4 Tips on Air Quality to Make Your Work from Home More Productive!
The rapid spread of COVID-19 around the world has disrupted the worlds’ economies, at a scale probably never seen before. Factories are shutting down, workplaces are getting empty, and a large chunk of the workforce is now at their homes. According to Gartner, among the 800 companies surveyed in mid-March, 88% have put work from home policies in place.
Employees are now being urged to adopt a different sort of work environment, and venturing into this unfamiliar setting that is not for everyone. If you’re new to the work-from-home lifestyle, either as a temporary arrangement or due to a permanent shift in your job, you will need to make some adjustments to your lifestyle.
Let us go over some air quality related work from home tips that can boost your productivity, and help you keep on impressing your bosses!
1. Ensure Proper Ventilation
This cannot be stressed enough. You might take the HVAC system in your office for granted, but it has been meticulously designed by HVAC professionals, ensuring that a proper office environment is maintained. Temperature levels, humidity levels, airflow, and other intricacies are all taken into account in this process. This is why working at the office does not feel as hard on the mind and body as it sometimes should.
While working from home, make sure your working space is in a well-ventilated room with windows. Ensure that the air does not remain stagnant. Keep your windows slightly open or keep your HVAC running at a suitable fan speed. Stuffy air can make you feel drowsy and this can lead to lower work efficiency.
2. Take Care of the CO2 Levels
Ever wondered what if you do not have adequate ventilation in your room or home office?
The human body is constantly releasing CO2 into the air by breathing, and in a small stuffy room, it can quickly build up to dangerous levels. In high enough concentrations, the brain’s ability to metabolize oxygen can be hampered, resulting in drowsiness and dizziness. A lack of focus and lethargic behavior follows suit.
Working from home, you might be tempted to spend as much time as possible within your workspace. You can have the food brought to you right there, you can browse your social media, and do other small tasks without feeling the need to get up. This is why it is imperative to follow the steps in the previous section and keep the room well ventilated.
3. Avoid Sick Building Syndrome
Remaining in poor air quality environments for a long time can lead to something known as “Sick Building Syndrome” (SBS). Even though there are no specific triggers of this condition, the physical signs of SBS are very clear to see. These symptoms can include dry mucous membranes and irritation in the eyes, nose, and throat.
Most commonly, these symptoms are due to high levels of airborne particulate matter (PM2.5) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
The source of these pollutants within your home can be cleaning products, kitchen activities, and other routines. Many common household activities contribute to indoor air pollution. For instance, cooking on a gas stove can eject combustion particles (PM2.5) into the air, resulting in the indoor air quality to drastically decrease. Other common causes of SBS are:
- High levels of dust
- Tobacco smoke
- Rooms with poor lighting
- The presence of mold or fungus
- Formaldehyde (mostly found in wood furniture and floors)
- Chemicals in the air from cleaning products
- Carbon monoxide
- Heat or low humidity
Make sure to take remedial measures if you are feeling the symptoms of SBS, and try to eliminate or minimize the causes where you can. You can do that by following these tips on how to improve your indoor air quality.
4. Maintain Suitable Temperature and Humidity Levels
Indoor temperature is one of the fundamental characteristics of an indoor environment. Even though it has often been cited as a prime factor to be considered for comfort during relaxation time, the influence of temperature, and even humidity on work productivity cannot be ignored.
Multiple human activities and physiological responses, such as comfort, work performance, and mental stress are affected by the indoor air temperature. This makes it crucial that the temperature and humidity levels within your home office be kept at an optimum level.
Studies conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory show that performance increases with temperatures of up to 70-71.5 °F, and decreases with temperatures above 73-25 °F. The highest productivity is observed at a temperature of 71 °F.
You must keep a sharp eye on your home temperature to achieve maximum productivity. Summer is about to hit us in full swing and sweltering heat can tire us down. Conventional ductless air conditioner thermostats do not work well to keep narrow temperature ranges, but Smart AC controllers such as the Cielo Breez Plus are perfect tools for the job.
Their smart functionality enables you to define your desired temperature and humidity range, which is then automatically regulated by the smart controller. Be sure to check them out and maintain your perfect indoor temperature while working from home!
Happy Working from Home
These are just a few best practices that you can follow within your home office so that you can avoid burnout by working from home and keep your productivity levels up.
Be sure to incorporate other measures as well, such as decorating your workspace just like how you would do at the office. You may keep a few plants on the table or place photo frames. Establishing strict schedules is highly recommended.
It will not be easy transitioning to the new role, but these work from home tips will go a long way in making you feel like you’re back at the office again!