Cleaning products with scents are very common, with companies banking on the fact that many people like the scent of clean linen or lavender fields. However, if you're negotiating with janitorial services right now, you need to ask about using fragrance-free cleaning products. This is about more than just being "green;" it's about helping your workers feel better.
Fragrance Allergies Can Begin At Any Time
Fragrance allergies and multiple chemical sensitivity are frustrating conditions that are never really the same for any two people. One person may think lavender and mint to be wonderful and bleach to be awful, while another can deal with bleach but not anything else, including "natural" smells. And worst of all, sensitivities can begin for anyone at any time.
Asking your janitorial crew to use fragrance-free products helps prevent the onset of allergies or sensitivities, and it prevents your workers from having to quit or take time away because they just can't deal with the smells in the office. There's really no reason to fill the office with a particular scent if that scent is not necessary to the cleaning process. For example, a cleaner made with vinegar may have a vinegar smell because it actually contains vinegar. But that same cleaner does not need to have a mint fragrance added to it just to make a place smell like mint.
Granted, mint is one of the less offensive smells out there to many. But it can still be too sharp for some, and there's no reason to annoy your workers like that.
Note that fragrance-free and unscented mean different things. Unscented products can still have odors, but there is a neutralizer added to mask the odors (and some people are sensitive enough to detect a fragrance from the neutralizer). Fragrance-free means no fragrances are added whatsoever. There may be odors that naturally belong to the ingredients, like the aforementioned vinegar, but that's it.
Fragrances Can Cover Up Problems and Hide the Source
At first, covering up a problem smell doesn't seem like such a bad thing. Who wants to smell something bad? But there is a difference between temporarily masking an odor so that people don't feel ill, and constantly masking an odor so that the real source is never fully taken care of. If your office suffers from a mystery smell, you need to find out why the smell is there and what's behind it.
If the smell is truly bad, it may be to your benefit to mask it a bit so that people can work. But you and your maintenance crew need to track down the origin and fix whatever is going on. In fact, it may be best to close the office for a few hours so that workers aren't constantly exposed to an unknown smell -- get a maintenance crew in to find the cause and fix it, and call a janitorial company like Janitorial Services Atlanta to return to take care of any last cleaning. Then air out the office and keep fragrances out so that you can monitor for any return odors.
Sometimes fragrance-free isn't a possibility; if the janitors have to use chlorine bleach, you'll likely have to smell that. But they can still avoid using artificial scents that may be more sinus-stinging than super-smelling.