An average person spends 2,000 hours a year in the workplace, which equates to 80 days. During this time, the detrimental impact of a negative microclimate affects health and productivity. Also, it significantly slows down business processes and increases company’s expenses. For example, a working meeting in a stuffy room tends to be longer than one in a well-ventilated space. Even an extra minute of work time, multiplied by the number of staff involved, can cost the company a lot of money.
We’ve faced this problem at one of Ajax Systems offices in Kyiv. We wondered whether our devices could increase team productivity and optimize business processes. What we found was that LifeQuality smart air quality monitors can help us save over $1 million. And that’s just in the first months.
Working meetings are very important in the Ajax Systems team’s routine. Strategic and operational issues are being solved in the meeting rooms. That’s why we started researching how different workplace conditions can affect productivity a few years ago. And one of the determining factors is the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration.
Air is a mixture of oxygen, nitrogen, and other components, including carbon dioxide. The last one is measured in parts per million (ppm). Exceeding the CO2 level impairs attention and mental activity and reduces work capacity and productivity.
CO2 concentration increases when there are ten or more people in the room. Under such conditions, employees cannot process their thoughts; they yawn and feel tired. People want to get out into the fresh air and drink more coffee. Also, they get easily distracted by сhats.
|Level of CO2|
|up to 450 ppm||Average outdoor level of CO2 concentration|
|up to 1000 ppm||Acceptable indoor level of CO2 concentration|
|1001-1399 ppm||Air level causes eye irritation, sore/dry throat, stuffy/congested/runny nose, sneezing, coughing|
|1400-1999 ppm||Headache, dizziness, tiredness|
|2000+ ppm||Wheeze, dry throat, difficulty concentrating|
|2500+ ppm||The substantial reductions in decision-making performance|
We’ve noticed signs of increased CO2 concentration in the Ajax Systems office. This problem was most evident in the meeting rooms. As a result, work meetings and brainstorming sessions became longer and less productive.
To solve this problem, offices use air conditioning. AC units don’t bring fresh air; they take air from the room and return the same air, now at a cooler temperature. Feeling cold can boost energy but only temporarily.
AC units do not use air from outside. Ventilation systems bring in air from the outside to keep the air fresh and healthy indoors.
In the Ajax Systems office, the ventilation system used to operate on a timer. It turned on automatically for 30 minutes every hour. Air quality data has become especially essential. So, we’ve started to design a detector to evaluate air quality dynamics.
This resulted in LifeQuality, the innovative air quality monitor with temperature, humidity, and CO2 sensors. Long before the release day, we tested the detector in our office. Before LifeQuality, the CO2 concentration in our meeting rooms ranged from 1200 to 2500 ppm, and even higher.