It’s 1pm and you STILL haven’t shook that “foggy brain” feeling. You’ve got a slight case of the sniffles and your desk mate has been looking groggy all day. So, is someone spiking the coffee or is something else going on here? Turns out, the air in your office may be drastically affecting your work productivity.
When it comes to healthy workers, offices tend to put all their focus on exercise and diet. Many of us have a free gym membership via our work, but nobody has a clean air membership. Indoor air can be up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air, so why are office managers not paying attention to this issue? In reality they probably don’t know that it’s happening. This is how office air gets so bad:
VOCs(Volatile Organic Compounds) are released from a myriad of office equipment. Everything from plastic chairs, cleaning products, printer toner and the very materials that make the building up like the walls and floor tile can, and probably are, emitting some form of VOCs. These toxins are harmful but used to be much easier to disperse naturally back before the green movement kicked in. Now, many offices are being sealed tight which is great for energy efficiency but terrible for cycling in clean air and cycling out the bad air. Breathing in all these toxins for 40+ hours a week can cause you to have headaches, brain fog, watery eyes, the sniffles, a sore throat, dry skin, and the list goes on. Most of the symptoms feel like allergies or a cold, so most of us have no idea that the air we work in is harming our productivity.
Now, don’t go completely blaming the air in your next performance review, but do bring this issue up with your boss or management if you are having these symptoms frequently. Suggest installing Awair into your office so your boss can monitor the air quality and learn if there is a specific piece of equipment or room that’s emitting the most VOCs. Management can then improve ventilation symptoms and replace equipment with machines that are “green” certified to lower the amount of harmful toxins being released into the air. On a smaller level, you can make sure to crack a window in your meeting room and, at the very least, go outside for a quick walk in fresh air if you’re starting to feel groggy.
Studies have suggest that improving air quality in offices can increase worker productivity by over 10%. You spend over 40 hours a week in your office and deserve to work in a clean, healthy environment. It’s time to reclaim your office air and get back your productivity!