According to the Environmental Protection Agency, airborne pollutants can be two to five times higher indoors than outdoors. A clear statement that air pollution is shortening lives worldwide. After cleaning the indoor air, employers have seen workplace productivity increase by up to 11 percent. Even more impressive is a 2015 double-blind study from the Harvard School of Public Health showing that people working in well-ventilated offices with low levels of pollutants have double the cognitive function of those in offices with average levels of exactly the same pollutants.
The main reason why a good air quality in office is important is because it can help employees stay healthy and away from such a diffused silent killer like air pollution. Indoor air is usually more polluted than outdoor air. It contains a wide range of particles that are harmful to human health, including dust particles, bacteria, pollen, and animal dander. These particles can make your employees more susceptible to eye and nose irritation, cold, flu, dizziness, and headache. Prolonged exposure to polluted indoor air may lead to severe conditions such as chronic bronchitis, heart disease, and lung cancer.
By contributing to an unhealthy work environment, poor indoor air quality can cause your employees to fall ill more often and increase the amount of sick leave they take. Office air quality is key and can significantly reduce the productivity of your business.
In addition, air pollution in the workplace can have a negative impact on your employees’ mood and cognitive abilities. It can cause them to experience fatigue, mood swings, depression, and loss of concentration, resulting in an unhappy working environment and lower productivity. Employees who are constantly exposed to bad air may feel that their employers are not concerned with their well-being. As a result, they will not be motivated to deliver their best performance, affecting their cognitive productivity.
Maintaining good indoor air quality in your office does not only make your employees healthier and more productive; it also shows them you care about them.
Indoor air quality is a vital concern for any workplace as it directly affects work performance. Poor air quality results in employees taking time off due to ill health or continuing to work at a reduced pace and quality. Factory workers are found to be less productive on days where the air has high levels of pollution. Office workers have been shown to reach a higher score on a cognitive test in an office environment with good quality air compared to poor, while stock traders are less productive on days when the internal air pollution is higher.
Air quality is wholly within the control of the directors of the business, and there are so many things you can do to promote good air quality in the building, especially with ambient air filtration The directors of a business are responsible for the health and safety of their employees, their customers and other visitors to their premises.
Air pollution and businesses
As discussed in a previous Blog post, air pollution is not only hazardous to human health; it’s also hurting business.
A new study is among the first to quantify how consumer spending is impacted by fluctuations of airborne pollutants. The researchers analyzed daily spending, air pollution, and climate data from 12 provinces in Spain and made some alarming findings:
Spanish consumers spend $29 to $48 million (USD) less on days when ozone pollution is 10 percent worse than usual, and that spending falls by $23 to 35 million on days when particulate matter pollution is 10 percent worse than usual. Just a ten percent reduction in ozone and particulate matter 2.5 in Spain could increase consumer spending between $19 to 30 billion annually.
Known to affect the heart and lungs, both ozone and particulate matter are potential triggers for serious health effects.
Using a geographic information system (GIS) and statistical programming, the researchers found that as pollution increased, consumers were more likely to stay indoors, avoid restaurants, and spurn retail or recreational opportunities, suffocating local sales.
The findings could serve as a warning to businesses as urbanization intensifies across the developed and developing world. The Yale researchers found that a company in an urban core was much more susceptible to air-quality impacts than a farm that is well removed from city limits.
Results show that urban citizens’ spending habits are four times more affected by air pollution than rural citizens. This result affirms the economic need for cities to further incentivize air pollution reduction.
As people in countries around the world continue to concentrate in cities, civic and business planners are seeking to understand the impacts on natural and built environments. GIS and location analytics techniques can reveal how to reduce risk, become more efficient, and find new business opportunities.
There is an entire subset of sleep disorders that relate to breathing, like snoring and sleep apnea, and clean air is the first step in prevention. By cutting down on our exposure to pollutants like mold, dust, and dander, we reduce a child’s likelihood of experiencing respiratory distress as they sleep.
Since children are still growing, air pollution harms them during the developmental stage of their life, causing lifelong health problems.
Decarbonization is a must process which needs to start as soon as possible, since exposure to air pollution at a young age can hinder lung growth, inhibit brain development and increase the risk of conditions such as asthma.