According to the World Health Organisation, workplace health should be a top priority for businesses if they want to reap the benefits of higher levels of productivity.
Today, I believe many of the world’s top companies take WHO’s opinion very seriously and commit to staying on top of workspace health. There’s scientific evidence to back this up too: one study even found that employees who work in healthy workplaces are 30% more productive than their counterparts working in unhealthy environments.
Creating a healthy workplace, then, is a proven way to improve your bottom line and output.
The question is, what exactly makes a workplace healthy?
While factors like the layout of your space or organisational culture are important in creating a favourable work environment, there are other things that matter. Things that have a very noticeable and physical effect on you and your teams.
Certain factors like poor indoor air quality, electromagnetic radiation and mould, which contribute to the health of your employees, are often overlooked in the current discourse on healthy workplaces.
In my experience as a building biologist, I’ve seen, firsthand, the consequences of neglecting these hazards. Beyond just health and wellbeing, they affect your bottom line and other parts of your work.
Fortunately, healthy workplace assessments can help you identify these hazards and take the necessary steps to improve workplace health and productivity. In this post, I’ll be looking at how indoor air quality affects how productive you and your teams are.
How does your building affect your productivity?
A major factor that can impact how efficiently your teams work is your indoor air quality.
Most Australians spend 90% of their time indoors and a chunk of that time is spent in the workplace.
Restricted airflow forces polluted particles to circulate for longer, making indoor air two to five times more polluted than the air outside—ironic, considering the fact that we worry more about what’s outside than inside!
Pollutants that could be affecting the quality of the air you breathe include:
- Printing ink particles
- Toxic or artificial cleaning products
- Photo solutions and adhesives
When these issues are ignored, they can cause various health conditions like nausea, dizziness, headaches, skin irritation, and asthma; all factors that affect productivity. These also contribute to a high rate of absenteeism in your organisation.
What can you do to increase productivity at work?
While there are many things you can do to improve workplace health via better indoor air quality, increasing ventilation is the most important of all.
Well-ventilated workplaces reduce your exposure to polluted air, reducing the risk of respiratory illnesses. A study found that simply increasing ventilation results in a 4-16% increase in workplace productivity.
Another thing you can do is create a designated smoking area for your teams. Regardless of ventilation, smoking on the work floor can affect the smoker as well as their peers.
Getting rid of mould has also been proven to increase workplace productivity. Unfortunately, mould removal is a task best left to professionals as mould can survive as spores in the air for a long time.
What you can do in the interim is to maintain a cool and dry climate in your workspace and get rid of any moisture. This reduces the probability of a mould infestation in the first place. According to recent research, adequate temperature control has even led to a 34% decrease in absenteeism due to various health issues.
Make your organisation a beacon of productivity with healthy workplace assessments
Healthy workplace assessments test indoor air quality among other hazards that can affect the health and productivity of your workplace.
By identifying the invisible factors that are plaguing your teams, you understand what you need to do to leave them feeling healthy, energised, and engaged.
Find out more about healthy workplace assessments and improve the health and productivity of your organisation today.