The working environment is a vital factor affecting employee performance. Studies show how certain office layouts can have an impact on workers’ productivity and their ability to focus. When creating a good working environment, however, indoor air quality is often overlooked.
Poor indoor air quality can also affect the performance of your employees. This can hurt your company in the long run.
Why Healthy Indoor Air Quality Is Important in Offices?
Indoor air quality is the air quality within and around buildings and structures. It can have an impact on the health and comfort of building occupants. Exposure to poor indoor air quality can cause headaches, dizziness, irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, and fatigue. Longer exposure can cause severe health problems, including respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most people in the U.S. spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors. Meanwhile, many employees spend most of their working hours in an office environment. Studies conducted by the EPA reveal that indoor environments sometimes have higher levels of pollutants than outside environments.
The agency also points out that improving indoor air quality can increase productivity and reduce lost workdays. Lost in productivity and medical care can also cost the nation tens of billions of dollars every year due to poor indoor air quality.
Additionally, neglecting the air quality in your office can result in higher cases of absenteeism, chronic health issues among your team members, and higher operational costs. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to provide your employees a healthy office environment to keep them efficient.
Improving Indoor Air Quality in Your Office
There are several factors that contribute to poor indoor air quality. Temperature, for example, can affect your team’s health, performance, and attendance. Manage the space’s overall temperature to strike the right balance between energy usage and wellness. The room should not be too hot or too cold, otherwise, some of your team members will feel uncomfortable.
The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in your office can also affect employees’ focus, productivity, and decision-making. A study shows minimizing CO2 in an office helps in increasing employee scores on cognitive function tests by 50 percent.
Another factor that affects the air quality in an office is dust or particulate matter. It can trigger health problems, such as asthma and allergies. This can come from the outside or from activities done in the building, like smoking, printing, and copying.
Identifying the pollutants and their sources is a vital part of maintaining healthy indoor air quality in your office. Here are three ways you can do to improve your office’s air quality.
1. Keep Your HVAC Properly Maintained
The heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system plays a crucial role in maintaining good indoor air quality. Make sure that your HVAC system is regularly cleaned to improve its efficiency and prevent pollutants from building up. Hire a professional duct cleaning service to maintain the HVAC system of your office in Utah.
Signs that the ducts need cleaning include having visible mold growth inside hard surface ducts or on other components, vermin infestation, and ducts are clogged with dust. You should not only focus on cleaning the ducts but other components should be cleaned. Doing so may improve the efficiency of your system which extends its lifespan and saves energy.
2. Plan Your Office Layout Carefully
The way you place and arrange the furniture and equipment in your office affects the delivery of air within the space. Placing a computer right under a thermostat, for instance, may cause the HVAC control device to deliver too much cool air. Since the computer is heat-generating equipment, the thermostat will sense the area is too warm that needs more cool air.
Additionally, if you place furniture, chairs, storage boxes, or cabinets in front of air vents, the air circulation in the room will be disrupted. Consider adding indoor plants in your office to improve the air quality. They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air.
3. Observe Cleanliness in the Workplace
Keeping a space clean is one of the effective ways to eliminate germs and bacteria and minimize the risks of certain diseases. Make sure every area of your office has lower levels of mold, dust, and other harmful particles.
When cleaning the workplace, use environment-friendly cleaning products. Most of them do not release harsh chemical compounds into the air. It’s best to work with a cleaning service company to make sure the space is properly cleaned.
Employees are the backbone of an organization. As an employer or manager, it’s vital to provide them with a healthy working environment to boost their productivity and protect them against diseases. Prioritize maintaining clean indoor air quality.