Updated: Dec 1, 2020
During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all become a lot more aware of the air — namely, the fact that it can contain particles that humans can’t detect.
But now that we’re all thinking about the air, you might be wondering, “what else should I know about the air in my office building?” And that’s an important question to ask, because office building air quality does have an impact — studies suggest that productivity decreases and sick leave increases as a result of unhealthy indoor air quality in a workplace. One study found that 35% of a business’s short-term sick leave cases could be attributed to not having enough fresh air circulating. The bottom line? Your building’s air quality impacts your bottom line.
Below, we’ll talk about some key questions you as a tenant can ask your building’s management as you determine whether to return to the office or seek new office space.
1. Are you monitoring the air quality in the building?
When it comes to air quality, the first step is to have a good monitoring system in place — as we noted in a previous post, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.”
If your building isn’t currently tracking indoor air quality (IAQ), Cohesion’s platform can help building management implement those processes quickly. Through the Cohesion dashboard, building management can easily view the IAQ metrics throughout different spaces in the building.
2. Will you tell me about the building’s air quality?
We understand how important it is for tenants to be able to get information about the air they’re breathing. That’s why we made it easy for building management to let tenants know about IAQ.
Buildings using Cohesion can share IAQ information with tenants by making the air quality status viewable in the tenant view in the app. With that data, you can understand the quality of the air you are breathing and talk to your building management if you have concerns.
3. How do you ensure that my space is getting sufficient airflow?
Occupancy within a building can vary from day to day, which means that the amount of airflow a space needs can vary as well. On busy days, a space may need more airflow, but on days with few or no people around, less airflow is needed.
Cohesion’s occupancy sensors and IAQ data can help building management determine when and where more airflow is needed. Not only does this make the building more efficient, but it ensures that you, the tenant, are getting the air you need.
4. Is this building WELL certified or Fitwel certified?
A WELL certification signals that the building has met performance standards for design interventions, operational protocols, and policies related to air, water, and light. A Fitwel certification indicates that the building has met standards related to health and wellness.
To achieve these certifications, a building must meet certain baseline standards, but taking additional measures, such as informing tenants about IAQ, can gain a building additional points. We at Cohesion want to help buildings foster safe and healthy work environments for tenants, so we built in features that help buildings earn those certification points.
For buildings, these certifications provide greater ROI and increase their property value. For you, they provide peace of mind.
While no building (even your own home!) has perfect air quality, taking these questions to your office building management can help you get the information you need to make informed decisions about office space. And if you’re looking to breathe a little easier, ask your building to set up a demo with Cohesion.