Indoor air quality monitoring is the perfect tonic to sooth staff safety concerns.
In the topsy-turvy, post-pandemic world of work, employers and HR managers are implementing imaginative initiatives. These initiatives aim to encourage staff to return to the office and stem the Great Resignation.
Wellness programs have always been vital elements in organizations’ people strategies. Even before Covid-19, they have evolved to include unique additions like ‘Bring Your Dog to Work Day’ and Swedish Foot Massages.
Employers design all of this to coax employees out of their comfortable home office and back to the workplace, at least for a few days a week.
Embracing a New Era of Workplace Safety
Employees have been hesitant to return to the workplace due to the well-documented benefits of work-life balance offered by WFH in the past two years.
However, all the signs indicate that a turn in the tide is on the horizon: as the pandemic (hopefully) fades into the background, city streets are likely to regain their pulse as more workers return to the workplace, for more days per week. But you can be certain that they’ll want to feel safe when they get there.
Thankfully, the vast majority of employers are receptive to these concerns and are willing to invest in the systems required to protect staff health.
Who can forget the effort during earlier ‘re-openings’ – the sudden installation of plastic screens and hand sanitisers at every desk, and black-and-yellow chevron lines shepherding masked-up staff down the socially distant corridors?
Now that we know beyond doubt that Covid-19 – like so many other transmissible infections – is airborne, it makes perfect sense that indoor air quality is rising high among employees’ wellness concerns.
Impact on health and wellbeing
Consider the findings of a recent global survey conducted by Honeywell. The report, titled ‘Workplace Air Quality: A Global Concern Emerges’, compares air quality across various markets and facility types. These include office buildings, hospitals, airports, schools, and hotels.
“An overwhelming majority (89%) of those surveyed agree that the quality of air they breathe has a direct impact on their health and well-being. Nearly all (98%) believe safe IAQ provides at least one health benefit: better overall physical health (62%); fewer allergies, less sneezing and coughing (60%); less exposure to airborne contaminants (57%); better overall mental health (53%); and improved productivity and problem-solving (43%).
“Nearly all (90%) of surveyed workers consider it at least somewhat important to be kept informed of their building’s air quality. This includes 65% who consider it very or extremely important.
“About two in five respondents (41%) can accurately identify all the factors that contribute to indoor air quality. More than a third (36%) do not know that CO2 level factors into IAQ, and 41% are unaware that humidity plays a part.”
If you’re among that two in five, you can skip the next few paragraphs. If not, you might be interested to know that the five main contributing factors are:
- Elevated CO2 levels indicate poor ventilation and consequently high viral transmissibility.
- High CO2 levels can also cause building occupants to feel drowsy and impact productivity.
- These tiny particles in the air can damage the respiratory system, causing illness and absenteeism.
- The WHO 2018 reported a link between high levels of PM 2.5 and lung cancer.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
- Toxic Volatile Organic Compounds are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids.
- Buildings can experience a spike in VOCs after refurbishment or other activity.
- Can make building occupants feel uncomfortable and impact productivity.
- Humidity has also been linked to viral transmission and the growth of mould and fungi in buildings.
- Can be a source of tension among building occupants.
- High or low temperatures can indicate energy waste resulting from poor heating control.
Given the pandemic-accelerated concern over our indoor air quality, it’s little wonder that forward-thinking employers are bringing our indoor air quality monitoring services into their well-being mix.
Those imposing plastic screens and incongruous chevron lines are giving way to our discreet smart sensors.
Our data reports give peace of mind to all concerned. And provide employers and HR managers with tangible, actionable insights into their wellness activity.
Ziggytec offers potential bottom-line value. This includes increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, and lower staff turnover.
Let’s leave the last word to Doug Wright, CEO of Honeywell, who states: “In a competitive labour market, demonstrating an effort to create a healthier work environment can be an advantage in attracting and retaining employees.
“Every dollar invested in upgrading workplace air quality, monitoring IAQ data and communicating it to employees is a dollar strategically spent.”
If change is in the air for you, contact us today