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How Clean is the Air in Your Office?
Those of us who still work in an office often notice the lack of windows that open. Instead, we have to rely on centrally controlled heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to get our fill of fresh air.
This past year has left us all feeling pretty conscious about our surroundings. In particular, we think about how close we get to others and how clean the air that we are breathing actually is. After all, the COVID-19 virus is largely transmitted through droplets in the air.
With the vaccine on the way, more and more of us will soon be returning to the office. However, if the only way to heat, cool and ventilate our offices is through centrally controlled systems, how can we guarantee that the air that we breathe is good quality?
Clean Air, Clean Bill of Health
This increase in awareness has led to many organisations focussing on the HVAC systems in their buildings to ensure that viruses aren’t being blown around the ventilation system’s jet streams.
The HVAC industry has seen an increase in service requests as businesses hurry to make sure that the systems installed are doing their job correctly. This includes ensuring that filters are cleaned, that monitoring systems are in place to look out for contaminants and that enough fresh air is being pulled into the building.
If three people share an area, and one of those people are sick, it could take between five and thirty minutes for them to produce enough virus particles to contaminate the other two. Most HVAC systems are designed to replace all the air in a building every twenty to thirty minutes, pumping used air outside and pulling fresh air in. However, since the outbreak of COVID-19, it is recommended that this is increased to every ten to fifteen minutes.
It’s Not Just in the Air
Having properly filtered and maintained ventilation isn’t the only way to keep staff and customers safe from viruses. It’s also important that we continue to practice all the new hygiene measures that we have adopted in 2020 and we must continue to provide:
- Handwashing facilities with running water, soap and paper towels.
- Hand sanitiser at locations in addition to washrooms.
- Hand sanitiser for people getting in and out of vehicles or handling deliveries, if they are unable to wash their hands.
We must also increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting, paying particular attention to touchpoints.
We may also need to continue usings screens to separate desks and social distancing measures for some time yet. Face masks and coverings may also continue to play an important role for the foreseeable future.
Even once the vaccine has been fully rolled out, these practices can still help to keep us and our staff protected from other viruses such as the common cold. After all, helping our staff to stay well and healthy will yield increased productivity and much better results!
We’ve Got You Covered
Whether you plan to bring all, some or just a few of your staff back to the office, jumping right back to how it used to be before the pandemic won’t be an option. Businesses will need to ensure they provide a “COVID-Secure” working environment for their employees and keep them as safe as possible.
Global Office Supplies have everything you need to promote good hygiene practices in your workplace and help keep COVID-secure.
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