a man yawning at his desk at work

Does the Indoor Air Quality Affect Your Productivity?

It seems as though air quality is often an afterthought, not really seen as a basic cornerstone of wellness – out of sight, out of mind, right? Think about the first reaction you have when you step into the fresh air – whether you’re in the mountains, forest or at the beach, you’ll probably find yourself taking in a deep breath through your nose before slowly exhaling. Without even knowing, this response to clean air lowers your heart rate, reduces your blood pressure, and calms your nerves. This leaves many wondering, is it possible to harness the benefits of fresh, clean air? It’s not just a possibility, the technology to do just that already exists.

This can all be achieved simply by improving IAQ (indoor air quality) and controlling thermal comfort. The side effects of unhealthy air can have a profound impact on a company, its functionality and overall costs. In fact, a new study by Westfield Health has revealed that absenteeism had cost the UK businesses £14 billion in 2020 alone. Poor IAQ can result in lost productivity from headaches, fatigue, and any other irritation associated with sick building syndrome.

Clean air at work

The Environmental Protection Agency states that airborne pollutants can be 2-5 times higher indoors. Using air filtration and purification units can help employers notice workplace productivity increase by up to 11%. Low levels of pollutants within the workplace can double the cognitive function to those working in a poorly ventilated workplace.

Employees spend all day sitting at their desks, spending their whole day breathing in the same air circulating around the workplace. This makes a good reason why employers must evaluate the indoor air quality at work before it further affects your staff health and work performance.

Common sources of poor IAQ in a workplace:

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – whilst naturally occurring, high levels of CO2 can be quite harmful. Without adequate ventilation in place, CO2 can very quickly accumulate. Dizziness, headaches, trouble concentrating and drowsiness are all signs of poor ventilation.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – often emitted as gas, VOC’s include a variety of different chemicals like benzene, ethylene glycol, formaldehyde to name a few. Office furniture, upholstery, flooring, walls, paint, air fresheners and cleaning products are materials that release VOCs. This can lead to headaches, skin irritation, allergy symptoms, throat discomfort and nausea.

Dust – these fine particles are often drawn into the office from the outside as well as through indoor mundane office activity like photocopying and operating equipment. Coughs, shortness of breath, and tiredness are all contributing factors to your overall work performance.

Moulds – Condensation within your workplace can often lead to the growth of mould if your workplace is not suitably ventilated. This can often cause sinus and nasal congestion, irritated eyes and troubles concentrating.

All in all, exposure to poor indoor air quality and badly ventilated workplaces can have both short and long-term effects on your staff’s wellbeing as well as their productivity. If the working environment you’re providing to your employees has a negative impact on their health, naturally their productivity and cognitive functionality will also deteriorate.

Our versatile H14 and UVC air cleaners can provide a cleanroom environment with air filtration to 99.999% @ 0.1 microns and UVC for complete decontamination. For stronger protection against bacteria, viruses and other strong pollutants, our AC1500 unit can offer ultimate protection for you and your employees. Need advice in choosing the right filtration product? Contact us today!

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