It’s becoming commonplace for companies to shell out the big bucks to create an atmosphere of comfort and luxury in the workplace. Smoothie bars, on-site massages, nap chairs and yoga rooms? Sounds like a day at the spa!
Much of the incentive behind these extravagant work environments comes down to worker productivity and overall return-on-investment from employees. But despite the increase in swanky amenities, there is one component of a worker’s environment that may nullify all of these perks, and that is air quality.
Recent research by Tom Chang and the Harvard School of Business studied the effect that indoor air pollution had on one of the largest call centers in China. They found that even a slight 10-unit increase in the Air Quality Index (AQI) (with averages sitting around 50-75 in most cities) can lead to a 6% decline in productivity over the span of a few hours. In other words, dirty air quickly hinders productivity, which could result in increased absences, lack of focus, and declined worker health over the long run.
What Are the Causes?
Indoor air pollution exists when a limited amount of fresh air is circulated through the office environment. There are a few different scenarios that can lead to the same stuffy conclusion – poor performance.
Tight Building Syndrome
Wearing pants that are 3 sizes too small will never been flattering and will always make it hard to breath, so why wouldn’t the same be true for your building?
Tight Building Syndrome refers to a workspace with air that is constantly re-circulating and, as a result, causing workers to breathe in stale, contaminated air. This brings a whole new meaning to the “no fish in the microwave” policy.
In all seriousness, though, when it comes to worker productivity, poor air circulation can be truly detrimental. Common symptoms of workers in this space includes: nose and throat irritation, headache, fatigue, sneezing, eye discomfort, chest tightness, dizziness and nausea.
But My Building Has Plenty of Room
Even if your work place has “so much room for activities!” (Step Brothers anyone?), there are other causes of indoor air pollution to watch out for.
As much as we’d like to forget, let’s remember that we are all sharing our work spaces with other forms of life as well, specifically regarding your microbial office mates. Most of these critters mean us no harm, but to keep out the ones that do, it is critical to keep the filtration system in your office in tip-top shape. This will also keep out other unwanted pests, such as bugs, rodents, and other creatures that go bump in the night.
Holding Your Breath Yet?
Perhaps one or two of these symptoms resonated with you? Not to fear! Here is a list of measures that fight indoor air contamination, ensuring that your workers stay healthy, wealthy and wise:
Hire an Expert: There are a lot of hidden crevices to tackle when it comes to air quality, so the best route is to hire a company you can trust. Partner with a company such as Bee Line Support that can provide a healthy high-performance cleaning program to ensure your organization is left spotless. Bee Line specifically utilizes Hepa Filter vacuums, Green Cleaning products, and fully-certified cleaning procedures to make sure your air is left clean and your employees are left smiling.
HVAC Maintenance: Change air filters, schedule regular tune-ups, or install higher-efficiency HVAC systems to increase better airflow. Especially if you’re suffering from tight pants, er, building syndrome.
Clean out Ducts: According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, you should have your office’s airways professionally cleaned every three to five years. Remember those critters we were warning about? This will help keep them away.
Embrace Plants: Want an excuse to have an in-office jungle? Well, here it is! An often-overlooked method for improving air quality is through greenery, which filters out excess carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air and provides workers with additional clean oxygen. Tree huggers rejoice!
Invest in Eco-Friendly Furniture: Many finishes and fabrics from upholstered furniture, paint and carpeting can fill the air with hundreds of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). If you choose eco-friendly finishing, you will invest in cleaner air quality, happier employees, and a healthier world for the long-term.
Want to boast the cleanest air quality in Chicago? Team up with Bee Line Support and get yourselves certified for the Green Guard Indoor Air Quality Certification for FREE! Call us at 312-BEE-LINE or contact us today to get started!
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