When you unpack those words, you’ll find a completely different perspective beyond just “taking a break.” What we are really seeking is fresher, purer air than the space we are currently in, to energize ourselves before going back to the task at hand.
Fresher air translates to fewer pollutants and increased oxygen flow to the brain, resulting in higher energy levels, cognitive performance, and mental focus. But before taking that breather, there are a few things to consider that could impact the air quality you are consuming, whether in the company office or your home office environment.
Poor air quality is associated with many health problems and can increase the risk of symptoms such as flu, fatigue, congested airways, and other respiratory illnesses. It can even compromise the mental well-being of employees. Lack of airflow will lower productivity, reduce efficiency, and increase employee absenteeism, hurting the overall business.
Indoor pollution in both office and home environments can be a factor of many things, from cigarette smoke to dust, mould, and mildew or even chemical pollutants. Indoor air pollution is one of the most underrated considerations within commercial buildings and even at home when it comes to well-being and performance. As its most often invisible to the naked eye, masked by the blasting air of the AC and calming scents of air fresheners, it’s easy to dismiss the fact it even exists.
While office places are often promoting wellness programs that revolve around diet and exercises to boost employee well-being and performance, consideration into the physical environment is just as important. New studies have shown a link between indoor air quality and productivity, the ability to process information, make strategic decisions, and respond to crises.
So how can you filter purer, fresher air into your workplace?
1. The first step is to ensure there is natural airflow. Buildings have become increasingly more energy-efficient, which in effect has made them more airtight. Less air flowing through space can cause pollutants to become easily trapped inside. Opening a window may be beneficial in a home environment, especially when working from home. Within a building, this may not be an option, especially if there is a risk of exposing outside pollution and an increase in noise distractions.
2. Keeping your workplace clean may seem obvious, but it is vital in ensuring dust, mould, allergens, and contaminant levels are kept under control. Using eco-friendly products to ensure no harsh chemicals are released in the process should also be considered to avoid cancelling your efforts.
3. Ensure your office space has a proper air filtration and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems installed. These systems will ensure consistent flow and replenish the air. Ensuring the HVAC filters are changed regularly is vital for optimum air circulation, keeping air vents unblocked and placing furniture in a practical position that won’t disrupt airflow.
4. Air cleaning devices can be extremely useful for keeping your air quality at optimum levels. Having commercial grade equipment such as dehumidifiers, air scrubbers, and air purifiers at your disposition is beneficial – both at home and in the office.
5. Lastly, conducting regular air tests will give you insights that will guide your improvement plan and help provide a solution for the areas your office space needs work on. Performing an air test can check anything from humidity levels, mould growth and odours, to water damage, ventilation and airflow.
As a business owner, air quality should be one of the most critical concerns in your office place as the impact is more profound than we realise. Recognising and taking action to optimise the air quality while providing a comfortable, invigorating, clean, and safe environment will improve the overall health and productivity of employees, in turn delivering optimal performance for your business.
Being amidst a global pandemic, there has never been a better time to reassess your office’s ventilations systems or if you are currently working from home, ensuring your space has adequate airflow. Concept Commercial Interiors are experts in workplace design, including airflow principles. Get in touch with our team to map out how you can improve your airflow systems now, ensuring you have a more productive, healthy working environment when we all return to the workplace.