Following the continuous awareness of environmental protection, conservation, and restoration, you’re probably aware of outdoor air pollution. Perhaps you’re concerned about numerous factories releasing fumes into the atmosphere, overcrowding, or even volcanic eruptions’ impact on the air quality. However, how often do you stop to think about indoor air pollution? Specifically, how is your office indoor air quality? Are you aware of air pollution within your office space?
Indoor air pollution happens when the air within an enclosed space becomes stagnant due to a lack of proper ventilation. When people are in an office, they circulate the same air. When there isn’t proper ventilation to let in the fresh air, the air within the office eventually becomes dirty and is termed to be polluted. Some of the agents of indoor air pollution include:
- Other contaminants such as fragrance or cigarette smoke
When the air in your office indoor air quality is loaded with all these contaminants, it becomes dirty. Unfortunately, indoor air pollution is often dismissed as inconsequential. Still, it has a significant impact on your health and your employees and hence a compounding impact on their job performance.
This article will let you into the impact of polluted air within your office. It’ll also discuss tips you can use to improve the quality of your indoors, such as using an air purifier to purify air.
Why Should You Ensure Office Indoor Air Quality
When you and your officemates continue to be exposed to polluted air within the office, you may begin to develop the sick building syndrome. This is when you or anyone in your office develops some symptoms of illness when within the office. However, by the time you get home or when you’re outside the confine of the office, the symptoms begin to improve.
It may be hard to detect the symptoms of this condition since they sometimes are similar to those of the common cold and other diseases. However, if your employees complain of the following symptoms, you may want to check on the air quality of your office. These symptoms include:
- Respiratory issues
- Allergy attacks from exposure to dust or fragrances
- Irritation on the eyes, throat, and nose
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty concentrating
Should you ignore the need to improve your office indoor air quality, these symptoms may gradually develop into more complicated conditions such as asthma or even cancer. Eventually, when your employees are sickly, their performance will be low, and your business won’t be as productive or sustainable.
Therefore, if you’re looking to prioritize the health of your employees you should consider these five tips to improve the air in your office.
1. Improve Ventilation
As mentioned before, the leading cause of indoor pollution is the lack of proper ventilation. Therefore, to improve the air quality in your office, start by opening up the ventilation installed in the office. Also, make a habit of opening the office windows to increase airflow. It helps to let in as much fresh air as possible and let out the dirty air in the office.
It would be best if you also cleaned up the vents so that if there’s dust, pollen grains, or other air contaminants from the outdoor stuck on the vents, the air coming in doesn’t carry them into the office.
2. Replace Your Air Filters
As the name suggests, air filters help trap contaminants in the air so that the air entering the office is clean. As such, it’s normal for the filters to be clogged with dust and debris from the contaminants over time. So, what happens is, if you continue using the clogged air filter, the air blowing into the office will be collecting all these trapped contaminants. This means that the air within the office will be twice as polluted.
Therefore, although the initial installation of air filters rests on the landlord, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the filters are replaced every six to twelve months. That’s the only way to guarantee that the filters are cleaning your office air.
3. Control The Humidity Levels
Did you know that high humidity can also pollute your office air? According to experts, you should strive to maintain a 40-50% humidity level in the office. Should the humidity go up, the air contaminants such as molds may begin to grow on the office walls and in dark hidden corners.
As the mold grows, they release spores that become suspended in the air. Therefore, as you and your employees breathe in the air, you take in the spores. Eventually, you may begin to develop some allergy or mold-related irritation in your respiratory tract.
Therefore, consider installing a dehumidifier to avoid too much moisture content in your office. A dehumidifier will help remove the extra moisture content in the air, preventing the growth of molds. Alternatively, you can use a Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. The heating system warms up the air within the office, therefore, absorbing the moisture content.
4. Keep The Office Clean
You might be wondering, well duh, the office has to be clean, but you tend to ignore some small details about cleaning your office. For instance, when you spill some coffee in the office kitchen or even water from the dispenser, how quick are you to clean it? In most cases, you and your employees may leave the spillage until the janitor comes around to do the daily office cleaning. However, you don’t know that living spillages around the office create excess moisture that encourages the growth of molds and mildew.
You have already seen the health risks of having mold within your office. Therefore, make sure you clean the spillage as soon as possible. Experts recommend that the business owner puts paper towels strategically so that it’s easy to clean the spillages. The office should also have enough dustbins to dispose of the paper towels or any other dirt in the office.
Aside from cleaning spillages, always ensure that the office floors are vacuumed at least daily. Vacuuming helps get rid of the dust and other pathogens your workers bring into the office through their shoe tracks.
If you can’t afford to vacuum the office, consider sweeping it but ensure it’s moped at least twice a week since sweeping suspends dust and other pathogens in the air while moping helps to get rid of them completely.
Last but not least, avoid using cleaning products with very strong fragrances that may cause an allergic reaction to some on your team.
5. Get Indoor Plants
Plants are natural air cleaners. They absorb contaminants from the air leaving your air clean and fresh. Therefore, if you can take care of an indoor plant, it’s a solution for improving the air quality in your office. Other than that, indoor plants improve the aesthetics of your office. Be sure not to overwater the indoor plants so that molds don’t grow around the plant.
The impact of polluted air in your office, although mild, may become dire over a long time. Therefore, implementing these five tips for improving your office indoor air quality will protect the health of your team and assure you continuous productivity. Clean air makes a happy, productive team!
And if you are looking for an office with good indoor air quality, we canhelp. Officefinder has helped thousands of businesses to find the perfect office space, without incurring additional cost, it’s FREE! Message us.