How Safe Is Your Office?

Short answer? Probably not as much as you think. The good news? The Internet of Things can help. It just requires an open mind about how technology is friend, not foe.

By: Vanni de Sequera

What you don’t know won’t hurt you, the saying goes. Actually, that’s not even remotely true. Deep down, we know the most accomplished assassins are silent and invisible.

Pre-pandemic, when many of us still woke up just a little past dawn, dutifully arrived at our offices on time in the morning, and returned home after a long day at work, we subconsciously compartmentalized the environments of our daily life.

Our work spaces seemed safe and sterile—its air-conditioning kept us comfortably cool, and each work surface appeared to be wiped down the night before with an appropriate disinfectant. 

The commute after our shifts, however, felt like a different proposition; plumes of dark smoke while on the road commingled with urban noise we barely heard anymore (we had become so used to it). 

Finally, we arrived home. Inside our havens, the air was hot and humid, but at least we could now rest and relax.

Indoor-Air Pollution is Complicated

Not so fast. We spend up to 90% of our lives indoors, both at work and at home, yet the misconception remains that indoor air is healthier than the outdoors. In truth, the air inside can be five times more polluted than it is outside. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent executive agency of the United States federal government tasked with environmental protection matters, both macro and micro. While it is probably better known for conducting fuel-economy and emission tests on vehicles, and providing solid waste and wastewater disposal guidelines, it also concerns itself with the importance of indoor-air quality for the health of employees.

“Indoor air quality is not a simple, easily defined concept like a desk or a leaky faucet. It is a constantly changing interaction of complex factors that affect the types, levels, and importance of pollutants in indoor environments.” - EPA

Philippine employers are becoming increasingly aware of how indoor-air quality affects productivity, resulting in lost work days. They are also beginning to understand that, beyond the bottom line, it is an ethical, quality-of-life issue. 

IoT to the Rescue

Then came Covid, of course, which made grasping best-practice indoor-air quality parameters exponentially more crucial, especially in offices where essential workers mingle daily.

If left to our previously analog attempts to measure and control indoor pollutants, human error is almost inevitable. The Internet of Things, however, can remove the conjecture out of this equation—measure, monitor, report, and automate responses with near fool-proof precision.

There are hardware and software already out in the Philippine market that monitor

  • temperature,
  • humidity,
  • nitrogen dioxide
  • particulate matter, 
  • carbon dioxide,
  • carbon monoxide,
  • ozone,
  • volatile organic compounds,
  • air-pressure levels, 
  • and a Virus Index capable of ranking the extent the indoor-air quality inside a place of business heightens or impedes the survival of harmful viruses.
What does Virus Index Mean?

This competitive advantage could very well spell the difference between enterprises merely trying to survive the new normal and those determined to thrive when the world finally returns to its previous economically viable ways.

Learn more about indoor air quality and how Helios help ensure a safe working environment at Cortex Enterprise Solutions.

Close Bitnami banner