Why environmental monitoring in your workplace is so important

Environmental monitoring in the workplace is an extremely easy way to improve your bottom line.

Optimizing your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) enhances employee wellbeing and productivity, which can have a significant impact on the success of your business. Staff tend to spend around 40 hours a week in the office, so it is crucial that your buildings provide a healthy and productive working environment.

CO2: the silent enemy in the workplace

There is an abundance of scientific evidence that proves fresh air is necessary for optimal performance in the workplace. Team members who work in overcrowded offices or attend long meetings in poorly ventilated rooms are likely to experience high concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Elevated levels of CO2 can cause increased drowsiness, loss of concentration, and impaired attention spans. Some studies have even shown an 11% reduction in productivity and 23% impairment in decision making. Monitoring CO2 allows you to track key areas in real-time, and react appropriately to reduce elevated levels (in many places, opening a window is a start).

Keep it fresh

In addition to short term effects, poor IAQ can also affect the overall health of your team, something that is directly reflected in absence rates. This happens because germs are disseminated much faster when air isn’t refreshed, increasing the chances that multiple people are susceptible to catch and spread an illness.

Temperature and humidity also play a vital role in the survival rate of viruses. Low humidity can cause mucous membranes to dry out, which compromises our body’s natural defense to viruses.

Investing in a good ventilation system and monitoring your indoor environment is a far more economical alternative to losing key team members for prolonged periods. The Office for National Statistics report showed that absenteeism through sickness in the workplace cost the UK economy 137 million working days in 2016, (equating to around £18 billion). Symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), such as coughs and colds, were the most common reason for sickness absence. By monitoring environmental parameters, you can optimize working conditions by preventing SBS and stemming the transmission of viruses.

Workplace wellness

It is becoming increasingly apparent that physical and mental wellbeing is now a top priority for employees, particularly for millennials, who currently make up 35% of the UK workforce. The vast majority of people now consider health and well-being offerings when choosing an employer, making it an essential consideration in terms of both talent attraction and retention.

The Edmans Research Group also found that companies with high employee satisfaction outperformed their competitors by 2.3-3.8% per year. Environmental monitoring in your office is a great way to show that the wellbeing of your staff is something that matters to you.

Uncovering inefficiencies

A final way in which environmental monitoring can help your company is that it can help to uncover systemic inefficiencies in your building. For example, HVAC sensors may be incorrectly calibrated or your BMS could be poorly configured.

Occupancy levels in office spaces tend to average less than 55%, but lighting, heating, and building systems often run, despite the space being empty. Monitoring environmental parameters in real-time can ensure that energy is only used when required. This not only leads to significant cost savings but also brings about environmental benefits through a reduction in CO2 emissions.

The bottom line

There are evidently many benefits of measuring and improving the indoor environment in your workplace. It is an extremely cost-effective way to optimise staff wellbeing and productivity and improve your bottom line. Now is the time to make environmental monitoring a priority for your company!

Published with permission from Metrikus

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