Productivity is important in the workplace. You may be looking at software, incentives, and other ways to boost the productivity levels of your employees. However, there is a direct correlation between CO2 levels and productivity that you need to explore. If the CO2 levels aren’t where they should be, it could be affecting you and your employees in ways that you never thought possible.
Consider the various pollutants in the air where your employees work. What they’re breathing could be affecting their health. A recent study showed that CO2 could actually be considered an indoor pollutant. Direct effects on human decision-making performance because of low to moderate CO2 concentrations have been found.
22 participants were exposed to CO2 at various increments ranging from 600 to 2500 ppm. At 600 ppm, the carbon dioxide came from participants’ respiration and outdoor ventilation. Higher concentrations involved injecting ultrapure CO2 into the atmosphere. The participants were then administered a test on the computer to determine their decision-making performance.
Those who were exposed to higher levels of CO2 were less effective in decision-making.
Why are CO2 concentrations higher indoors?
Humans are responsible for producing and exhaling carbon dioxide. When they’re inside with little ventilation, the CO2 concentrations are going to be considerably higher than outdoors. It’s therefore important to look at the ventilation and possible ways to increase it.
What You Can Do About It
Unless you are going to start moving desks outside, you must consider the environment that you are providing your employees. As they breathe in close quarters, there is going to be an increase in CO2 levels. Further, there may be all sorts of other indoor pollutants in the air as well. The only way to increase the indoor environmental quality is to increase the ventilation.
You can increase the ventilation by bringing in more air from the outside. You may want to open windows or use fans at the entrances. When you open doors that lead to other spaces, you can also enhance the air flow. You should close doors that lead to nowhere though (such as storage cupboards and bathrooms) so that air moves more effectively.
Consider changing the layout of the room, too. Cubicles, for example, may prevent the circulation of air from being as effective as possible. You should allow the rooms to be as open as possible. Ceiling fans can also help to keep the air moving around.
Once your employees have better air quality, you should find that they are able to make better decisions and increase productivity at work!