Employees Coming To The Workplace? Here’s What You Should Do To Welcome

This year has been nothing but a huge surprise for every employee. New York faced an emergency declaration with the state-wide order to stay at home in the month of march. From the virus forcing everyone to virtual means for business continuity, this pandemic led to the rise of a new term in the business world- work-from-home (WFH)/ remote work. Now, that the vaccines have been developed, many organizations are reopening their offices and calling their employees back to work. However, it is worthy to note that, despite the vaccine invention, companies planning a return for their employees have a responsibility towards them to ensure their health and safety.

It might come as a surprise to you but as an employer you must understand the impact of ventilation in your workplace. As much as you may be tempted to make use of the air circulating and conditioning system installed in your space, it might not a safe, rather a sane choice.
Ventilation Measures to Keep COVID-19 in Check in Your Workspace
Machine ventilation refers to the circulation and introduction of fresh air into a space while removing the stale air to maintain the indoor air quality. In simpler words (or as the Merriam Webster dictionary puts it), ventilation refers to the system of providing fresh air.

WHO (world health organization) working in alliance with the World Meteorological Organization Joint Office for Climate and Health and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) carefully developed a ventilation guideline through the Global Heat Health Information Network.

Offices come under high-occupancy publicly-accessed commercial properties that generally require centralized and ‘closed system’ of climate control and ventilation systems. This makes them more prone to the spread of the virus. However, an absence of a ventilation system or keeping them turned off is not a viable solution as well since it can lead to suffocation and cause breathing issues among your employees. Below are some important measures to consider for keeping the indoor ventilation in check while minimizing the virus spread.

Reach for a professional HVAC repair in New York City and ensure that the exhaust fans in restroom facilities are functional and operating at full capacity.

  • Opt for natural ventilation over mechanical ventilation system. Open up windows for the exchange of air.
  • Creating fluctuation in air pressure through clean-to-less-clean air movements by relocating the supply and exhaust air diffusers. Have staff work in “clean” ventilation zones that do not include higher-risk areas such as visitor reception, cafeteria, and exercise facilities (if present).
  • In the case of mechanized systems, operate the HVAC system at economizer mode. Have a look at your HVAC maintenance service contract and talk to your dealer about its upkeep. Prior to increasing the outdoor ventilation, check for the compatibility of your system for temperature, humidity, and outdoor/indoor air quality considerations.
  • Improve central air filtration by increasing the filtration rate to as high as possible without reducing the airflow. Also, check the filter and housing racks to ensure appropriate fit while minimizing filter bypass.

Operate the HVAC system at maximum outside airflow for at least 2 hours before and after spaces are occupied.