Take a deep breath. Notice anything? If you don't, that could be a very good thing: Indoor air quality (IAQ) often only draws notice when something's wrong. But there are times when poor IAQ can go unnoticed, leading to headaches, congestion, nasal and throat irritation, and more — and it can even impact productivity. According to the World Green Building Council, IAQ can impact productivity by as much as 11%. So how can the average business protect itself and maintain good IAQ? Here are a few easy ways — and most of the efforts you take to improve your IAQ will also bring added benefits to your building and its occupants.
- Maintain your air filters and your HVAC systems — this also ensures smooth operation and cuts down on energy costs incurred by poor maintenance and air flow.
- Clean your building regularly to eliminate bacteria, dust and other pollutants. Not only does this improve IAQ, but also helps cut down on productivity drains like hay fever and influenza.
- Protect your entryways and floors with proper matting systems that help trap soils and particles. Your lungs will thank you, and you'll spend less time and money cleaning and refinishing your flooring.
- Invest in (and maintain) quality vacuum systems for your facilities, including HEPA filtration technology. Backpack versions of these vacuums are also more efficient and safer for your employees to use.
- Switch to microfiber dust mops and cloths that trap more soil and can be cleaned through thorough vacuuming and washing. Microfiber products can also cut down on the use of disposable alternatives, reducing your environmental footprint.
- Choose cleaning chemicals that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These chemicals are safer for your workers and can also provide you with the opportunity to streamline your cleaning supplies for more labor savings.
- Plan your space around airflow, ensuring good ventilation and utilizing furniture and fixtures that are easy to clean. Thoughtful design can also boost productivity and employee morale.
- Keep up to date with new guidelines issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. You should also work with vendors and suppliers who can work with you collaboratively to stay in step with the latest trends and regulations.