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Asset Mapping Wellness Competition
In order to enter our Wellness Competition and have the chance to win 5 Awair sensors to monitor your indoor environment for 6 months PLUS 6 months access to our platform please complete the following questionnaire. Winners will be selected on 4th May and announced on our website at www.assetmapping.com
September 17, 2018
Something in the air: The link between air quality and productivity
Francesca Brady

Poor air quality is a frequently overlooked factor that can significantly hamper performance and impact even the most motivated teams. This link has been demonstrated in numerous instances, and progressive thinking companies are already moving towards tighter controls of atmospheric conditions in their buildings. Specialised providers like Asset Mapping are looking to improve conditions by utilising evolving technologies, including digital sensors, which they use for air quality measurement.

For those who aren’t familiar with the link between the presence of air pollution in the office and productivity, here is a short overview of the fundamentals:

A simple formula for productivity - more fresh air, less CO2

When working in an overcrowded or poorly ventilated space, CO2 tends to be build up faster than it can be removed. This happens because people produce CO2 through basic activities such as breathing, as a result it can accumulate to high levels during a long working day. The higher the level of CO2 the drowsier and more lethargic you become - in fact working in an environment that consistently records levels of CO2 at 1000 ppm can impact your cognitive function the same as two pints of beer! Therefore, lowering CO2 is an effective way to give your team an energy boost and help improve their concentration - and achieving this may be easier than you think.

Improving mechanical ventilation is one way to get those CO2 levels down, but in offices with little control over this equipment some may worry about what they can do. Monitoring levels in meeting rooms can help with understanding meeting room capacity. If a 6 person meeting room is recording levels above 1000 ppm at full occupancy compared to 600 ppm when it is only used by 4 people it may be worth re-evaluating meeting room use - this is an easy, cost-effective  change to make. Even simpler than that, in many cases the solution is just as simple as opening a window to let some fresh air in.

Controlling temperature and humidity

Maintaining an optimal environment in your office is more important than you may realise, studies show that teams consistently operating in warm temperatures are more likely to suffer from occupational heat stress, whereas those working for prolonged periods in cold conditions can become more prone to general illness. This issue can be compounded by the fact that HVAC systems frequently create an uneven distribution of heat throughout buildings.

The amount of moisture in the air should also be closely monitored, since hot and humid conditions can stimulate the spread of mould and bacteria. Relative humidity control has been linked with Sick Building Syndrome, which can have a serious impact on the health and productivity of your team. In addition, valuable IT equipment can be damaged by humid environments as this can cause the accumulation of dust, electronic faults, and even corrosion.

One of the safest options is to monitor the parameters within rooms in your building via wireless sensors and proactively manage the indoor environment if abnormal values are recorded.

Following trends and establishing patterns

In some companies, poor air quality occurs only during the winter season when buildings are sealed shut to retain heat. While in other instances the concentration of CO2 consistently reaches high levels in the late afternoon due to overcrowding or poor ventilation practises. Spotting any recurring trends is often the key to recognising underlying causes and prescribing the right long term solution. By analysing long-term trends, building and business owners can understand which areas are problematic, the source of the issues and the extent of the problems to ultimately determine the most effective solutions.

Monitoring and controlling indoor air quality is an effective way to improve the productivity of your team. To learn how you can measure key atmospheric parameters in your office, talk to the Asset Mapping team today.

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