How Does Workplace Air Quality Affect Employee Productivity?
It’s critical to act quickly to prevent your company from being harmed by poor air quality.
One of the most important metrics for any company to prioritize is productivity. If you can increase productivity, the income would almost certainly increase as well. As a result, it’s no wonder that company owners all over the world are constantly searching for new ways to increase efficiency and inspire their employees.
Providing more benefits to employees, enhancing the workplace atmosphere, streamlining services to save time for employees, and so on are all common strategies for increasing productivity. Improving indoor air quality may be another unexpected way to help increase efficiency.
Working in toxic environments is bad for growth, according to a recent study published in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics by a group of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS). Contaminants in the office air may be harming your employees’ health as well as slowing down your company.
“We discovered that a sustained rise in PM2.5 [fine particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter] of 10 micrograms per cubic meter decreases daily production by 1%, harming firms and workers,” said associate professor Liu Haoming, lead researcher of the NUD report. “The effects are subtle, but they have a big impact.”
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Indoor Air Quality’s Impact on Productivity
The idea that indoor air quality affects business efficiency may seem strange at first, but there is plenty of scientific evidence to support these statements.
Staff in offices and other spaces with contaminants and toxins in the air appear to function slower, are less alert, attentive, and concentrated than those in better air quality environments, according to numerous studies from Harvard University and others.
For example, one of these studies looked at how employees in various settings performed on cognitive tests. Those who took the tests in cleaner rooms with improved air conditioning and lower levels of contaminants were able to obtain near-perfect results, while those who took the tests in spaces built to look like traditional offices and had lower air quality requirements made more errors.
So, why do staff have such a hard time when the indoor air quality is poor?
Effect on Health
One explanation may be that airborne pollutants can affect their health in the short and long term. According to studies, people who work in greener settings have fewer headaches and respiratory problems.
Many who work in filthy workplaces with a variety of toxic compounds in the background, on the other hand, are more likely to experience nausea, eye pressure, and other problems.
Naturally, when employees are in pain or exhausted, they are less likely to give it their all and perform to their full potential, resulting in lower productivity.
The consequences of poor air quality can be seen in other ways than just physical health. According to studies and reports, those who are forced to work in offices and workplaces with dirtier environments and poor air quality will develop mental health problems and mood disorders.
Various contaminants and pollutants in the air may raise stress levels, reduce concentration, and make people feel more sluggish and less focused in general. As a result, they could be less focused on their jobs and have a less optimistic working atmosphere, which can have negative consequences for the whole business.
Indoor Air Quality Management Suggestions
It’s obvious that indoor air quality has a true, tangible impact on staff, both physically and emotionally. This can have a variety of implications for a business, as unhappy and motivated employees are less likely to offer their all, resulting in lower profits for the organization, less energetic teams, and less attraction for talented hires.
This is why it’s important for business owners to concentrate on maintaining their indoor air quality and improving conditions for everyone, and there are a variety of ways to do so.
One of the most effective approaches is to conduct experiments and actually check the air quality in order to detect contaminants and begin removing them. You’ll be able to figure out what you’re up against by taking tests, and then using the right cleaning products and air filters to change the conditions in your workspaces.
For mold and severe dust problems, for example, a deep cleaning may be needed, and your office may need more fans, open windows, and even plants to release oxygen into the air and improve the quality for everyone.
The most important thing to remember is to act quickly and not let poor air quality destroy your company.