05
Dec

How Low Air Quality Can Reduce Productivity

Most businesses spend quite a bit of time and money on improving employee performance. Facility managers are always looking for ways to increase efficiency. One of the most important factors in employee productivity is the workplace environment. In fact, ventilation can make a big difference in efficiency in both quality and quantity. In effect, studies show that low air quality actually reduces productivity. What is more, most employees feel that an unpleasant office temperature is a huge distraction. As well, high CO2 levels can decrease cognitive function and high humidity levels can greatly affect focus and well-being.

Workplace Ventilation is a Big Issue

Issues with workplace ventilation started in the 1970s when buildings were sealed off to save energy on heating and cooling. In addition, ventilation was decreased in order to lower HVAC loads. Unfortunately, the lack of good ventilation created many problems such as air pollution build-up and an increase of employee sick leave. As well, the lack of ventilation affected employee productivity.

Workplace Ventilation linked to Employee Productivity

Numerous studies have shown that there are links between poor ventilation, health and interior air quality. Likewise, current research shows a clear relation between better ventilation and improved cognitive function as well as increased focus. In fact, a Harvard University research facility found that an indoor built environment has a great impact on overall well-being. Their studies found that workers had better focus, increased planning and strategy abilities plus improved decision making when there was better air quality. To extend their studies, Harvard researchers measured employee performance that worked in a certified green building. The building was energy efficient and delivered good ventilation. Their studies showed that the people who worked in a green environment performed much better in cognitive tests.

Cost Effective Ways to Improve Workplace Ventilation

For the most part, improvements in the workplace can be expensive. In fact, just an upgrade in better lighting can cost millions. On the contrary, improving air quality by increasing ventilation is generally low in cost. The cost of making workplace improvements can be high. Companies are spending millions to renovate spaces to add light and shared workplace experiences that improve engagement. Yet improving air quality that includes increased ventilation can be done at a relatively low cost. In fact, increased productivity and fewer employee sick days will typically pay for air quality improvements in a very short time span.

Consult with the Experts

Most specialists would agree that you need to double your ventilation in order to see any difference in air quality and increased production in the workplace. However, it’s recommended that you consult with a professional before you make any changes. In fact, a specialist can determine what improvements in ventilation are needed in your work area. Changes can be made once the necessary improvements are determined.

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