Successful companies understand the importance of employee wellbeing--those that choose to invest in wellness plans have seen improvements in satisfaction, teamwork, productivity, and their bottom line.As you work to create a workplace that will foster your employees’ satisfaction, how do you know which initiatives will show tangible results? The best place to start is committing to providing your employees with the right air quality.
Many of us assume the air we’re breathing is safe and healthy, but this isn’t necessarily the case–especially for indoor air, which can be 5x more polluted than outdoor air. Air quality can have a profound effect on the health of a business; particularly “unhealthy” air can reduce productivity and revenues by 10%.
Thoughtful and comprehensive wellness plans prioritize providing healthy office air quality. Workplaces with healthy air have seen…
Effective employers know they must create an environment that sets their employees up for success--but this effort must go beyond ensuring your employees have the right equipment and project management tools for the job.
Poor air quality has been proven to have a direct effect on employee performance. In a joint study led by Harvard University, work environments that emphasized healthy indoor air quality saw an increase of productivity in the average employee, and estimated an increased value of $15,500 per employee per year.
Each person exhales about 2.3 pounds of carbon dioxide each day, and while it’s not necessarily a toxic gas, it has been proven to have a profound impact on one’s ability to focus. Carbon dioxide is notorious for causing drowsiness, lack of concentration, and confusion.
A recent lab-based study used simulated decision-making tasks to determine that increased levels of carbon dioxide (from 600 parts per million to 1,000 ppm) have a negative effect, with a 23% decline in productivity in some cases. Crowded conference rooms and even open floor plans run the risk of easily reaching 1,000 ppm, which is still considered to be acceptable in most workplaces.
We know temperature plays a role in overall comfort, but it can also have a profound impact on productivity. Too high or low office temperatures can be distracting to employees to a point that is counterproductive.
The ideal temperature for productivity is between 70°F and 77°F. Studies testing productivity outside these ranges have seen a decrease in employee productivity by 4% in colder temperatures and by 6% in warmer ones. Going the extra mile and providing personal control of workspace temperature has also shown 3% gains in overall productivity.
Employees expect their workplaces to be clean, and conducive to their health--however, this goes far beyond a routine cleaning staff. Workplaces that struggle with the rampant spread of illnesses and consequential sick days most likely aren’t taking their air quality into account.
Particularly unhealthy air can aggravate allergies, asthma, eczema, hives, and even cause chronic flu-like symptoms including headaches, nausea, and fatigue. Poor air quality can also trigger common respiratory illnesses such as the flu, pneumonia, bronchitis, and the common cold–all of which cause 176 million “sick days” in the United States every year, according to a study conducted by the Indoor Environment Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Creating a healthy work environment with an emphasis on clean indoor air can improve employee health and wellness, leading to fewer absences. A report released by the World Green Building Council found that workplaces with healthy indoor air experience 35% less absences from short term sick leave.
How can you incorporate cleaner indoor air into your wellness program?
Provide your employees with the healthiest indoor environment with the help of an air quality monitor, like Awair Omni. Omni tracks the quality of your indoor air and lets you know the moment your air quality is unsafe or unhealthy. You can monitor small to very large spaces in one simple, easy-to-use portal.