When Harvard, Syracuse, and SUNY Upstate Medical researchers had twenty-four employees spend six hours over a period of two weeks in a controlled workplace environment, the results were unsurprising. However, they are the first of their kind to emerge into the public light, and can explain why you might feel less than your best when at work, which can impact your decision-making abilities and overall ability to be a productive member of the workforce.
This research was performed by researchers modifying various aspects of the air in the workplace as employees went about their routines. During the course of each shift, they would add different elements into the air, or change it in ways that we might not think about when it comes to our day-to-day work lives. They vented in various amounts of fresh air, and added chemicals to the air like those found in dry erase markers and other common office supplies.
Their results show Fresh air makes for a better, more productive employee!
Of course it does. Fresh air is better for you in body and mind, and can be quite invigorating during those long work days. These researchers found that ventilated air, fewer chemicals in the air and lesser amounts of carbon dioxide were all crucial in the cognitive processes of their workers.
When the air was poorer in quality, workers were less able to focus, strategize and stay prepared for the day or days ahead. These are all important traits in any employee of any establishment.
So next time you’re feeling like you just can’t get anything done today, try telling your boss to open a window!