How to Improve Office Air Quality
Let’s not tip-toe around the subject and admit that many of us dread going to work on a Monday morning. Usually, it’s not because of our role or the people around us, but instead the way we feel after a long day being stuck inside a stuffy building.
This is all down to air quality, which is most commonly pretty poor across office buildings in the UK. But why is this the case, how is poor air quality dangerous to us, and what can be done to stop it?
What Makes Air Quality Poor in Office Spaces?
When we think of air pollution, we usually picture outdoor spaces and whole towns and cities being affected. But did you know indoor air pollution can be five times more dangerous?
In fact, a recent survey in the UK found that a staggering 70% of office workers were concerned about air quality in their workplace. So, why is it such a prevalent issue that is almost to be expected in office buildings?
Several factors contribute to poor air quality in office buildings. Firstly, it is the fault of a poorly maintained and serviced ventilation system if one is installed. However, it can also be caused by the office being used for purposes not initially planned for when the building was first built. These reasons are why older buildings typically have poor air quality; however, new buildings are not immune to air pollution.
Factors Contributing to Air Pollution
Several sources within your office building can contribute to poor air quality, including:
- Tobacco smoke
- Cleaning materials
- Poor-quality restroom fresheners
- Paints and inks
- Pesticides for pest control
- Biological contaminants, like mould, viruses and bacteria
Why is Poor Air Quality Dangerous?
When people in the office complain they are “allergic to work”, it’s usually light-hearted and a way to poke fun at themselves for yawning and coughing throughout the day. But this could actually be Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). Yes, it’s a real thing!
SBS occurs when occupants spend a great deal of time within a particular setting which causes them to suffer from acute health issues. These usually include chronic headaches, persistent coughing, nausea and even infections. This greatly impacts your work ethic as it causes you to lose concentration and suffer from ‘brain fog’.
5 Ways to Improve Office Air Quality
So, if you haven’t gathered already, poor air quality might cost your business a lot of money. Far more than what you might spend correcting this problem.
For example, you may lose valuable time with employees calling in sick. Excellent employees you don’t want to lose might call it a day in search of a different workplace where they feel better looked after. Not to mention the low morale caused by poor air quality may negatively impact the work your team produces, and then clients and customers will also be unhappy with the service.
1. Air Purifiers
The best way to improve the air quality of your home is to invest in a quality air purifier. This system will clean the air and remove any airborne particles that might contribute to harmful bacteria and viruses. So, bad bacteria and dust will be removed from the office without disturbing your workforce, as air purifiers from Woosh are quiet and effective.
2. Natural Cleaning Products
When cleaning your office, try to use natural cleaning products wherever possible. These are usually fragrance-free and have lower levels of volatile organic compounds. Similarly, you should utilise solid and liquid cleaning products where possible and avoid spray bottles, so you are not spreading the products directly into the air.
3. Quality Hand Dryers & Towels
It is also important to invest in quality hand dryers and hand towels in the washrooms of your office building in order to reduce the likelihood of mould. When bathrooms do not have appropriate ventilation, dampness can spread. This is accelerated by staff being unable to dry their hands properly and instead be tempted to shake the water off.
4. Vacuum Regularly
Suppose you have the budget to replace carpet flooring in your office building. In that case, controlling air quality is much easier with laminate or wood flooring. This is because it will be easier to clean and manage.
Regardless, you should make sure to vacuum regularly in order to remove dust from the room as often as possible.
5. Increase Natural Ventilation
Finally, you can increase ventilation in your building naturally if you are unable to invest in a new system or upgrade. Simply opening windows and doors throughout the building will encourage airflow and eliminate a stale atmosphere.
We mentioned earlier that indoor air pollution is worse than outdoor air pollution. So, even if you are in the midst of a busy city centre, don’t be afraid to open those windows!
Improving Working Conditions for your Team
Improving the air quality in your office is all about improving your team's working conditions, which is not to be glossed over. Without your team, there would be no office environment at all. Doing your best to improve the conditions for your staff will have a much more valuable return than ignoring the problem to save on expenses.
If you’re unsure how we can help you to improve your air quality, why not get in touch with our expert team for more information? We can help you with advice on our air purification systems and complementing products, as well as offer guidance on the best course of action for your needs.