Posted on 8-9-2021 by Anouk Wigchert
We spend 80% of our time indoors, much of it at work. A healthy workplace may seem self-evident, but it is not. Whether you work at home, in the office or change locations, healthy air quality contributes to people's productivity and sickness absence. In this blog we tell you more about healthy air quality in your workplace.
How good is the ventilation at your workplace?
More and more people are working in the office again. Also working at home remains popular. But wherever you work, at home or at the office, good ventilation is important. Do you know how it is? You don't have to be a ventilation expert to find that out. With a CO2 meter, you can easily measure the air quality in any room. If you use it at home, but go to the office for the next day, take the meter with you and measure the air quality in your workplace. Read how a CO2 meter works here or watch the video. Once you have insight into the air quality at your workplace, you can take action.
How do you ensure sufficient ventilation at your workplace?
The indoor air quality in offices has a direct influence on productivity and sickness absence. Various research and studies have shown that staff are up to 11% more productive when there is a continuous supply of fresh air, and sickness absence also demonstrably decreases. So make sure there is sufficient ventilation in the workplace.
Our advice is to open the windows for at least 15 minutes every hour and to mechanically ventilate 24/7. In modern offices, you often see that the windows remain closed. Then demand-controlled ventilation is a good solution. If this is not yet the case, you can use a CO2 meter to check whether this is necessary. If the CO2 still rises too high, then the ventilation or MVHR system has not been set correctly or it is time for maintenance. If the filters are dirty, the ventilation system will not work properly either.
How can you prevent the spread of disease in your workplace?
Diseases spread quickly within a working environment. There are often many people in a room who use the same facilities, such as the toilet, coffee machine, etc. If the air quality also leaves something to be desired, you can quickly become infected at work. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevention of diseases at work has become so important that a large part of our country is forced to work at home. Good hygiene, following the guidelines and advice of the RIVM and ensuring good air quality significantly reduce the chance of infection.
Our tips for good air quality at your workplace
Check whether the ventilation is on and working
How do you know whether your office space is well ventilated and whether you can work safely? The ventilation system must always be on. You can ask the facility services or building manager about this. Sometimes the mechanical ventilation is turned off when the office is vacant. It is not bad to check this. This also applies to your home office. Never turn off the mechanical ventilation. If you doubt whether the ventilation is working properly, check it with a CO2 monitor.
Take care of mechanical ventilation (even if it is not there yet)
Natural ventilation is always important. But as soon as it gets colder outside and the windows are closed more often, natural ventilation is really insufficient. There are simple and relatively cheap solutions to install mechanical ventilation in an existing house or building. A decentralised MVHR is very suitable for a smaller space and can be installed in no time. Moreover, it warms the incoming air so that you do not have to sit in the draught. The Orcon WTU is very suitable for offices and schools.
Do not forget the maintenance
A ventilation system is present in most offices and homes. But if it does not receive maintenance on time, the system itself often becomes one of the polluters or even stops working. After a while, the ventilation ducts become a collection point for dust, bacteria, moisture and vermin. This has major consequences for the air quality in a building and the functioning of the system. Make sure the grilles and/or valves are cleaned regularly and have the air ducts cleaned at least every 4 to 6 years. Read more tips in our blog.
People who work in an environment with a high concentration of fine dust can experience respiratory complaints, skin complaints, headaches and irritations. Fine dust in the office is also a well-known cause of allergic reactions. With the right filters (F7) in the ventilation system, most fine dust particles are retained. An air purifier is an excellent addition to good ventilation, because it cleans the air of fine dust, but also of viruses, pollen and bacteria, among other things.