick-and-mortar shop or an office – is good and strokes the sense of smell, your employees are going to enjoy their time more than in a place where there is a bad smell or not a scent at all. So, if you want your employees to concentrate more, use the scent of lemon, cinnamon or peppermint. Note that peppermint also helps with brainstorming! Then again, if you want your employees to stay conscious, use the scent of rosemary. If your employees need to deal with a lot of pressure and rush, you can calm them down by using the scent of lavender or jasmine at your office or shop. These are only some examples. The world is full of different scents, so be curious and take time to learn about them more! Essential oils as the basis of the sensory experience of the scents can help improve your employees job performance. The scent of smell is the most affective scent of them all, so at least focus on it when building your business’ office or shop.

Let’s continue with the sense of sight. Usually we either use our senses of sight and smell before any others. The sensory experience of sight includes all the colours, shapes and layouts we are able to see. Colours can be separated to two: cold and warm colours. Your employees (and customers) are most likely going to enjoy their selves more in a cold shaded environment. For example, the shades of blue are more attractive than the shades of red, like orange. This is not an any kind of law, but just remember to think twice when choosing the colours of the inner interior of your company, if you want to please your employees.

Then I am going to tell you about the scent of hearing. All the sounds and noises we hear, can affect us somehow. It’s up to you to decide if you want to use the music in your office or brick-and-mortar shop, but I would warmly recommend it. Music affects in one’s mood. If your workplace uses for example a happy background music, your employees will more likely enjoy their time with the co-workers and customers. If the environment in your company’s workplace is very rushed, you can play calming music to make your employees feel more relaxed.

Last, but not least, we have the scent of touch. It is confirmed that when your employees enjoy their selves in their working clothes, they are more likely to feel confident and relaxed when meeting a customer. Also, the temperature plays a big role in the sensory experience of the scent of touch. So, you should make sure there is not too hot or too cold to work in your employee’s workplace.

This was my little guide to create an aesthetically pleasing working atmosphere. I know, it’s easier said than done, but this is a good start. If you want to learn more about the sensory experience or atmosphere design, please read my upcoming thesis or the books called Tunnelmamuotoilu (2016) by Marjo Rantanen or Myymäläympäristö elämysten tuottajana (Markkanen, S. 2008). There is also some articles and other cool stuff in the internet about this theme. Just be curious and get to the bottom of it!





Craig, W. 2018. The essentials for creating a positive and productive atmosphere. Read 25.8.2020.


Evans, L. 2012. 6 scents that can transform your mood and productivity. Read 25.8.2020.


Markkanen, S. 2008. Myymäläympäristö elämysten tuottajana. Helsinki: Edita Publishing Oy.

Rantanen, M. 2016. Tunnelmamuotoilu. Helsinki: Edita Publishing Oy.

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