[This article was written by Rachelle Wilber.]
Indoor air quality is about more than just opening windows when the office is feeling stuffy. If you aren’t careful, your place of business can be struck by “sick building syndrome,” a series of ailments suffered by office workers that can cause everything from absenteeism to reduced employee engagement. If you’d like to avoid this fate, here are just a few ways to improve air quality at the office.
A few well-placed houseplants can be a big boon for indoor air quality. Not only will they increase oxygen flow, but they’ll also take in pollutants like formaldehyde and trichloroethylene along with carbon dioxide. This will have a purifying impact on the atmosphere. The trick is to choose the right houseplants for your office: Some of them are more effective at stripping toxins from the air than others.
Air Filtration Systems
If you aren’t filtering, ventilating, and purifying the air with an air filtration system that flows through your building, it’s time to start. You can significantly reduce your reliance on anti-pollutant measures if pollutants aren’t allowed to cross the threshold in the first place. You might need to overhaul some aspects of your HVAC system, but it’ll be worth the effort when your employees are able to enjoy high-quality oxygen.
Microfiber cloths will trap more dirt and dust than synthetic ones, so buying microfiber mops, dusters, and cleaning rags can help to reduce the amount of debris in the air. You can also control the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are released in the atmosphere by purchasing the right cleaning products. Avoid anything with bleach or ammonia. Look for all-natural brands or ones that have been cleared by the FDA.
Distance from Pollutants
Your copiers and fax machines are emitting a lot of toxins into the air. Studies have shown that employees in copy shops are more prone to oxidative stress and inflammatory disorders because of their chronic exposure to machine emissions. While there’s not a lot that you can do to change the nature of your office equipment, you can protect your employees by not placing it in busy and well-traveled areas. Keep it secluded, and only use it when necessary.
These are just a few ways to stop toxins and pollutants from strangling your workplace. Air quality is one of those things that you might not think about on a day-to-day basis, but if you suspect that it’s becoming a problem in your office, it’s time to make it a priority.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009221637700