Working in any business environment requires a minimum standard of fresh air in order to bring about a healthy working environment. This is true for anyone working in a laboratory, shop, factory or office. Proper airflow can only be achieved by effective ventilation, whether natural or mechanical. This enables the smooth circulation of air into or out of an area.
It is important to have efficient airflow in your work environment for the following reasons.
Allow for efficient breathing
Depending on the type of workplace, there may be a problem with overcrowding, whether from employees, customers, or other organizations sharing your office space. Without proper ventilation, that particular environment can soon become toxic to workers and visitors alike. If any of these people doesn’t get enough oxygen or gets exposed to too much carbon dioxide, they could pass out or worse. And if they hurt themselves on your premises, prepare yourself for a law suit. You want to avoid this if you can.
Maintenance of comfortable temperature
Lack of proper airflow can cause uncomfortable temperatures in the workplace. It can get either too hot or too cold. Both circumstances are less than ideal for productivity, especially during seasonal extremes. Gordon Wright of Workplace at HOK says, “The ideal temperature in office environments is 70.88 degrees Fahrenheit (21.6 degrees Celsius) with a 1-2 percent decrease in performance for every 1.8° F (1° C) above or below. Slightly lower temperatures are associated with higher accuracy on simulated tasks and reduced sick leave”.
Encourages removal of odours or bacteria
We all know what it is like to walk into a stuffy room that has body odour floating around. It isn’t exactly an ideal situation to be in. Odour from food that has stayed in the room longer than needed is just as bad. Certain types of bacteria thrive in such environments and do more than contaminate your food or workstation. Having efficient airflow can prevent the growth of such bacteria and dilute any other contaminants caused by workplace activities.
Cut down on costs
Without proper airflow in a work environment, employers can fall ill, needing them to take a number of sick days and increase the cost of their health insurance. This can have a negative impact on the financial status of the business, as the various targets set will not always be met by their deadlines and even if they are, they won’t be as effective.
Prevent health problems
Improper ventilation can lead to fatigue, headaches or migraines, dry skin and even eye irritation. It can trigger allergies, cause asthma attacks, and aggravate pre-existing bronchial conditions. The situation is worse if you have office pets. Their routine shedding and dander increases the spread of germs if circulation is poorly managed. This can make both the humans and the animals sick.
It is crucial to have efficient airflow in the work environment, even if it means spending a little extra to upgrade your HVAC system. In the end, the cost of the upgrade will cancel out by making your office space better.