How Companies Can Improve Employee Performance!
Updated: Mar 10
“It’s awfully stuffy in here, do you mind if I open a window?”
A comment that almost any office worker today can relate to. The age-old debate within offices that it’s either too hot, too cold, too humid, the list goes on and on.
Are employee’s over-reacting?
Well, shock new findings in the Remark Group’s ‘Air Quality and Well-being at Work’ 2019 survey shows that ‘Sick Building Syndrome’, which was a phenomenon of the 1990’s, is a making an unwelcome comeback.
Sick building syndrome or SBS, is a term used to describe situations in which building occupants most frequently experience eye irritation, shortness of breath, or headaches.
Sick building syndrome is usually associated with poor ventilation within buildings that in turn, coincides with high levels of CO2.
Putting CO2 to the test!
A 2-year study was led by the British Council for Offices in order to gain a greater insight into the effects of fluctuating CO2 and air temperatures on employee performance.
Workplaces taking part in the study – including NATS and Kings College London – were tested over two years, with Internet of things (IoT) enabled sensors installed to monitor fluctuating CO2 levels.
During this time employees were sent numerical, proofreading and Stroop tests via email up to three times a day as part of the study.
It was concluded that an increased intake of CO2 can lead to poor decision making, slower reaction times and increased tiredness among employees or customers.
With lower CO2 levels, employees’ test scores improved by up to 12% and in one of the buildings tested, people worked 60% faster with reduced CO2 concentrations, completing tests in a mean time of 8.2 minutes, compared with 13.3 minutes with more CO2 in the atmosphere.
‘Uk’s silent productivity killer’
Typically, the opening of windows in offices is highly controlled, meaning that the quality of air in offices or buildings is heavily reliant on air-conditioning.
This means, for example, when new offices are built, they are ‘sealed’ and air-conditioned as standard.
Even if buildings meet ventilation standards, this doesn’t mean that CO2 levels are being effectively monitored, and often lead to offices feeling stuffy which in turn, can mistakenly be put down to high temperatures by business operators.
In these instances, increased energy usage is expended on air-con systems and the unnecessary creation of additional greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
Importantly this misconception also limits the amount of fresh air that is introduced into offices and other work-spaces.
This is worrying as when coupled with research showing that UK office workers only spend a maximum of fifteen minutes outside in addition to their commutes.
What’s out there to tackle this rising issue?
We are currently seeing an increase of air monitoring devices measuring the temperature, humidity and crucially the CO2 levels within buildings.
This simply allows business operators to understand whether there is enough fresh air in the building or not.
So, the need for something that’s independent and verifiable is there and that’s what business operators are getting a lot of benefit from.
A simple, easy to use monitoring system, that alerts you when the CO2 levels are exceeding norms.
A consistent method of increased ventilation and regular opening of the windows when CO2 levels are too high can easily fix the problem.
A Better Way
If you’d like to learn more about monitoring CO2 levels within buildings, get in touch with us now.
Call us now on +353 (0) 14433147 or get in touch now with Kieran Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org.