A buildup of cleaning supplies or pollutants caused by machinery are not visible to the naked eye, but they do result in poor air quality and that has a big impact on employee productivity, as well as overall health. That is why it’s so important to monitor and regulate indoor air quality in all types of work environments.
Research on Air Quality & Productivity
According to a study from the University of Southern California, Columbia University, and the University of California at San Diego, worker productivity decreases or increases in relation to air quality.
The study looked at farmers in California who were paid based on the weight of fruit they picked each day. Researchers found that workers made the most money on days when ground-level ozone readings were at the lowest. As air quality decreased, workers became less productive, on average, by about three to five percent.
While ground-level ozone doesn’t impact indoor air quality, particulate matter does. It is typically a bigger problem indoors than outdoors because there isn’t as much ventilation. Particulate matter comes from a variety of sources, including car emissions and fires. These itty-bitty particles get into the air and are invisible. But when we breath them in, they are toxic and can cause a wide range of health issues.
Climate controlled offices prevent air from moving in and out of the building, leading to a buildup of particulate matter and other harmful air pollutants. Urban environments are home to some of the worst air quality – and this is where the majority of big businesses operate. As a result, some of the biggest companies in the world experience a reduction in productivity due to air quality.
How to Improve Air Quality
There are several things a business can do to improve air quality:
-Invest in environmentally-friendly technology
-Install negative air machines or air scrubbers with a HEPA filter
-Test air quality on a regular basis
A negative air machine is a reliable way to clean indoor air and improve overall air quality. HEPA-filtered equipment can remove unsafe particles, mold, bacteria, fungal spores, and even odors. From large debris like chunks of drywall dust, to smaller microscopic particles and microbes, a negative air machine can remove it all.
Benefits of Improved Air Quality
The benefits of improved air quality far outweigh the costs associated with updating equipment or investing in a negative air machine. In fact, a good deal of research has proven that the US economy has benefited from improvements in air quality since 2000.
By improving air quality, researchers estimate that across the nation manufacturers have saved over $20 billion annually – and that number accounts for the manufacturing industry alone. It is estimated that individual companies experienced even larger boosts, as the nationwide average includes industries with poor and good air quality.
Employee productivity goes up with better air quality. Plus, if employees feel better and experience less health side effects, they will take fewer sick days – yet another way that productivity increases.
Quick Ways to Improve Air Quality
Additional things you can do to improve air quality at an office or manufacturing center include:
- Use non-toxic cleaning products
- Spot clean and deep clean to remove mold, dust build up and other pollutants
- Clean air and heating units on a regular basis
- Change filters
- Improve ventilation
- Add indoor plants
- Invest in a high quality HEPA-filtered air filter- this can make the biggest difference of all