Healthy Buildings: Is your home office healthy?
Since the COVID-19 Pandemic started, more and more companies are switching to “work from home” offices. While working at home, it is important to take care of yourself and your health. In fact, many people find that working at home helps them maintain healthier habits and keep a healthier lifestyle.
Have you ever considered that when you work in an office building, the responsibility of keeping that building safe for employees falls on the owner's shoulders? Well, now that you work from home, that responsibility falls on your shoulders, as the owner of the building. In the book “Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity” by Joseph G. Allen and John D. Macomber of Harvard University, they discuss “the 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building.” These 9 factors are important to consider when making sure your building is healthy
- Air Quality
- Water Quality
- Thermal Health
- Dust and Pests
- Safety and Security
- Lighting and Views
Although all 9 of these factors are important, todays’ discussion will focus on the first two.
Air Quality / Ventilation
We already know that poor air quality can cause problems.
Are you changing your home's air filter frequently? Are your windows and doors sealed so you have efficient heating and cooling?
Do you live in a heavily polluted area?
It is important to do regular maintenance and switch out the filters regularly, to increase productivity.
Most proposals for improvement of workspace environments have to do with air quality. Scientists have become very skilled at measuring air quality and we know the effects on health so the outside air is measured and managed regularly. When was the last time you checked the air quality in your home?
Water is just as important to our health as air, but we seldom hear about it. In fact, air and water are so closely related that it’s difficult to talk about one without the other. Water and air combine to cool our workspaces. Water vapor fills the air in our bathrooms. We shower in it, cook with it, wash with it and yes - even breathe in its vapors. Yet water is seldom discussed since water chemistry is complex, dynamic, and difficult to measure. The quality of the water in our own homes is often overlooked. The city makes sure water meets basic safety criteria but does it still meet that criteria after traveling through your plumbing? Even though the City water is EPA compliant “Safe” water, it can and should be improved. Some questions to ask yourself about your water system:
What’s your plumbing made of? Plastic? Copper? Galvanized Steel? A combination?
Do you have a softener or a filter?
Have you ever had your water tested to make sure the softener or filter is doing its job?
Even in the nicest, newest homes, the quality of the water can change as it flows through a particular combination of plumbing, fixtures, and certain types of water softeners or filters. Bacteria, sulfate, lead, copper, and other contaminants show up from a variety of sources. It’s critical to see a complete picture of your water to appropriately address quality issues. Simply dipping a pH strip into a cup of water or using a simple hardness test is not enough.
Staying hydrated is more important than ever, but you also need to ensure that the water you’re drinking is doing the very best for your body. When you’re working from home, you are responsible for ensuring your water is conditioned in a way that will improve your health and keep you safe. Air purity, water quality and sunlight all play a role in your overall health and safety so making sure your home’s water is high quality and has the proper filtration and conditioning is crucial to optimal health. So many water filtration options exist, but something that sets RETEGO’s system apart from others is that it exceeds all of the existing standards.
RETEGO Labs specializes in custom tailoring your water to your home. We can take any water, with any type of pipe or source of water and make it balanced and safe for years to come. RETEGO Labs’ Platinum CT certification exceeds the Healthy Building Standards.
The best part is that RETEGO will come to your home office and within 30 minutes have a detailed and accurate water report for you. Our recommendations will address each specific outlier and make it balanced and healthy so you can have peace of mind that your water is protected and safe.
Working from home brings so much flexibility and many benefits, but it is not without its risks for you. We hope these tips will help you stay safe, healthy and comfortable while reaping all the benefits of your office at home.