Did you know that indoor air quality significantly affects your capability to concentrate, your creativity and your overall productivity? Whether you work in a coworking hub or a private office, you may have underestimated the effects of the air quality where you spend one-third of each day.
There are a variety of factors that can influence the condition of the air behind closed windows. For example, the materials from which your office was built can emit a wide variety of pollutants, ranging from dust mites and microorganisms to fiberglass fragments, asbestos, and even lead. Of course, each office worker produces CO2 without any effort, and maybe wears perfume or, worse, gives off a more natural smell, which also affect the overall air quality in the work space. With these things in mind, there are quite a few practices to help you enhance your productivity and well-being by improving the condition of the air in your workplace.
Here are 10 simple ways to improve the air quality in your office space:
1. Check your ventilation systems frequently
First and foremost, a building’s HVAC system has a big impact on a building’s air quality. If properly maintained, it can contribute to overall freshness; however, if neglected, the HVAC system can have quite a negative effect. Make sure you regularly replace your air filters and keep a close eye on your air vents to make sure they’re open and unblocked at all times.
2. Pay attention to humidity
An often-overlooked factor, humidity greatly contributes to indoor air quality. High humidity and overall moisture can help spread unhealthy pollutants, while low levels dry out the eyes and sinuses. Humidity levels should be kept between 30-50% for health reasons, and any level below or above this range can be adjusted in various ways, such as adjusting the air conditioner or integrating dehumidifiers or humidifiers either locally or into an HVAC system.
3. Floor mats are your best friend
One of the easiest and possibly cheapest ways to reduce the amount of pollution in the office is by setting up simple floor mats at every entrance. This way you can greatly lower the quantities of the various types of dirt that might otherwise be carried into your office.
4. Master the art of vacuuming
Never underestimate the importance of thorough vacuum cleaning at the end of the workday. To avoid simply redistributing the dust in the office, opt for a device that has a rotating brush and ideally a HEPA filter. Don’t forget to empty the dust collector once you’re done and consider vacuuming the walls every once in a while as well.
5. Introduce regular mopping sessions
Although a vacuum cleaner is useful on its own, if you have a hard surface floor it doesn’t hurt to pick up the remaining dust with the help of a simple mop and water. You can also use water-soluble cleaning agents if the surfaces are too dirty, but remember that perfumed detergents can also negatively affect the air in some people’s opinion.
6. Properly store your food
Once you’re done eating, make sure you wipe up any remaining bits of food and store the remainder of your meal properly, preferably in the fridge. If left on your desk, food can attract pests and can also produce odors, which further worsen the air quality of your office space.
7. Dispose of garbage ASAP
After you’ve properly stored your food, take good care of what you do with your garbage. Trash bins that are not emptied daily can produce odors and can contribute to biological contamination. If you see that the bins are not emptied daily, consider mentioning the importance of this simple act.
8. Aerate if you can
Even when there is air conditioning throughout the entire office space, some people like to open a window every once in a while to let in some fresh air from outside. If this possibility is available to you, consider letting a little of the great outdoors into your workspace on a regular basis.
9. Natural is always better
Avoid using artificial fragrances and aerosol sprays just so the room can smell nice. These commercial products only provide a temporary solution and are quite unhealthy in the long run. As much as you can, opt for natural air fresheners, which brings us to our next point.
10. Indoor plants galore
There are some varieties of plants that serve as decorative additions and also actively clean the air. Indoor plants do not need much maintenance; just don’t forget to water them every once in a while. A few types of palm, such as the areca, lady and bamboo varieties, the rubber plant, the aalii fig and the gorgeous peace lily with its impressive flowers all do a great job recycling carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.