Pratley & Partners

Clear The Air To Increase Productivity

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

I would hazard a guess that few people give much thought as to why, in the main, humans love getting outside in to the fresh air.

Well, it is quite simple really; it is still ingrained within our psyche to get out and about in the fresh air. Living indoors with little if any natural ventilation, in hermetically sealed (or almost) environments, is as alien to our biological and physical wellbeing as it is for a fish to exist on the beach. In just a short time span of less than 15,000 years, humans have gone from living in the open in a natural environment to living in sealed shelters with little to no natural air flow.

Living in urban conurbations is a relatively new thing; in the 16th century, fewer than one percent of the population of what is now the British Isles lived in a town or city, with the remaining ninety percent living in a rural environment and working on the land.

In less than 400 years it has completely turned around, with more people living in urban sprawl than there is living in a rural environment. Some call that progress, but statistically that is incorrect, but more of that on another day.

To Thrive or Not to Thrive

As a species we thrive on fresh and exercise, with many of our modern ailments being down to a lack of fresh air, a lack of exercise and eating food which is packed with unnatural ingredients and lots of preservatives.

How times change! 

Fresh air invigorates the spirit, clears the head and improves our circulation. We become happier, healthier and sharper when we step outside. For farm workers, construction workers and those who work in the open, the health benefits are clear for all to see.

The problem for most of us is that we have to work to survive, and in the main that means working in stuffy indoor environments where the lack of a natural airflow dulls our senses. Working indoors dulls the senses, causes tiredness and feelings of lethargy. Working indoors, without a natural airflow will, over time, dull our immune systems and make us more susceptible to colds and other nasties, and I am not going to mention the old ‘kung flu’ here.

Symptoms of ‘bad air'

Dry eyes, bunged up noses and dry skin are common signs of poor-quality air. Allergens cause sneezing and wheezing as does dust which accumulate in internal spaces, allowed to build up if air flow is not natural. Those allergens swirl around in the air, neither being dispersed or expelled, so continue to multiply to dangerous levels if left unchecked, just waiting to be breathed in by unsuspecting humans.

You may recognise some of the symptoms mentioned above being suffered by your colleagues or yourself. However, there are easy ways to combat a stuffy office or workspace environment. You can knock a few walls down, but the boss may not appreciate that. You could leave the doors open and windows open, which is OK in the warmer months but not so handy in the depths of winter.

You could ask the boss to open the roof vents or roof lights if there are any, while leaving a single window slightly ajar. The natural flow of air by convection currents will create an air flow which you will notice. Very quickly your cognitive function will improve, your memory will be sharper, you’ll feel less sluggish and you’ll breeze through the day feeling more vibrant and, in turn, more productive.

You’ll feel less stressed, less ‘mashed up’ and more alert able to get through the day without feeling pressured, with more feelings of calm.

The best thing of all is that fresh air is free. So, if you aren’t fortunate enough to work in the open air and like most people you’re stuck inside, be sure to insist on a natural air flow and avoid air conditioning as if it were the plague.

You and your colleagues will feel all the better for it, and your boss will recognise the improved productivity of his or her employees.

Ultraflex Control Systems
Kingspan STG - Light & Air
Window Master Natural Ventilation
Clearline Window Controls