Pratley & Partners

7 Ways to Improve Air Quality in Your Office

Monday, 5 June 2017


Under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 Act, UK employers are obliged to provide adequate ventilation so constant fresh air enters the workplace.

Studies shows that poor air quality reduces productivity and is a primary cause of sick building syndrome. This is especially the case in confined office spaces where staff work in close proximity to one another.

This is why an efficient and reliable ventilation strategy is paramount for running an office. There are various ways to achieve this, although recent research shows that natural ventilation systems are favoured by office workers over mechanical units.

To improve the air quality in your office, here are seven ways to achieve sufficient ventilation on an ongoing basis. 

Waste Disposal

Neglected bin bags and leftover food will cause lingering odours that can pollute oxygen particles. Designate a separate cooking area if possible and ensure waste is disposed of in the correct manner. 

Air Vents

During the winter, it’s tempting to seal office air vents in a bid to preserve heat and save on energy bills. This will greatly diminish your air quality however, especially in buildings without a clean air source.

Presence of Mould

Mould is caused by excess humidity in sealed buildings where moisture can’t escape. If inhaled over a prolonged period, staff may encounter serious health problems. A natural ventilation strategy prevents its formation by removing stale carbon dioxide particles.

No Smoking Policy

Employers should establish a strict smoking policy that protects non-smokers from involuntary exposure. Instruct workers to go outside on designated smoking breaks throughout the day.

Office Plants

Particular indoor plants filter out harmful compounds in the air, absorb toxins and produce oxygen, making it easier for employees to breathe. Examples include Aloe Vera, English Ivy and Eucalyptus, which will help brighten up the office as well.

Air-Quality Testing

Professional testing will measure the levels of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide inside your office, as well as mould spores and bacteria. This allows you to detect air-quality issues early and respond accordingly, saving staff from potential health problems.

Natural Ventilation System

Natural ventilation is the movement of air particles without the need for fans or loud, mechanised air-con units. It seeks to utilise outdoor pressure to expel stale oxygen particles and produce a fresh air flow.

The system can be operated manually by the user or integrated into an automated building management network, if applicable. With this, sensors will recognise such factors as the room temperature and presence of smoke, opening and closing windows when required.

They’re less expensive than their mechanical counterparts in terms of initial price, operating costs and maintenance, as well as having a very low energy consumption. Along with boosting productivity and reducing sick days, this makes natural ventilation a solid investment for your company.

For more information on natural ventilation systems, or more advice on improving the air quality in your office, contact us for a chat on 01277 633933 or
If you’d like to know more about natural ventilation systems, check out this article.



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