4 min reading
13 April 2023
13 April 2023
Healthy Workspace for Productivity, Focus and Creativity
We all know that sitting at a desk all day and breathing air full of CO2 isn’t good for our health. In fact, it can lead to all sorts of problems like shortness of breath, headaches, and dizziness. But what if there was a way to make your office spaces more ergonomic and healthier without having to constantly adjust them?
With the Internet of Things, employees can have their workstations automatically adjusted to their needs throughout the day, making a workplace efficient. For instance, if office temperature changes drastically, an IoT solution will automatically trigger the HVAC system and adjust the environmental conditions to prevent a worsening of air quality. Further in the article, we will take a look at the available tools for creating a healthy workspace and at the benefits, IoT can bring to work performance.
What is a Healthy Workspace?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a healthy workspace is an office that addresses potential physical and psychosocial hazards. It would also promote and support healthy behaviors to boost productivity and well-being.
The main components of a healthy work environment are:
- High air quality
- Dynamic workstations
- Balanced noise level
- The proper amount of natural light
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of internet-connected objects that can collect and exchange data from embedded services. Devices included in the IoT are to the Internet and can be tracked and controlled remotely. They can be connected through different communication protocols, such as Wi-Fi, LoRaWAN, cellular, and others present in the market.
Wi-Fi is a high-bandwidth protocol that is used for devices that require high data rates and low latency. However, its coverage is very limited up to 150 feet indoors and 300 feet outdoors, which makes it a poor choice for large office spaces.
LoRaWAN, in turn, is a low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) protocol that is used for devices that require long-range communication and low power consumption. Usually, a single LoRaWAN gateway, which acts as a mediator between the devices and application, can cover up to 15 km of area and ensure effective data transmission.
There is also a cellular network, which has high bandwidth that can provide fast data rates and low latency. Cellular is also able to cover large areas but it requires a license, which results in high operating costs.
The goal of IoT is to create a world where everyday objects can communicate with each other and trigger events based on the data they collect. This can lead to increased efficiency, improved safety, and new opportunities for innovation in a variety of industries.
How Can IoT Be Beneficial for the Office Spaces?
IoT and smart buildings create an efficient space to work, giving a company useful insights on such things as:
- air quality
- noise levels
- energy usage.
How Can the Workspace Impact Your Health?
The workspace can impact your health in many ways, considering you spend there around 8 to 9 hours, on average. That’s why optimizing the workspace for productivity, focus, and comfort is so important.
According to Harvard Business Review, 69% of Millenials and 81% of Gen Zers have left their work because of mental health reasons in 2021. So, if the employees don’t feel appreciated, understood, and supported in work/life balance, it might result in burnout, lack of abstract and creative thinking, and finally outflow from the company.
In recent years, there has been an increased focus on the importance of indoor air quality (IAQ), as it can have a significant impact on worker well-being and productivity.
Poor IAQ can lead to a variety of problems, including:
- Respiratory problems.
Additionally, as per another Harvard Study, it has been linked to a decrease in cognitive functioning and even visual focus. This study has proved that the cognitive function scores were 15% lower for the moderate CO2 day (~ 945 ppm) and 50% lower on the day with CO2 concentrations of ~1,400 ppm. It creates the need for constant CO2 monitoring and proper ventilation in indoor areas. The Internet of Things technology, in turn, can help monitor air quality factors and provide data that can be used to improve work environments.
For this purpose, TEKTELIC has designed BREEZE, a CO2 monitoring device, which can be deployed anywhere in the room due to its small form factor and variety of mounting options. Besides, it can be added to the BREEZE application, where you can monitor all the data at once and have reported on the most densely occupied spaces.
Good body posture has both physical and mental benefits while sitting many hours at the office desk can lead to back and neck pain, muscle tension, and even lung issues. It affects not only the physical health but also the mental and emotional well-being of a person. The health issues connected to the posture can impair the productivity, performance, and satisfaction of workers, as well as increase the costs of health care and absenteeism.
When working long hours on a computer, reading, or driving, your eyes can become tired. This condition is known as eye strain and it may result in headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and even the need to close them during the day. At that point, the creation of a healthy visual environment is crucial not only for effective working surroundings but also for overall well-being.
What is Needed to Transform Office Spaces?
In order to transform a traditional office space and optimize productivity, a company needs to start using IoT applications and monitor factors influencing the environment. This can include a smart lighting system, dynamic workstations, psychological support, air quality monitoring, and noise control.
Smart lighting solutions or automated window shades can help tailor the light intensity and color as well as cut energy consumption, when there is enough natural light.
