Air quality in general is important to maintaining good health, a strong lung capacity, and reducing the spread of airborne pathogens, bacteria, and viruses. Indoor air quality in commercial settings is especially crucial to facilitating good employee and customer health while also bolstering concentration, productivity, and efficiency in the workplace. Indoor air pollution can seriously challenge these principles and make it difficult for your employees to concentrate on their work-related tasks. It can also pose some serious health and safety risks for employee health and customers, resulting in more sick days being claimed and higher than normal understaffing rates.
Keep reading to learn about some effective and useful tips on how to improve indoor air quality in your workplace to make it a safer and more comfortable environment for everyone who uses it.
What Is Indoor Air Quality?
Indoor air quality is a measure of the quality of air that exists in an enclosed space such as a house or business. Air quality can have a positive or negative impact on a person’s health, their comfort levels, their ability to breathe normally, and their concentration. All of these elements impact productivity and efficiency in the workplace.
Bad indoor air quality is also a catalyst for spreading diseases and illnesses in the workplace through airborne pathogens and viruses. Moreover, it can also negatively impact the mental health of your employees and increase their stress and anxiety levels at work because they literally feel like they can’t breathe. Indoor air pollution is regarded as a very serious and common issue in many workplaces, particularly office buildings where many employees are forced to work in close quarters with others.
Even if the building is fairly clean and well maintained, poorly constructed or obstructed ventilation systems—especially those found in older buildings—can contribute to poor air quality or lack of proper air circulation in workspaces and common areas. Adding insult to injury, many office spaces, particularly those on higher levels, don’t have windows that open. This means that there’s no way of getting a natural air flow throughout the space. On top of that dust and other common natural allergens that employees often bring into the workplace with them such as pet dander or pollen can further contribute to decreased indoor air quality.
Installing a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) air filtration system is highly recommended to combat this issue and purify the air in your commercial space.
Why Is Indoor Air Quality Important?
Indoor air quality is critical in any structure, whether it’s residential or commercial. However, commercial indoor air quality requires a higher level of oversight because businesses are responsible for creating and maintaining safe working environments for larger number of people. That includes employees and customers.
Substandard indoor air quality can lead to substantial physical and mental health problems, especially when employees and customers are consistently exposed to poor air quality for long periods of time. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over four million people die per year as a direct result of causes that are related to continued exposure to poor air quality in commercial structures.
This is of particular concern amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, especially now that Ontario is in the fourth wave and Step 3 of the plan to reopen the province. Many employees are set to return to the office in the coming months and that means that employers need to implement additional health and safety precautions to ensure the well-being of their employees.
Clean, purified indoor air quality reduces the number of sick days being used, which benefits employees and the company at large in many ways. Employees are less likely to get sick and spread their illnesses to their coworkers or customers. Companies, as a result, can reduce their sick day payouts and retain excellent productivity and efficiency levels by prioritizing the health and comfort of their employees. When employees feel good and are treated well, morale goes up along with the quality of their work.
Top 5 Tips to Improve Commercial Air Quality
Convincing employees to return to the office amidst and even after the COVID-19 pandemic is already a tough sell. But asking them to come back to a dusty and mouldy office with poor air quality is even worse. Adhering to these five crucial tips to improve air quality in your workplace can help increase enthusiasm amongst employees for their eventual return to the office.
Keep Your Commercial Space Clean
As the saying goes, “cleanliness is next to godliness”. A clean, organized, and well-maintained workplace prevents the development and spread of harmful bacteria. Hire a cleaning company to disinfect common touchpoints and surfaces regularly and perform other routine cleaning practices.
Unblock Air Vents to Improve Ventilation
Start by making sure there’s no office furniture such as desks, chairs, or filing cabinets blocking the air vents in your space. This will prevent proper air circulation throughout the building. Install a HEPA filtration system to trap and eliminate harmful particulates and prevent them from getting into the air. HEPA air filters should be changed about once a year.
Perform Routine Air Quality Tests
Complete air quality tests include checking ventilation, humidity levels, mould growth, airflow, and looking for musty odours and water damage. Air tests should be performed at least once a year or every couple of months depending on how old your building’s ventilation system is.
Maintain Comfortable Humidity Levels
Industrial or commercial-grade equipment like dehumidifiers, air purifiers, and air scrubbers can help maintain safe and comfortable humidity levels in your place of business.
Check and Change Air Filters Frequently
Air filters are designed to attract and trap dust, pollen, pathogens, and other airborne particulates that can decrease the indoor air quality of your business. Therefore, they should be replaced as frequently as recommended to facilitate consistently pure air quality.
Install an Advanced Indoor Air Purification System for Your Business
Georgian Water & Air is one of the leading distributors of state-of-the-art smart air filtration systems for the home and office. We provide a wide range of air and wat
er purification products that help keep you and your employees safe and comfortable at all times. All of our products come with a standard 25-year warranty for your peace of mind. Contact us today to learn more.