Steelcase defines wellbeing as sustaining a healthy physical and mental state over time in a supportive material and social environment. Workplace wellbeing is a barrier most organizations are now struggling to overcome.
For organizations to reinforce workplace well-being when employees start to return to the office, they must meet physical and emotional needs. A visually pleasing environment with an open floor-plan and free address that attracts young talent should also have extra layers of physical protection including screen dividers, sanitation stations, or a commercial air purifier.
Returning to the office data
A recent LinkedIn survey shows that more than half of workers across the country don’t feel safe returning to a physical office yet. When LinkedIn polled its followers via social media on how they feel about returning to the office, 29% feel nervous or anxious, 29% fear for their safety, but 24% would be happy and excited to return while 18% haven’t worked from home at all– a clear pattern of mixed emotions.
For employees that are nervous and fearful, most HR and property managers want to help them overcome their concerns and building excitement to return for everyone. To do that, employees need to feel as safe in the office as they do working from home.
As organizations begin planning workplace re-entry, they must gain their employees’ trust and instill confidence that their work environments are safe, and employees are protected. However, managing compliance and safety will be an ongoing challenge, even with comprehensive post-COVID protocols.
The spread of COVID-19 indoors
Reports show that COVID-19 is contracted most when people are interacting for extended periods indoors, which means effective air cleaning in a physical office is a critical element of infection management and risk mitigation.
Over 230 scientists have written to the World Health Organization (WHO) urging them to update their guidance pertaining to the risk of airborne spread of COVID-19. The current guidance from the WHO does not address the fact that coronavirus can be transmitted through minuscule aerosols. It only states that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is primarily spread from person to person through large respiratory droplets, which are expelled into the air when a person coughs or sneezes.
Researchers from the University of Florida recently succeeded in isolating live virus from aerosols collected at a distance of seven to 16 feet from patients hospitalized with COVID-19. These scientists were able to show that the virus from the air at both distances could infect cells in a lab dish, which means floating virus can infect cells and maintaining a six-foot social distance indoors is misleading as it doesn’t provide adequate protection.
These findings should encourage people to heed precautions for airborne transmission. Handwashing, physical distancing, signage, temperature checks, and wearing a face mask are key safety measures of protection, in addition to commercial germicidal UV-C air purifiers.
Studies have found that in North America and Europe, we spend 90% of our time indoors, which means our indoor environments have a major impact on our overall health. To help combat the spread of airborne transmission, we’re introducing a commercial air purifier called PurifySpaces by Red Thread that features Bluezone® technology and kills airborne pathogens to return pure air into the space.
Air circulates constantly through Bluezone’s germicidal UV light reaction chamber to maintain optimal air quality that is then returned into the area. Bluezone has been proven to eliminate a coronavirus surrogate, MS2 bacteriophage, by 99.98% in a 3rd party lab test that best replicates real-world application.
Available in both tower and credenza models, this commercial air purifier integrates into a custom cabinet that is designed to blend into the decor of your space. There are over 100 laminate surface finishes to choose from, with custom and antimicrobial options available. The cabinet provides proper air flow ventilation and easy access to the technology. Contaminated air is drawn in, while clean air is exhausted through an airflow vent system. Designed and engineered to run 24/7, it treats 7,500 cubic feet every two hours with a quiet, ambient sound level. This sophisticated commercial air purifier also has a one-year warranty for parts, simple installation, and a service plan available for ongoing maintenance.