According to the Workplace Wellness Study, natural light in the workplace has a positive effect on employee well-being and productivity. Exposure to sunlight helps promote vitamin D production in the body, which protects against various illnesses and diseases. Besides, 33% of employees mentioned that the possibility of adjusting lighting around the workplace (including overhead lights, natural lighting, and desk light) is an important factor in a comfortable workplace. Furthermore, proper lighting can reduce headaches and eyestrain caused by computer screens. It also enhances concentration and short-term memory, thus increasing productivity levels.
That’s why it’s necessary to monitor lighting and adjust it to achieve optimal productivity and decrease energy consumption. TEKTELIC has designed a COMFORT sensor, which monitors light, temperature, and humidity. Plus, it detects leaks and vibrations, so a building manager can adjust lighting depending on the number of people present in the area and the time of the day.
TEKTELIC has a successful case with a COMFORT sensor used for optimizing workspace in the United Kingdom. The main challenge was to effectively monitor the indoor environment and be able to control building conditions remotely with minimal cost. With TEKTELIC COMFORT it became possible, leading to energy savings and efficiency.
A standing desk with ergonomic chairs can be a perfect solution for healthy posture and is an ideal way to stay awake. According to the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology, people who spend half a day standing, have fewer problems with back pain, avoid weight gain, and are at lower risk of insulin resistance. Standing desks have also proven to increase focus, creative and abstract thinking, and provide maximum alertness.
An ergonomic chair, in turn, can help you maintain proper posture while working, which in turn reduces back and neck pain. Furthermore, it helps prevent musculoskeletal disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis.
Support and Mentorship
The possibility to reduce stress after work or during work has a huge impact on employees’ satisfaction with the workplace and contributes to retention and long-lasting professional relationship. A healthy workspace is not only about the extensive outdoor area or adaptive lights, it depends on healthy relationships within a team as well.
Air Quality Monitoring
Monitoring the quality of air indoors is another factor, which influences:
- The quality of analytical and focused work
- The effectiveness of creative work
- Cognitive performance
- Reaction time
As we already mentioned, CO2 can make a significant impact on a person’s performance and health, so it’s necessary to monitor it. However, other factors such as:
also have a direct impact on employees. To address the potential issues and monitor occupancy and environmental conditions, TEKTELIC has designed the VIVID sensor. It possesses all the features COMFORT has but in addition, it can be used for occupancy monitoring with its PIR lens. We already successfully implemented VIVID sensors into the office environment in the US. which helped to use office space more efficiently, control the environment, and adjust air conditioning as needed.
In addition, VIVID sensors have an extensive battery life of up to 10 years and a variety of mounting options. It makes VIVID a long-lasting investment and a valuable asset to the office management system of the company.
Excessive noise can cause stress, distraction, fatigue, and communication difficulties for employees and visiting clients. Therefore, companies need to implement some measures to reduce the noise level and improve the acoustic quality of the office space.
One way to achieve noise control is by using IoT devices that can monitor and adjust the sound levels in different areas of the office. For example, some IoT sensors can detect the noise level in a meeting room and automatically lower the volume of the speakers or mute the microphone if needed. IoT devices can also create ambient sounds or music that can mask unwanted noise and create a pleasant atmosphere.
What are the Benefits of a Healthy Workspace?
There are many benefits of incorporating IoT technology into office areas. Some of the most notable include:
- Improved employee productivity
- Improved energy efficiency
- Better employee health
For example, smart meeting rooms that are able to adjust brightness and temperature based on worker schedules can improve productiveness and boost the level of comfort. Besides, automated lighting systems can help reduce eye strain and fatigue, giving a rise to the productivity of an employee.
As for energy efficiency, light control and monitoring, as well as occupancy control can help companies re-assess their space needs, adjust lighting, and save on costs. When companies establish software and hardware for power monitoring and managing they will be able to achieve optimal energy usage.
And one of the most important benefits is the health improvement of all building occupants. When environmental conditions (air quality, lighting, noise) are within the world-accepted norms, employees will better perform creative and analytical work, and as a result, drive profits.
What Does TEKTELIC Have for Smart Offices?
In addition to the abovementioned hardware (sensors and LoRaWAN gateways), TEKTELIC offers software to automate your office and make your work life easier. We have a variety of applications, which allow you to have all the data right on your mobile phone or PC. For example, using the BREEZE sensor, you can also use BREEZE Application, which helps to easily control and monitor environmental conditions in different rooms around the building.
With this application, users can check whether CO2 levels are within the normal range remotely at any time.
Additionally, TEKTELIC’s “support package” includes email responses to clients, instant messaging in the support portal, and even video conferencing if needed.
By incorporating smart technologies and monitoring the indoor environment, office spaces can become more comfortable, healthier, and more cost and energy-efficient. TEKTELIC, in turn, is a perfect company to start a partnership with for optimizing workspace for productivity. We have a variety of products that can help you automate your office and make workers’ everyday life better.
Contact us today to learn more about our products and buy LoRaWAN sensors, which will benefit your business.