Did you know that indoor air pollution can affect your health – and the health of your workforce? Furthermore, poor indoor air quality is not just a serious health problem, it can also affect productivity and efficiency in the workplace. There are many factors which contribute to air quality, and luckily there are various ways to improve it which are easy to implement. From simple changes such as adding more greenery in the office, to removing dust-collecting carpets, take a look at these actions which can drastically improve the air quality in your commercial building.
Ventilation and Air Conditioning
The air circulation in the building is really important, so make sure any HVAC appliances are well maintained. Air filters should be changed regularly so these don’t become a potential source of air contamination in the office. These systems should provide a comfortable environment for workers, maintaining the right temperature, humidity level and fresh air flow.
Prevent smoking near windows
It is illegal to allow people to smoke indoors, but there is still a chance of poisonous smoke entering the building if people smoke by entrances and windows. This second hand smoke can build up indoors as it has nowhere to escape.
It is really important to remove dust and other irritable components from the workplace regularly. Dusty or damp surfaces promote mould and mildew growth which can contribute to poor air quality. However, certain cleaning products can also add to the problem if they contains VOCs and fragrances – check which products your contract cleaners are using.
Carpets are generally harder to clean than wooden flooring and are renowned for trapping dust. Additionally, carpets are off-gassing culprits – which is why people notice that ‘new carpet’ smell. Try and avoid carpets where you can.
Low VOC paints
Paint and finishes contain hazardous chemicals including VOCs which contribute to poor air. If you need to refresh the walls, look for water based paints which have low VOC ingredients – do some research into green, eco-friendly paints. You should also give the space time to air out before allowing staff back in to work.
Research by universities and scientists at NASA has proven that certain indoor plants can improve air quality. They provide oxygen which improves air quality, but they also clean the air by absorbing harmful gases, including VOCs. Indoor plants can effectively remove air pollutants, as well as making the office look prettier – so it’s time to invest in some greenery.
Improving air quality could be the key to a healthier, more productive workforce.