If you operate your business out of an office, then the chances are it’s home to some allergens. Although you can’t see them, they’re there, and you likely won’t notice them until one of your employees starts to react to the triggers. Certain times of the year, especially spring and fall, bring new batches of allergens to worry about.
Your office must be a safe working environment for all your staff, even those with allergies. Having an allergic reaction can vary from light sneezing to runny noses, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Any or all of these symptoms can make it impossible to work, meaning your office productivity will start to drop.
Understanding allergens and how to reduce them in your office will help keep your business running smoothly.
Dust mites are among the most common allergens that you can find in many homes. Dust mites will lay their eggs in clothing and then make their way into the office on the back of someone’s sweater. Anything made from fabric, even carpets, and cubicles, will make a cozy home for a dust mite. The best way to combat these is to hire a cleaning company to do regular carpet cleaning and dust all the surfaces with a wet cloth.
When spring has sprung, pollen becomes a huge nuisance, as many people are allergic to it. Pollen can enter the workplace through open windows and the ventilation system of the building. The best way to reduce pollen in the workplace is by investing in a quality air filtration system. Change the air filters at least twice each year, so they effectively trap the pollen before it makes its way around your office.
It’s quite common for people to be allergic to dog or cat hair. When pet owners come into the office, they will inevitably have some remnants of fur on their clothes, even if they tried to avoid it. For those with intense allergies, even the smallest amount is enough to trigger symptoms. The best thing you can do to reduce allergens from animal hair and fur is to provide the pet owners with lint/hair removal rollers to clean off their clothes when they get in each morning. Additionally, you can aim to sit anyone who is severely allergic in a different area of the office than the pet owners.
Avoid strong perfumes and air fresheners
Even for those who aren’t allergic, some perfumes are just too intense. The more employees that you have, the more likely it is that one of them is allergic to some form of scent or perfume. While you may want your office to smell like apple cider, there could be someone very allergic to cinnamon. Avoid any strong smelling fresheners or perfumes since the fumes can cause shortness of breath, even in those who aren’t allergic. Look out for anything that contains VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, such as strong adhesives and cleaning products since they are very irritating to the lungs.