Environmental Monitoring: The Key to Employee Wellness in 2021

18 April 2021

Building automation is the wave of the future. Increasingly, many business owners are discovering the advantages of automation across their buildings, from monitoring and tracking where employees are and how they're using the building to accomplish their goals each day to controlling lighting, electricity, and more from a distance. 

Indoor air quality and environmental monitoring have also increased in importance over the last few years. Many business owners, therefore, are asking one key question: Is it a "nice to have" addition to your smart building, or is it a must-have in 2021? As more attention turns to environmental impact on both employee health and the world as a whole, environmental monitoring is growing increasingly critical.

What is Indoor Environmental Monitoring?

Indoor environmental monitoring solutions allows you to track:

  • The quantity of fine particulate matter in the air
  • Volatile organic compounds in the air, especially in factory and manufacturing settings
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the air
  • HVAC, occupancy, lights, temperature, humidity, and more.

Indoor environmental monitoring can provide you with real-time information about the quality of the air throughout your buildings. Not only that, it can raise the alarm if levels rise to an unsafe level or provide you with information about how those levels may change over time, which may allow you to create a program that will address those potential challenges and make it easier for you to prevent health hazards throughout your building. 

The Rising Importance of Environmental Monitoring

Throughout 2020, many people have become increasingly conscious of the importance of overall health and wellness in their work settings—not just in response to COVID-19 and enhanced awareness of potential germ transmission, but also in terms of the overall quality of the indoor environment provided in many businesses. 

Employees are more aware of the potential health impacts of working in their buildings.

Around the world, many employees have had the opportunity to work from home instead of working in traditional office environments. They may have spent more time at home than they ever have before, giving them the chance to see the personal differences in their health. As a result, they're much more conscious of the various ways the office environment can impact their overall well-being. They've become more aware of how indoor air pollution can lead to increased health issues: lung problems, breathing problems, and increased susceptibility to infection. Public awareness of potential hazards has also increased. People in general are more aware of how a business's choice of cleaning supplies or the chemicals used in the office can impact overall employee health and wellness. 

Employees are choosing employers who care about their health.

Today's employees are more conscious than ever of the importance of choosing an employer who cares about their health. For years, they have been more likely to stay with an employer who offers comprehensive healthcare coverage. Now, they're looking into more information: not just information about company wellness programs or how employers have worked to keep their employees safe as a result of infection-related challenges, but how employers are taking steps inside the business to help protect the health of their employees.

How Indoor Air Quality Monitoring Can Help

By monitoring the quality of your indoor air with a system that can help pick up on key details, from CO2 in the air to particulate matter, you can offer a number of advantages to workers throughout your office. 

1. Improve Employee Experience

Environmental monitoring systems can track a variety of conditions throughout the building, including temperature and humidity. If temperature dips outside the comfortable range, employees can struggle with decreased motivation and productivity. Excessive humidity can also make employees more physically uncomfortable, which can make it difficult for them to work. 

In addition, environmental monitoring will allow you to ensure that your building does not have dangerous conditions, including high levels of particulate matter in the air, that may impact employee health and wellness. 

2. Decrease Your Carbon Footprint

Businesses big and small are making major changes to help reduce their carbon footprint and become more environmentally friendly. Not only does going green help protect the environment, it can make your business more attractive to customers who are interested in your services and even future investors. Environmental monitoring can help you understand your carbon footprint and decrease the overall impact of your business's actions. 

First, environmental monitoring will allow you to effectively control energy usage throughout your building, especially when combined with other Portal Beam occupancy monitoring solutions. Are environmental controls running in an area where there are no employees or visitors? What about the lights and equipment? All those elements can substantially increase energy usage and raise your carbon footprint, while controlling energy use in those areas can decrease your environmental impact and lower your energy bill. 

3. Deliver a Healthy and Secure Workspace

Indoor air quality monitoring allows you to focus heavily on the employee experience, including offering your employees a greater standard of comfort and protecting their overall health and wellness. In many indoor environments, from manufacturing to office environments, multiple things can impact indoor air quality, often without anyone realizing it. Are your employees getting sick more often? It could be a result of increased mold, dust, and other particulate matter in the air, which could decrease air quality significantly. You may notice a decrease in overall indoor air quality related to poor HVAC maintenance or decreased air flow in the office. By monitoring the quality of that indoor air, you can do a much better job of protecting your employees and ensuring their overall health and wellbeing. Indoor air quality monitoring can also allow you to track the changes in air quality over time and make changes, keep your ducts and HVAC clean, and improve employee and visitor health.

Environmental monitoring also allows you to protect your employees in the event of an emergency. When indoor air quality changes dramatically, especially if your space sees a marked increase in CO2 production or a sudden decrease in indoor air quality, it could signal an emergency. You may need to evacuate the building quickly or create an immediate increase in ventilation in specific areas to allow you to protect your employees and prevent serious illness or death.

Portal Beam and Kio Cloud: Move Into the Building of Tomorrow, Today

Smart buildings and building automation features are no longer simply a wave of the future. They're tomorrow's technology moved into the present--and they're already rising in importance in many industries.

Kio Cloud and Portal Beam could be the solution you need to make the shift to smart technology in your building--including environmental monitoring, space occupancy monitoring, room-level contact tracing, and asset tracking, and more! Portal Beam moves indoor air freely through its internal sensors, capturing and monitoring data like temperature, humidity, and indoor air quality.

That information is stored and transmitted via Kio Cloud, which you can use to keep track of your data so that you can observe changes over time or track how immediate changes to your business are reflected in indoor air quality. Portal Beam is wireless, discrete, and works seamlessly with leading BLE-enabled wifi infrastructures to make it easier for you to keep up with not only occupancy monitoring, but also the overall quality of the air and environment your employees have to work in every day.

In 2021, it's critical that your business keep up with a variety of important advances that can create better working conditions for your employees, including monitoring the work environment and the quality of indoor air. Contact us today to learn more about how Portal Beam and Kio Cloud can help you achieve your goal of creating a safe, comfortable work environment for your employees.

Aneta Ciurkot

Director, Product Marketing

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