Clear the Air In The Office

Everybody knows the saying “to clear the air”. But have you ever considered the many ways in which you could clear the air in the office?

According to a global survey run by Gallup, 85% of workers are unhappy in their jobs. It is a huge percentage of dissatisfaction. But how can it be explained? Employees name their boss and coworkers as some of the most common reasons for hating their jobs. They also mention the long commute, the lack of interesting challenges, and the absence of professional growth. However, if there is one thing every business owner knows, people tend to quit jobs rapidly if they are not happy. The pandemic has encouraged American workers to look around, compare, and jump on the job-hopping wagon (along with their global peers). So how come people who have the possibility to change jobs more easily remain dissatisfied? 

Here’s a clue for you: People are back in the office. Being back in the office means they are no longer in control of their environment. For many professionals, it should be an improvement compared to working in an improvised home office in their bedroom. Yet this isn’t always the case. The office can severely affect employees’ mood, motivation, and job satisfaction. It’s time for the proverbial clearing of the air, both literally and metaphorically.  

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Improve air filtration solutions

Most people assume that outdoor air pollution is more significant than indoor air pollution. Yet, scientists agree that indoor office air pollution can have more devastating impacts on both mental and physical health. Indeed, while traffic fumes are visible outside, it doesn’t mean that the office is clean. Not seeing anything is no proof that there aren’t any harmful and toxic particles in the office. These could typically come from a variety of places, including:

  • Ventilation openings that can suck in traffic fumes
  • Old HVAC units that may lack maintenance or may absorb outdoor air
  • The presence of paint, polish, or other material releasing harmful, invisible toxins into the air
  • The use of chemical products for cleaning or other purposes that could release toxic particles

Ultimately, employees may suffer from sick building syndrome in the office or even more serious conditions. Therefore, it can be a good idea to evaluate the air quality and introduce professional air filtering and cleaning with an expert such as Baghouse. You need a specialist in dust collection and air filtration to maintain your air filter units! 

Add plants

NASA’s Clean Air Study has promoted the idea that indoor plants can effectively purify and detoxify indoor air from airborne toxins. The typical household would need up to 93 plants to notice any positive difference in air quality. But while such a quantity is difficult to achieve at home, it can be more feasible in an office. Large premises can hold 90+ potted plants spreading across the space. Together, they can work to increase the level of oxygen indoors, remove toxins, and help relax employees. 

Plants such as English Ivy, Snake Plants, Spider Plants, Aloe Vera, Broad Lady Palm, and even Flamingo Lily plants can add a new depth to the office style and improve the air for your team. 

Hire professional cleaners

How often do you get your office professionally cleaned? Most businesses have a team of professional cleaners who can come every day or every week. If you haven’t already, now’s the best time to arrange for professional cleaning services.  

You want to make sure your cleaners will:

  • Sanitize surfaces to reduce the propagation of germs
  • Use organic and bio cleaning agents that don’t release harmful toxins
  • Not share tools with other cleaning jobs
  • Help reduce clutter in communal areas

Improve the culture

So, we’ve considered a literal approach to clearing the air. But how about the metaphoric approach? It’s been tough for companies to maintain a meaningful and relevant business culture during the pandemic. So, now that everyone is back in the office, you may find that the culture is a little off. Perhaps, it isn’t relevant anymore to the post-pandemic world, or teams have changed dramatically during the pandemic that it’s time to update your culture. A culture shift is often necessary when people fail to be engaged or supportive of the brand anymore. There is no denying that it is a big task. But it’s worth reaching out to your team and investigating the good and bad things about the business and what improvements would be necessary. 

Focus on decor

The office decor may have taken a toll during the pandemic. Indeed, as people are back in the office, you may need to change desk positions and transform the space to adapt to the current team. If the decor is not functional anymore, it could lead to delays, frustration, and overall dissatisfaction. But functionality is only one factor when it comes to creating a great office decor. Your decor also supports productivity and efficiency. It should convey a positive message about the brand and energize your employees. 

Create a place to relax

How long can people work productively without interruption? Experts recommend at least a break every 2 hours. Typically, the brain will need a pause away from the desk to recharge energy and mental focus. Additionally, staying at the desk for a prolonged period of time does support productivity or creativity. It has the opposite effect and can also lead to increased stress levels. So, the addition of a break room for the staff is a no-brainer. You may not have the luxury of introducing nap pods or yoga studios like some of the big names such as Google or Airbnb. Yet, you can create a communal area with a sofa and free access to snacks and drinks for people to recharge mentally. 

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Support your community

Last but not least, your employees have seen the trail of devastation left by the pandemic. Some even have had first-hand experience with financial and health issues too. Going back to work doesn’t erase the trauma. Consequently, many expect their workplace to acknowledge the pandemic-related issues and become active in the survival of the local community, such as:

  • Providing support to small local and independent businesses
  • Sponsoring to schools and centers
  • Participating in food banks and other donation events
  • Etc. 

When it’s time to clear the air, you’ve got no other choice but to roll up your sleeves and consider how to make the office a better, safer, and more people-focused place. 

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