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November 20, 2017
How air quality contributes to higher productivity
Francesca Brady

Any factor that negatively affects workplace performance is worth examining since even a slight uptick in productivity can equate to a substantial amount of money for business owners. As almost every asset in the modern office can be easily monitored with wireless electronic devices, some organisations are now experimenting with active control of air quality, among other things. As could be expected, it has been proven that supplying sufficient amounts of fresh air, and preventing high concentrations of CO2 can be instrumental in improving the collective output of office occupants. Specialised cloud-based systems for CO2 monitoring are emerging and could soon become mainstream.

Let’s dig a little deeper into this trend to understand why companies in many different sectors would be wise to adopt advanced methods for atmospheric optimisation.

Keeping employees alert and focused

High levels of CO2 can make us feel lethargic and can negatively impact thinking and alertness. Team members in a stuffy office are unknowingly operating less effectively in their uncomfortable surroundings, unable to gather their thoughts clearly. Having a device capable of detecting high levels of CO2 before it affects occupants is very useful, as it allows for a simple adjustment of ventilation that will wipe away sluggishness quickly. This technology is particularly valuable within environments where workers are exposed to intense physical or mental tasks or tight spaces where large groups work together for extended periods.

Psychological and interpersonal factors

Removing a source of discomfort goes beyond the obvious impact and influences how people behave as a group. It’s likely that employees with constant access to fresh air will be more inclined to proactively cooperate and make compromises. As such, the installation of CO2 sensors is a move that will surely resonate well with everyone.

Impact on long-term health

Chronic exposure to poor quality air is less than ideal, especially for those who work in these environments for a number of years. Sick Building Sydrome is a condition known to many in the built environment and thought to be a direct result of poor indoor environmental quality. Symptoms can include any of the following; headaches, blocked or runny nose dry, itchy skin, sore eyes, tiredness and difficulty concentrating. Naturally, employers are concerned when their workers miss time due to medical reasons, so there are plenty of incentives to raise environmental standards in offices.

Testing air quality is just the beginning – in the near future, the well-being of team members in every office will be protected with additional smart devices.

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