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Written by Scrivs on May 28, 2015
Believe it or not, summer is one of the worst seasons for allergies. After springtime showers, menacing, pollen-producing plants come out in force during May, June, and July, forcing allergy sufferers to seek shelter indoors. Unfortunately, most inside spaces lack the precautions necessary to keep many allergens outside.
Seasonal allergies plague as much as 30 percent of the population, which means that in the next few months, you may lose up to a third of your workforce due to untenable allergy symptoms like congestion, dry throat, headaches, and more. If you want to keep your employees healthy and working hard throughout the summer, you should consider transforming your workplace into an allergy-free zone with these simple steps.
1. Hire a Cleaning Service
Allergens like pollen and dust get tracked in from outside by every person who steps through your office doors. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to stop irritants from walking in with your workers; however, an experienced cleaning service can scrub the allergens from the floor and furniture to keep the inside air as clean as possible. A regular, thorough janitorial cleaning with natural cleaning products will prevent dust and pollen from accumulating indoors, which will limit the allergic reactions from your staff.
2. Invest in a Purifier
If your office space uses HEPA-approved air filters in the ducts, a free-standing air purifier may seem superfluous. However, during high summer, when ragweed, ryegrass, nettle, goosefoot, and other malevolent plants are puffing their pollens into the air, you need all the help you can get to keep your workers clear-eyed and mucus-free. Most likely, you want a small, quiet, energy-efficient, and inexpensive model like this one to help your employees survive allergy season.
3. Mind the Electronics
You and your employees likely use technology to do business, but the machines you rely on may actually be triggering many people’s allergies. Copy machines are notorious for emitting ozone, which can irritate the respiratory system. Additionally, keyboards and CPUs usually amass piles of dust and dirt which can cycle back into the air at any time. By turning off unnecessary electronics when they aren’t in use and by frequently cleaning other essential tech, your office should start to breathe easier.
4. Clear Away Clutter
A dirty desk collects incalculable irritants. Outdoor allergens and dander can catch between loose papers, mold can grow in unwashed dishes, and dust can settle over everything else. Most cleaning services are prohibited from interfering with workers’ desks, which means the stacks of papers, dirty coffee cups, loose paperclips, and more are individual responsibilities. You should instill a sense of tidiness and cleanliness in the workplace culture, and you should encourage your employees to cut back on waste by saving as much as possible in a digital format.
5. Forbid Fragrances
Fragrances are present in nearly every beauty product nowadays, from foundation makeup to shampoo to shaving cream. Unfortunately, what is a pleasant smell to one worker may be an asthma-inducing curse to someone else. Fragrances can cause allergy symptoms year-round to some particularly susceptible employees, but during allergy season, already over-taxed immune systems may be pushed overboard by odd smells in the air. To thwart a problem before it starts, you may want to ask your employees to avoid strong-smelling beauty products on workdays. Plenty of silent sufferers might thank you for it.
6. Discourage Smoking
Cigarettes are bad for literally every square inch of the body, but the respiratory system takes the most significant penalty due to the irritating smoke inherent in cigarettes’ use. Worse, cigarette smoke can impact non-smokers even hours after the cigarette burned out. Irritants in the smoke can cling to clothing and hair like pollen and dust, infiltrating non-smoking areas and inspiring allergic symptoms. By limiting the number of smokers (or at least the locations for designated smoking), you can drastically cut back on smoking’s allergic impact. Plus, by taking a stance against smoking, you may be able to slash your health care costs, as well.
7. Keep Windows and Doors Closed
At the very least, you can prevent additional allergic stress in your employees by creating a thick barrier between them and the outdoors. No matter how nice the weather gets, you should always keep the office windows and doors firmly closed. You and your workers can still appreciate the fine summer season — safely and healthfully from your allergen-free office space.