Everyone’s work environment has turned upside down during the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of sitting at your desk or working in meeting rooms, you’re completing your daily tasks from home. This change of scenery can transform how you approach your workday — your environment is crucial to your productivity.
You might hear a few different things when you ask friends about how they work from home. They might have a room set aside as their office or only work from the kitchen table. What they may not mention is paying attention to their air quality, which is a hidden productivity factor many people overlook.
Read on to learn how indoor air quality can impact your productivity and what you can do to make your home a better place to work. Every effort helps you accomplish more and turn in higher-quality assignments.
1. You Face Fewer Distractions
When you walk into a room, the first thing you might notice is the air quality. Maybe the HVAC unit is older, so the area has a higher humidity rate. You might walk in after someone sprays perfume at their desk and have to breathe the scent for an hour afterward.
The air quality can distract you as you start working because the humidity and various smells make you uncomfortable. Every few minutes, you shift in your seat and silently complain about it. When you work from home, you face fewer distractions because you’re in control of your air quality and can better focus on your work as a result.
2. You Stay Healthy Every Day
Poor air quality also affects how you feel, which takes you away from your work. Indoor air pollutants can trigger asthma and irritate your eyes, as well as make you feel more tired or nauseous.
Working at home means you can check your air filters and replace them as needed to catch pollutants before they circulate in your home. You’ll get more peace of mind and feel up to the task of completing your work for the day.
3. You Avoid Breathing Ozone
If you picture ozone, you probably imagine a layer in the atmosphere high above the clouds, but it also exists on the ground, as a gas. Ground-level ozone inspired Columbia Unversity to study how it impacts worker productivity.
After comparing results from workers who picked fruit in an ozone-free environment and one with ground-ozone readings, scientists discovered that people experienced higher levels of productivity when they had clean air. Remember that the next time you want to work on your porch or by an open window. Limit your time breathing in polluted outdoor air while you’re on the clock so you can accomplish more.
4. You Inhale Fewer Contaminants
You might imagine that dust and odors make the air worse, but there’s much more floating around you that causes you to work slower. Many people ignore their air filters and inhale common household contaminants like bacteria, viruses, hairspray and glue.
These pollutants float in the air well after any scent disappears, so remember to replace your filters and get your HVAC unit inspected. When you do that, you’ll avoid breathing in contaminants that make you sick or feel sluggish.
5. You Avoid Volatile Organic Compounds
You used to find the printer or copier next to your desk irritating because it was loud, but maybe you find yourself missing those familiar office sounds. What you didn’t realize was that by sitting next to office machinery, you were breathing small particles that could have made you tired or sick.
When copiers and printers turn on, they emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause you to slow down or procrastinate. Breathing VOCs can cause reactions like headaches, allergy symptoms and fatigue. You don’t have to worry about VOCs from large-scale office machinery at home, which means you encounter less of these particles.
Monitor Your Workload
As you continue to work from home, monitor your workload. You’ll notice your productivity improves as you nail down a routine, which is partly because you’re breathing better-quality air. The increase in your health can make you feel ready for any challenge.
About Kacey Bradley
Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Style Me Pretty, Tripping.com and more!