As I sit writing this the sky outside has turned from bright blue and clear to a blanketed dark grey/purple.
Water (specifically rain) is something that is not uncommon to us here in the UK. In the last episode of my blog, we talked about light. In it I had a comparison of sunny and cloudy days.
We all know that clouds equal rain, but have you ever thought about how water in your environment affects you, your productivity and, ultimately, your profit margins?
Indoor Air Quality
Perceived Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a common and abundant complaint in offices and public spaces around the world. ‘Dry Air’ is often the descriptor that you would hear to describe a space that has a perceived ‘poor’ quality of air.
Although we have no sensory organ that is able to tell the level of humidity in a room, we do pick up on various cues that would lead us to the assumption that the air is ‘dry’ or of poor quality.
The relative humidity of 40-60% is perceived to be the most comfortable.
Lower humidity levels tend to lead to dusty spaces that feel colder, experience rapid temperature fluctuations, as well as physiologically presenting dry eyes, irritated respiratory tracts, frizzy hair, and dry skin.
On the other hand, the opposite end of the spectrum presents:
- Breeding areas for germs and bacteria, mold and fungi
- Damp and the various unpleasant smells related to moisture
- Excess perspiration
- Hyperthermia (overheating)
- Amazingly, dehydration!
Correct humidity can help with voice improvement for those with vocal fatigue and can help ease allergy and irritation-related respiratory issues.
I believe that with the current viral affairs, the way in which we deal with air quality and filtration should be a priority for every business that has an office and staff.
HVAC systems and HEPA filtration are key elements of mechanical filtration and air treatment, but there are also some prettier, semi-active ways that we can tackle IAQ.
Aquariums, fountains, and water features all provide evaporative water sources that regulate both humidity and temperature. They provide the added benefits related to biophilia and are wonderful talking points for guests and customers.
Open water also provides a level of air filtration by trapping particulate matter in the water, preventing it from circulating into the air column. In other words, it sucks in the nasties before you can breathe them in!
Live plants and living walls (although not directly related to water) both require levels of moisture in order to thrive. Through photosynthesis, the plants absorb VOCs (volcanic organic compounds) and through respiration release oxygen and moisture. This mechanical regulation stabilises the space surrounding your plants and living walls.
Why do we love running water?
Water provides meditative, regenerative qualities through sight and sound. I’m sure you’ve enjoyed sitting on the beach or riverside and watched the world pass by peacefully as you watch the flow and listen to the burble (or thunderous roar of the sea) of the water.
But why is it so relaxing?
Watching and listening to water leads to a decrease in adrenaline and cortisol, which is directly related to stress, inflammation and decreases in productivity.
A recent study by Videre Aquariums showed notable variations in both the participants’ blood pressure and heart rate before and after interacting with an aquarium for 10 minutes.
The study concluded that ‘happy people are successful, profitable people’!
Sounds simple when you say it like that, doesn’t it?!
If you were able to gain a 15% boost in productivity, what would that look like as a monetary value?
- That is three quarters of your VAT bill paid
- It could pay for extra members of staff that you so desperately need
- It could mean keeping the business from closing its doors altogether
Biophilic design and introducing nature and natural elements into a workspace really is a key foundation that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Interested in finding out where water can be incorporated into your business premises? Give me a call on +44 (0)7780 271 559. It’ll be great to chat.