Four simple ways to improve air quality around you and your employees.
Most companies, whether global or local, are always looking for ways to improve performance and productivity in the workplace, and this often means finding ways to boost employee satisfaction. After all, studies reveal that happy employees tend to be more productive. From developing unique perks to offering creative desk arrangements, improving an employee’s workday can have an impact on an organization’s success.
All too often, though, companies focus only on superficial factors that might make staff feel good, and don’t consider issues that can improve an employee’s long-term health and wellbeing.
If you’re looking for a way to make a meaningful difference at your workplace, consider improving the air quality.
Understanding the Issues
We might not be able to see them, but bacteria, germs and polluting chemicals are all around us in the workplace. Air quality and associated molds can lead to a wide range of serious medical conditions, with more than 1,000 deaths per year in the UK attributable to poor air quality.
Organizations should also consider the number of workdays lost due to minor conditions caused by air quality in the workplace, including lung irritation, headaches and fatigue. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that in 2016, a staggering 137.3 million workdays were lost in the UK due to sickness or injury.
Demonstrating your company’s dedication to employee health and contentment is yet another benefit to addressing air quality.
The source of air pollution in offices is not always obvious. For example, if your workplace is located close to a busy road or in a built-up urban environment, pollution from vehicle emissions may be leaking in or entering through windows. Other seemingly innocuous office items can also create pollutants, including paint, cleaning products, carpets, printers and even certain kinds of printer paper.
The most common causes of indoor air quality problems in buildings include:
- Poor ventilation and lack of fresh outdoor air
- Insufficient upkeep of ventilation, heating and cooling systems
- Dampness and moisture damage
- Construction or remodeling
Addressing the Problem
There are plenty of simple and cost-effective ways to improve the air quality in your workplace. Here are a few to get you started in the right direction:
- Arrange for regular professional cleanings, which can remove the opportunity for bacteria and germs to build up to dangerous levels.
- Place plants throughout the workspace, as they are widely known to help purify the air. Plus, greenery tends to help people feel good. Plants that are easy to care for and also remove pollutants from their environment include peace lilies, spider plants, aloe vera and Boston ferns.
- Check regularly for harmful gases such as carbon monoxide. Depending on your business and your location, experts may recommend monitoring for a variety of air pollutants.
- Schedule timely maintenance on your ventilation, heating and cooling systems.
Tackling clean air in the workplace could have quite a profound impact on everyone in the workplace. Companies cannot afford to ignore this issue, simply because it is largely invisible.
Resources for information about indoor air quality include:
- World Health Organization’s Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality
- US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration
By Justin Fox, junior digital PR executive who is currently dabbling in digital marketing as part of the team at Distinctly. Justin specializes in analysis and problem solving in all aspects of the online sphere.