Have you ever heard of a “sick building syndrome”? As dramatic as it may sound, it is an actual condition that makes people more absent from work than usual – due to them feeling ill.
One of the reasons that have proven to be responsible for a “sick building” is air quality.
In 1984, the World Health Organisation conducted research which showed that almost a third of all new or remodelled office buildings “suffer” from this syndrome.
The Importance of Air Quality. The indoor air is easily affected by common things, from humidity and air conditioning to heating and ventilating. This is one of the reasons why preserving the air quality indoors is not as easy as it may sound.
In places with poor air quality, you are more likely to find mould, bacteria, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and gases like carbon monoxide and radon, making the bad situation even worse and often leading to a deterioration of health among the workers.
How to Improve Air Quality
Fortunately, there are many ways of improving the quality of air inside your building – most of which are affordable and won’t take too much of your time. Here, we will list five of them.
1. Clean Your Vents
Proper ventilation is very important when it comes to getting rid of the stale air, together with all the VOCs and other harmful substances. So, aside from servicing the ventilation system, you should make sure your vents are always clean. This implies clearing the area in front of them in order to ensure nothing is blocking the airflow.
2. Clean Your Fans
Having a couple of fans on the desks or in corners is completely normal, especially during the hot summer months. However, fans can be full of bacteria, not to mention all the dust and dirt they can scatter around if not cleaned often. So, if you don’t want to inhale all that dust, keep your fans clean.
3. Introduce Some Greenery
As mentioned many times before, it’s always a good idea to introduce some plants into the office since they can improve the quality of air inside. In fact, a research in 2009 has shown that plants can reduce the amount of VOCs in closed spaces (in this case, homes); the concentration levels of VOCs without plants were 30 to 100 times greater. In other words, plants absorb polluted air and, by releasing oxygen, help improve the quality of the air we breathe.
4. Clean Your Office
Dust is pretty much unavoidable no matter how much you clean, but the amount of it can be reduced. Research has shown that dust doesn’t only contain skin particles and dirt but also gaseous particles, such as ammonium sulphate and ammonium nitrate. Luckily, there are ways of dealing with dust, and the most effective ones include lots of plants and regular dusting. Research done by Washington State University has shown that dust levels can be reduced by 20% just by adding plants.
5. Get Rid of Rubbish
Nobody wants to be forced to endure the terrible smell coming from the kitchen bins. It’s not only unpleasant but also unhealthy and can make some people really sick. An actual link between the terrible smell of all the food scraps and the health of people has not been found, but making sure the bins are emptied regularly will definitely be appreciated by everybody working near them.
Fresh & Clean
A well-ventilated and fresh workplace is a must in order for us to work properly. Alsco’s managed hygiene and washroom rental programs can help with this, such as the Sanitary Bin which is designed to provide maximum comfort for your female employees and customers and Odour Control (Air Freshening & Odour Elimination Services) to ensure the washrooms and all areas of your building always smell fresh.
For any of the above, all you need to do is ask Alsco. If having a green office is one of your priorities, why wait?