Cognisance – is a state of understanding and reacting to any given situation. This is extremely important to comprehend the daily office work, meeting project deadlines while maintaining their peace of mind. This works with good environment and healthy work atmosphere.
Of course, peace of mind is affected by several factors – healthy working area, pure air, efficient and ambient lighting and chair ergonomics. We shall focus on chair ergonomics in our forthcoming posts. However, as of now, looking at the current scenario of rising air pollution and its effects on the indoor air pollution, it is important that companies focus on this imminent problem,
The situation in Delhi and Varanasi is not a surprise anymore. Varanasi is rated as the worst air polluted city in India and the smog in Delhi is causing increasing air-related disorders to the people. Crop burning, vehicular pollution, etc are some of the causes; however, all these ultimately lead to outdoor air pollution and lastly, indoor air pollution.
Indoor air pollution is 10X more dangerous than outdoor air pollution. This is because of the complexities of the types of pollutants, the lack of ventilation, the presence of more number of people in a small area makes the indoor air more polluted.
This polluted Indoor Air Pollution can lead to some or more like the following disorders –
1. Headaches while in the premises of the office
2. Skin allergies
3. Itching and watering of the eyes
4. Change in behaviour due to constant headaches, breathing impure air and fluctuation in noise and light.
1. Loss of the employee’s peace of mind
2. Inability to focus or concentrate on office tasks and daily work
3. Delay in meeting project deadlines
4. Erratic behaviour with colleagues
5. Loss to the company due to inability to meet the project deadlines
6. Inability to meet the quarterly or annual targets, resulting in lower or negligible ROI of the MNC.
All of these affect the two main stakeholders present here – the MNC/Company and the employees.
Company suffers majorly in two ways –
Financially, wherein the revenue is affected and the company suffers losses. This causes financial depreciation of the company in the market and leads to multiple layoffs over time.
Brandwise, wherein the company loses its brand equity in the market. This causes loss of projects in the first place, loss in business networking, clients’ exit and poor market value.
Employees suffer in the following way –
Healthwise, the employees suffer immensely due to increased health disorders due to fumigants, microorganisms, moisture and humidity, as well as lack of maintained HVAC systems. This affects a person, both physically and psychologically.
There have been incidences that due to impure work air, employees have started experiencing minor to major symptoms of air-related disorders. Up until recently, the cause of Indoor Air Pollution was not understood. However, only after gradual testing and understanding the science behind, did the main culprit was identified.
What should a Corporate company then do?
Here are 5 important ways you can help your Multi-National Company save across various aspects –
1. Identify – Knowing the symptoms around you is the first step with which you can start saving. Identify if and whether the health symptoms persists only in office premises or outside as well. Are the symptoms shown to match with the symptoms shown in case of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) or related illnesses?
A survey in such cases usually helps.
2. Test – Once you understand that the cause of the problem lies within the building, start by conducting thorough tests and audits of the infrastructure. Is the HVAC clean and maintained, what do the air quality reports signify, what solutions should be taken are all the questions that should be answered post a thorough test concludes.
Remember, air and environment-related tests should be conducted by only those labs which follow the International Standards and References.
3. Train – Training and information are something that acts both as a solution for prevention and cure. Imparting information and creating awareness by means of training can make employees and the facility managers know the ways to work around the increasing indoor pollution.
With this, individual contribution to decreasing air pollution can begin in a company. Holistic approach can also be adopted to develop series of Good Practices that can bring down the indoor pollution level.
4. Change – Once the loopholes are identified, do not hesitate to make changes where needed. Changes in inclusion of ventilation, maintenance of HVAC, cleanliness of the pipelines, ambient noise and light emission factors and more – nothing should be left out. Any loophole can result in a major flaw, endangering the health and revenue of the people and company, respectively.
5. Monitor – Any change or a positive result should be monitored carefully and continuously. This makes sure that the positive result acquired remains the same or rather does not deviate from the permissible range. Live air quality monitoring is a special test that can be used to monitor the pollution, internally and externally.
There also has to be a standard document and guidelines prepared by the company, to ensure the air and the atmosphere remain safe and hygienic for the members. Building infrastructure can be quite tricky – every aspect needs to be taken into consideration to achieve a 360 – degree health security.
Taking a small step before a major calamity can save millions on health treatments and company revenues. Hence, it is important that company administrators work with Specialised Air Quality Experts to ensure health and growth in company’s brand.
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