Three Ways Clean Air Can Improve Workplace Productivity

Clean air systems do more than just remove dust. They remove everything from allergens like mold, mildew and pollen to odors, fumes, gasses and chemical residues, making indoor air more pleasant. Proper ventilation, or control of the interior air, is critical to a healthy work environment. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) considers a building's ventilation system one of the most important factors in industrial health. Substandard, poorly designed or malfunctioning ventilation systems can result in poor interior air quality, which in turn can lower workplace productivity. Here are some ways that clean air makes a workplace more productive.  

1. Clean air improves employee health.

When the interior air is free from mildew, dust, pollen and other allergens, employees have fewer breathing problems, which means that fewer employees will be staying home sick with asthma and bronchitis. Clean air reduces the incidence of health issues, including the vague yet serious symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome, which refers to the minor complaints of employees about things like eye irritation, stuffy noses, and lethargy. Poor or improper ventilation systems are also a known source of the bacteria that causes Legionnaire's disease, a serious illness that can strike multiple employees and usually requires hospitalization. Good interior air quality keeps everyone more healthy, reduces absenteeism and keeps people working efficiently.

2. Clean air eliminates annoyances and distractions.

No one ever notices clean air. But if the environment is dusty, if there are odors or if everyone is sneezing and rubbing their eyes, they'll spend a lot of time talking about it.  Mold and mildew are especially offensive, and unidentifiable smells can lead to lots of water-cooler conversation, speculation and complaints. This can distract people from their work. Clean, fresh air doesn't take up a lot of anyone's time, and employees stay on task and productive when the clean air system is working well.

3. Clean air protects equipment and keeps people working.

Clean equipment and workplace interiors are more efficient. Technology equipment such as computers and servers generate heat, so they have fans and vents to keep them cool. Dust, pollen and microscopic particles in the indoor air can clog these vents, hasten overheating and cause equipment to fail, resulting in unproductive downtime. They can also harm equipment with motors, delicate lenses, sensors or other sensitive components. Dirty interior environments also mean that employees spend time cleaning, dusting and trying to mask odors instead of focusing on their work.

Today's buildings may be more energy-efficient than older buildings, but this usually comes at the cost of interior air quality. The closed environments that are great for keeping the workplace cool in the summer and warm in the winter are traps for dust, pollen, mildew and chemicals that affect people's health. Keeping your indoor air quality high is one of the most effective ways to prevent lost work time and to maintain a productive workplace.