It’s easy to feel cooped up when you work in an office year-round, especially when winter strikes and cabin fever becomes a real struggle in colder climates. The sleet and snow bring fewer opportunities to step outside, open a window or enjoy lunch on a café patio.
In common areas, this can make the indoor air quality (IAQ) feel stale rather quickly, especially when buildings are working hard to conserve heat and energy. When the IAQ suffers, so does productivity and morale. This, in turn, negatively affects company culture and your bottom line.
Sure, a dozen donuts will brighten the spirits of everyone around the office (right up until food coma sets in), but wouldn’t you rather give your employees something that benefits them in the long run?
Your office environment directly affects how you work, so consider these five gifts for improving indoor air quality.
The clean air study, led by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America, found that many common indoor plants remove common harmful chemicals from the air, many of which cause eye irritation or other distracting symptoms. Though ferns and palms can’t solve everything, they provide some health benefits and a nice aesthetic.
- IAQ sensors Bringing IAQ sensors into your office is a great way to identify problem areas and learn more about what factors are harming your work environment. This will provide you with real-time evidence in order to make smart changes for the better.
- Increased ventilation
Though doubling your office’s ventilation has an initial cost, the payoff is huge. Researchers estimate that doubling ventilation has a cost of $14 to $40 per employee per year, while the increase in productivity for each employee averages $6,500 annually. That type of investment sounds good for everyone.
If you demand your employees keep clean shaven, it might be time to reconsider. Beards potentially filter out allergens and germs, according to experts and the American Lung Association. The one caveat? Beards can also collect germs and allergens if they’re not regularly cleaned.
- Targeted air purification
A wide range of pollutants contaminate our indoor air, including dust mites, allergens, volatile organic compounds and germs. While we’re big fans of beards and plants, the most efficient way to remove 99.9 percent of airborne contaminants is targeted air purification with a commercial air purifier.