A Closer Look: The Impact of Air Quality on Workspace Productivity
November 23rd , 2021
An employee’s cognitive function in the workspace can be greatly affected by the air quality in the room. How often do you consider the importance of indoor air quality and how it affects members of your organization and their productivity? Chances are, it’s not often. Many studies have shown that air pollution is negative for our health, and researchers continue to find evidence that prolonged exposure to pollution can even result in cardiovascular harm1. Recent research has gone a step further, to document how air pollutants and volatile compounds (VOCs) might affect our productivity both physically and mentally in workplace environments.
Studies have shown that the amount of fresh outdoor air brought inside is a critical component to good health. “According to the Environmental Protection Agency, airborne pollutants can be two to five times higher indoors than outdoors. After cleaning the indoor air, employers have seen workplace productivity increase by up to 11 percent.”2 A healthy building ventilation system and proper air filtration mechanisms have been shown to reduce eye irritation, headaches, coughing and more. A Harvard study showed, “that breathing better air led to significantly better decision-making performance among our participants. We saw higher test scores across nine cognitive function domains when workers were exposed to increased ventilation rates, lower levels of chemicals, and lower carbon dioxide. The results showed the biggest improvements in areas that tested how workers used information to make strategic decisions and how they plan, stay prepared, and strategize during crises. These are exactly the skills needed to be productive in the knowledge economy.”3
From this study the conclusion is to take action immediately and assess your air quality indicators to see if there is room for p improvement. An immediate option is to consider installing HEPA air filters which can assist in removing unwanted pollution. Better air quality in your office space can result in better concentration and increased performance amongst your employees, while creating a healthier, more inviting atmosphere to work in. If your productivity seems a little off one day, the answer might be partly in the air.
- Source: https://www.jwatch.org/na53255/2021/03/03/quantifying-effect-long-term-exposure-pollution
- Source: https://www.workdesign.com/2020/01/higher-productivity-out-of-thin-air/
- Source: https://hbr.org/2017/03/research-stale-office-air-is-making-you-less-productive
Categorized in: Work
This post was written by Elevate, Inc.
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