How's your Office air quality? Is that even a matter of concern? Here's what you need to know your working environment!!

“Office air quality? Is that even a thing?” you might think. Well, it is! Given the large number of hours we spend at office, the quality of office air can have a major impact on employee health as well as job performance. Offices are designed keeping “business functions” in mind as a result of which often times the quality of air and health in indoor environments like office, is below ideal.

The air indoor can be affected in various ways:

  • Equipment like photocopiers, printers and scanners release toxic chemicals into the air.
  • With age, the building, furniture, floor, tiles, fabrics and walls call be slowly releasing asbestos, formaldehyde into the air.
  • Buildings air-intake can be drawing in vehicle exhaust from outside.
  • Improper ventilation and smoking practices.

 

A recent study by teams from Harvard and Syracuse Universities focused on indoor air quality. The researchers simulated environments with different levels of ventilation, carbon dioxide, and emissions from common office products. Results showed that employees in the green condition environment performed 61% better on cognitive tasks than in the standard office conditions.

A further study conducted on 10 different green-certified buildings found:

  • 30% fewer headaches and respiratory complaints
  • 27% better performance
  • 6.4% higher Sleep Quality scores

 

The findings from this study suggests that organizations need to understand the impact of air quality on their employee health and look for ways to improve healthier working environments.

One simple way organizations can do this, is by bringing plants. It also helps build a more pleasant and stimulating environment. House plants have proven successful at removing harmful substances like formaldehyde, benzene and its derivatives, trichloroethylene, Xylene and ammonia. Following is a list of effective additions for your office:

1. Aloe Vera: It removes harmful solvents from the air, such as formaldehyde and benzene. Place it in a sunny corner of your desk and it will continue to purify the air around you.


2. Spider PlantSpider plants have been found to clean benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene from the air, making them an excellent choice for you to purchase for your office.


3. Ficus (or Weeping Fig)The weeping fig specifically targets benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene in the air. These may be present in carpeted areas, or where industrial solvents are used.


4. Peace Lily: Peace lilies are not only beautiful, they also have a pleasant floral scent when in bloom. This plant has been found to remove every single chemical studied by NASA in the Clean Air Study.