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Keeping your workforce safe – is your office ventilation system up to the job?

Keeping your workforce safe - is your office ventilation system up to the job?

With a greater focus than ever before on the air quality in office spaces, is your ventilation system up to the task of protecting your workforce? Would you know how to recognise the signs if it wasn’t? Read on to learn more about the importance of quality office ventilation and how it could affect your bottom line.

COVID-19 and its impact on productivity

As many employees will tell you, returning to the office in the wake of numerous lockdowns has been a blessing. With reduced distractions and fit-for-purpose work areas, the office is a welcome change from the kitchen table.

Although the option to work remotely suits many employees, there will always be a significant proportion for whom the office is preferable. For example, take the vast numbers of adults seeking ADHD diagnoses over the course of the last two years. Reporting symptoms such as lack of focus, irritability and restlessness, for these individuals, the removal of an office setting had almost immediate impacts on productivity as they struggled to focus on work in a home setting.

What, then, are we doing to safeguard our office spaces and ensure that they’re not only healthy but productive work environments?

The importance of office ventilation

Having faced two years of lockdowns and disruption, ventilation has become a top priority for educational facilities and workplaces around the country.

The World Health Organization released a report stating that “The design of proper, general ventilation systems can play an important role in preventing the spread of infections… Paying more attention to ventilation requirements in these common, non-isolation spaces could lead to significant infection-control benefits.” But the reduction in virus transmission is only one of the many benefits of quality workplace ventilation.

A study conducted by the Harvard University Department of Environmental Health looked at the impacts of office ventilation on health and productivity and ran an all-important cost/benefit analysis. The study found that measurable changes would occur by simply increasing a ventilation system’s output from 20cfm to 40cfm (cubic feet of air moved per minute/per person).

By doubling the amount of air pumped through the office per minute, the research found workers’ performance improved by 8% when measured against a Strategic Management Simulation (SMS) cognitive test. This improvement was the equivalent of a £4775 increase in performance per employee, per year. Overall, the study found that “even with conservative estimates, the increased productivity of an employee is over 150 times greater than the resulting energy costs.”

This study certainly makes an excellent case for increasing the output of your existing office ventilation system, but how do you know if yours is performing as it should be?

Signs your office ventilation is underperforming

At some point in our working lives, we’ve all experienced how an uncomfortable environment impacts our productivity and wellbeing. Hot, stagnant air saps your energy and can make focusing incredibly difficult. This scenario shouldn’t be a problem facing employees in a modern office, yet it is for many businesses with underperforming ventilation systems.

Indoor Air Quality, or IAQ, looks at CO2, humidity, bacteria and pollutants in the air to offer building managers and stakeholders insight into the environment. When IAQ drops, there is a direct correlation with reports of the following symptoms:

  • Dry throat
  • Dry skin
  • Poor concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Rashes
  • Allergies

When these symptoms present in a building’s occupants, it’s referred to as Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). Irritated eyes, nose, and throat and fatigue are common symptoms of the condition, although it can also include any of the other symptoms listed.

Left unaddressed, businesses in a “sick building” inevitably experience higher than average employee absenteeism and significantly reduced productivity. If you think you may be dealing with Sick Building Syndrome, taking action sooner rather than later is always the best course of action.

Breathe easy with Transcool Systems office ventilation

Designed to effectively and efficiently bring fresh air into a building – heating, cooling and filtering it as needed – Transcool office ventilation systems are fully customisable to meet your office needs.

We specialise in creating custom air handling units, silencers, acoustic lining, and fan boxes. By conducting a comprehensive examination of your site, we can build a system that caters for any site limitations and guarantees that the fan and filtration units are appropriate for the intended purpose.

Transcool Systems has a range of specialist items that we can integrate into your ventilation and air conditioning systems to maintain and enhance indoor air quality, as well as devices that we can retrofit into older systems to increase performance and usability.

Our systems are straightforward to operate and manage, giving you peace of mind in the air quality standard within your premises. And, with our ongoing maintenance service, you’ll never have to worry about Sick Building Syndrome again.

Take the first step today by contacting us for your free consultation.