Indoor air quality is an often neglected issue when creating a healthy workplace environment for employees. However, a clean oxygen supply is actually required by law under numerous Acts and helps guarantee the long-term wellbeing of your staff.
In reference to offices in particular, the close proximity of workers may cause an issue with a condition referred to as sick building syndrome. This is where coughing, persistent sneezing, itchiness and fatigue become an ongoing problem with your team. Good quality air helps with the alleviation of these symptoms.
Many studies show that a healthy workforce is a productive workforce, so it really does pay to improve the flow of air within the office. If you’re unsure of ways you can do so, here are some basic ideas to consider.
The most effective way to provide a clean air environment is through an effective ventilation system – something of paramount importance if your office doesn’t contain windows. Although you can use fans for this purpose, this merely recycles the same oxygen particles rather than injecting fresh air into the room.
Mechanised ventilation can also be used, where clean air is forced into the building through an air vent. This can be achieved in numerous ways, such as a pressure or vacuum system, but will still cost more than utilising natural ventilation sources via windows or doors.
With a substantial number of employees entering the office from outdoors, they’re likely to tread toxins and other pollutants into the carpet fibres. Over a long period, this will cause musky smells to manifest and linger within the room. Because regular vacuuming will not be sufficient to stifle this odour, professional carpet cleaning is recommended every so often.
Houseplants are not just there for decoration. They can also be used to help ventilate a room by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the air. Common examples include aloe vera, peace lily, dracaena and snake plant – great ways to brighten up the office and improve the productivity of your team as well. A consideration to remember when including plants in your office decor; it’s best to steer clear of flowers due to potential employee allergies.
Mould and Damp
The presence of mould is not only an indicator that there’s an excessive moisture problem, but also that indoor air quality is deteriorating. Respiratory problems, such as chest tightness and breathing difficulty, are a tell-tale sign that mould is causing problems with your staff. Again, an effective ventilation system is needed to improve the flow of air and eradicate damp.
As noted previously, utilising the benefits of natural ventilation is the most effective way of improving the air quality in your office. It works by harnessing the natural flow of oxygen caused by outdoor air pressure between your building and its surroundings, providing a cheaper and greener alternative to more volatile mechanised systems.
Here at LJ Pratley, we can provide a bespoke natural ventilation system for your workplace, either through manual or automated windows controls. If you’d like to know how we can help improve the air quality in your office, please contact our team via our contact page.