Improving Indoor Air Quality for Optimal Workplace Wellness

23 February 2024

In recent years, there has been growing awareness around the importance of indoor air quality. COVID-19 made us all stop and think about what is actually in the air we breathe, and highlighted the need to safeguard against airborne viruses, pollutants and contaminants.

The pandemic also served to underscore the connection between the air we breathe and its role in our health and safety, and as a result, catalysed a much-needed collective effort to enhance the quality of our indoor air to protect our wellbeing.

Promoting Air Action in the Workplace

This heightened awareness has prompted individuals, businesses, and regulators to prioritize the quality of the air we breathe, particularly in indoor areas where we spend longer periods of time, such as offices and workspaces.

From implementing enhanced ventilation measures to investing in air purifiers and filtration systems, businesses have a renewed focus on ensuring that the air we breathe is clean and healthy, to promote workplace wellness.

Indoor Air Quality And Our Health

Maintaining the quality of indoor air is crucial for several reasons. Most importantly is the direct impact it has on the health, wellness and productivity of employees.

The air within any indoor space can contain bacteria, spores and viruses, all of which can thrive if the air is too warm or too humid. Indoor air can also contain allergens, pollutants, contaminants, and many other factors that can impact the health, safety and comfort of occupants.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are another concern – these are gases that are emitted from a number of products, such as paints, varnishes and cleaning products, which can have a negative effect on our health.

If indoor air quality isn’t maintained, it is putting employees at risk of a range of health issues, including respiratory problems, allergies, fatigue, headaches, and reduced cognitive

function. As well as increased sickness, it can also affect absenteeism, concentration, and work performance

    A Need To Change

    Recognizing the importance of indoor air quality, many organizations are increasingly turning to standards like the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) certification. The WELL Building Standard™ is a global movement that emphasizes the need to create healthy indoor environments and focuses specifically on promoting human health and wellness through design and operational strategies.

    The WELL Building Standard establishes requirements in buildings that promote clean air and reduce or minimize the sources of indoor air pollution, which includes stringent guidelines on monitoring air quality levels and sets air filtration benchmarks.

    Strategies for Improving Indoor Air Quality

    One of the most effective ways to enhance indoor air quality in offices is through the use of air purifiers and air quality monitoring systems.

    An air purifier is equipped with filters which can safely and efficiently remove airborne particles, allergens, and other contaminants from the air, promoting a healthier indoor environment.

    And integrated air quality sensors can monitor the air, providing real-time data on parameters such as VOC levels, humidity, temperature, CO2 concentration, and more, allowing facility managers to identify potential issues and take corrective actions promptly.

    For example, if an air quality sensor detects rising pollutant levels, FM teams can take action to increase ventilation immediately, as well as take further preventive steps, such as increasing cleaning schedules, to ensure acceptable levels are immediately restored.

    In addition, by providing ongoing monitoring of air quality, proactive maintenance of ventilation systems and filtration equipment can take place, preventing issues before they escalate and maintaining consistently high air quality standards.

    A Smart Approach to Air Quality

    Thanks to Smart technology, air purifiers and air quality sensors can be integrated as part of an overall data-driven approach to cleanliness. Sensor driven 3D IoT Smart platforms can facilitate the improvement of indoor environments, through real time monitoring and management of variables such as air quality, as well as other touchpoints such as consumables, cleanliness, occupancy levels and more – all of which can directly impact the quality of the air.

    Maintaining optimal indoor air quality also aligns with sustainability goals. With efficient ventilation and filtration in place, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced.

    An Essential Part of Workplace Wellness

    By implementing simple, cost-effective strategies such as air purifiers, air quality monitoring, and data-driven cleaning practices, organizations can create optimal workplace environments conducive to employee satisfaction and wellbeing.

    These initiatives not only benefit the individual but contribute to the broader goal of fostering sustainable and healthy built environments for all.

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