Effective Ways to Maintain a Healthier Office Environment
Many individuals in the American workforce spend the majority of their time on the job in an office environment. A healthy office environment can benefit not only a company’s workers, but also the institution’s performance, productivity and profitability. Here are some ways you can create a healthier office environment:
- HVAC system maintenance: A professional can make sure your office HVAC system is working properly by performing regular preventive maintenance. A maintenance and tune-up inspection gives a trained technician the chance to make small repairs and adjustments that can keep your air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace working reliably and efficiently. Maintenance improves system efficiency and reduces the chance of various problems, such as inconsistent temperatures or extended periods when the system is under repair. Well-maintained HVAC systems are also better at maintaining indoor humidity levels, which can contribute to overall home comfort.
- Improvements to indoor air quality: HVAC maintenance should also include tasks that improve indoor air quality, like changing your system’s air filter. Air filters help remove particles of dust, dirt, pollen, mold, fibers and other materials that could trigger allergy attacks, worsen asthma, or cause breathing and respiratory problems. A professional can install an air purification or filtration system that provides even greater levels of air cleaning in your office area. These systems are situated in tandem with your HVAC system and provide air cleaning that can remove very small particles, fumes, odors, and other contaminants.
- Improvements to lighting: Improvements to lighting systems can be completed by professional electricians. For example, new lighting fixtures that take advantage of high-efficiency LED lighting can be installed to take the place of existing incandescent lighting systems. A construction professional can also put in new windows, skylights, or other openings to enhance natural lighting in the office.
- Noise protection: A construction professional can install soundproofing that cuts down on loud noises from outside the office, such as traffic and construction sites.
What You Can Do
Making a few changes to your indoor work environment can also help establish a healthier office space.
- Bring in some plants: Green plants provide a natural source of air filtration that can improve indoor air quality. They also offer a relaxing piece of nature that individuals in an otherwise technological or artificial environment can enjoy.
- Encourage breaks: Frequent breaks help employees regain strength and refocus their minds on the tasks they need to accomplish. Physically getting up and moving around can help prevent stress and body stiffness. A short break outdoors can give a person the chance to get some fresh air, look at a different setting and regroup for the next project.
- Use ergonomically correct chairs and processes: Most office workers are going to spend a lot of time sitting, so it’s important that their chairs are ergonomically designed to prevent discomfort and strain. Ergonomic processes should be implemented to prevent repetitive stress injuries and physical issues that could affect employee health. Particular attention should be paid to how employees use computer keyboards, mice and other related equipment.
- Limit the use of items that generate fumes: Some types of cleaning products and office supplies can create strong fumes and odors that may irritate workers. In some cases, these substances could trigger allergic reactions, headaches and respiratory problems. Make sure to use cleaning products that don’t produce strong odors or volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
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