The air quality in your work environment shouldn’t be overlooked as it can impact both the physical and mental wellbeing of those using the space. If people feel comfortable in their environment they will be more likely to perform better. This blog explores the importance of good air quality. We will provide you with some tips on how you can help to improve the air quality in your workspace.
What is Poor Air Quality?
On an average day, humans typically inhale approximately 22,000 breaths to provide their bodies with vital oxygen.¹ Ensuring the air we breathe is clean and abundant in oxygen is important for our overall health and wellbeing. It can harbour detrimental elements known as pollutants. Air quality pertains to the concentration of these pollutants in the air.
Poor air quality indicates that the air contains one or more pollutants at levels that could pose a hazard to our respiratory systems and overall health. On the other hand, good air quality signifies that the air is relatively pure, with minimal or no pollutants detectable.
What are the Impacts of Poor Air Quality?
Customers and employees have been found to adopt a reduced emotional state and feel negative emotions if air quality is poor. ² Poor ventilation, low quality filtration, and limited air purification also increase the likelihood of illness, reduce focus, and can impede sales.¹
Elevated levels of CO2 and other airborne contaminants can make it challenging for employees to sustain their focus over longer periods, leading to increased fatigue and errors. Studies have also shown that enhanced indoor air quality improves cognitive abilities. This ties into tasks such as accounting, proofreading, multitasking and memory retention.¹
Here are some top tips for helping to improve the air quality in your business.
Tip 1: Keep a Healthy Level of Humidity
You should aim to maintain a level of 30-50% humidity in your work environment.³ This will help to manage dust mites, mould, and other allergens. Utilise dehumidifiers and air conditioners to help regulate the humidity in your office environment.
Not having healthy levels of humidity can result in increased absenteeism and reduced productivity, which could in turn lead to poor performance as well as financial losses.⁴
Tip 2: Incorporate Indoor Planting
Air quality can be improved by bringing plants into your workspace. NASA research demonstrated that, “Over a 24-hour period, indoor plants can remove up to 87% of air toxins. They release chemicals that suppress mould spores and bacteria by as much as 50 to 60%.”⁵
Research has shown that by embracing nature and bringing plants indoors productivity can be improved, absenteeism lowered and job satisfaction increased.
Tip 3: Ensure Air Purifiers and Ventilation Systems are Serviced Regularly
Utilising air purifiers and/or ventilation systems can be an effective way of removing allergens and pathogens from the air. This can help to improve the air quality in your workspace.
However, just as over time, dust can build-up on work surfaces if they are not regularly cleaned, it can also accumulate in air ducts and filters. If your air filters or ventilation system become blocked by deposits, the air won’t flow well. This can lead to poor air circulation which can impact both temperature control as well as the overall air quality. It’s usually recommended to change the air filters in air purifiers, and to get your ventilation system serviced every 6-12 months. ⁶
Tip 4: Clean your Work Environment Effectively on a Regular Basis
Cleaning your work area regularly can play a huge role in combating poor air quality. Effective cleaning of personal workstations and communal areas can help to improve air quality, through the cleaning of surfaces and equipment. They are constantly exposed to pathogens such as bacteria and viral particles via touch and breathing.
Regular cleaning can help eliminate contaminants and pollutants being discharged into the atmosphere as well as preventing dust from accumulating.
To help improve your workspace air quality you should frequently engage in the following:
- Removing any accumulated rubbish
By taking steps to improve the air quality in your work environment you could positively impact the wellbeing of your employees and customers.
Helping them to breathe easier whilst feeling more comfortable when they are in your premises.