Since we spend roughly 90 percent of our time indoors, having clean air matters. Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the “quality” of the air in your office’s indoor space. More specifically, you want your office to be free of pollutants and materials that float freely throughout the building, which might cause significant harm to both occupants and your business.
How Indoor Air Quality Impacts Productivity
There is an established link between clean offices and higher cognitive functioning. In short, this means that having a green or healthy office increases your worker’s ability to focus, reason, and retain information.
One study led by a team of building and health experts found that doubling ventilation rates in a standard office, which is a relatively inexpensive project, resulted in an 8% boost in employee performance. So, enhancing your office’s air quality benefits your business significantly.
What Factors Contribute to Clean Air in Your Office Space?
According to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air quality is a “continually shifting interaction of complicated factors.” Some of the most critical elements that businesses should understand are:
- Design, operation, and maintenance of indoor ventilation systems
- Indoor humidity and moisture levels
- Sources of air pollutants and odors
- Occupant susceptibilities and perceptions (i.e. conditions like asthma and allergies)
For a broader understanding, air pollution is a liquid droplet, gas, or solid particle in the air that has an adverse impact on human health. Unless you want these conditions to harm your building’s occupants and hurt your business results, it’s vital that you address the indoor air quality in your workspace.
How to Improve Your Office’s Indoor Air Quality
The EPA recommends that building owners and businesses take a 3-pronged approach to get the best indoor air quality possible. This involves:
1. Eliminating the sources of pollutants
If your existing office building has poor air quality, the first step should be to eliminate any sources of indoor air pollutants.
- Clean the office regularly
- Avoid storing or bringing in products or equipment that might off-gas harmful VOCs
- Clean liquid spills promptly
- Store food properly
- Remove garbage regularly
- Choose cleaning products that are low in VOCs or are natural
2. Improving the building’s ventilation system
Once you’ve eliminated sources of pollutants, you can further improve your indoor air quality by addressing the building’s ventilation.
- Keep grilles open and air vents unblocked
- Open windows whenever possible
- Regularly inspect air ducts
- Clean and maintain HVAC air filters
- Carefully plan furniture layout to ensure optimum airflow
- Use fans to promote air circulation
- Measure and maintain humidity level below 50%
3. Using air purifiers and cleaners in the space
Finally, the EPA recommends that businesses use air purifiers and cleaners for clean air.
- Invest in high-quality air purifiers and cleaners
- Use a quality vacuum system with HEPA filters
- Maintain office plants
- Use microfiber cloths and dust mops
- Place mats in all doorways to trap particles and soil
At Carolina Services Inc. (CSI), we care about the health and wellbeing of the clients that occupy our office spaces. Since 1976, CSI has helped clients throughout the Charleston, SC area with projects ranging from commercial construction to space planning to tenant up-fits to maintenance and repair.
Contact us to learn more about how our services can help you build a better business.