The term “sick building syndrome” (SBS) was first used in the 1970s to describe a range of health complaints that seemed to be linked to time spent in a particular building. While the symptoms vary from person to person, they often include headaches, dizziness, nausea, dry eyes and throat, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue.
There is no one cause of SBS, but it is often attributed to a combination of factors, including poor ventilation, high levels of humidity, and the presence of pollutants or other contaminants in the air. In some cases, SBS may also be linked to mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression.
While there is no cure for SBS, there are steps that can be taken to manage the symptoms and make a person more comfortable. These include ensuring that the building is well-ventilated, using air filters to remove contaminants from the air, and avoiding exposure to known triggers such as perfumes or cleaning products.
In some cases, it may also be helpful to talk to a doctor or mental health professional about the symptoms and how to best deal with them.
Sick Building Syndrome In Offices
If you run an office, there are different issues that you have to handle from time to time. One of the most important things is to keep your office space clean and well-ventilated. You might not think much about it, but the air quality in your office can have a big impact on employee productivity and overall health.
One condition that can arise from poor air quality is sick building syndrome (SBS). SBS is a group of symptoms that people experience when they are in a particular building. Such an occurrence tends to affect the performance of the employees in the building.
How to Manage SBS in Your Workspace
The first step in managing SBS is to improve the ventilation in your office. Make sure that there is enough fresh air coming into the space. You can do this by opening windows or doors, using fans, or running an air purifier.
It’s also important to identify and remove any sources of contaminants in the air. This might include things like mould, dust, or chemicals. If you’re not sure what might be causing the problem, you can hire an air quality testing company to come in and take a look.
Finally, you should try to educate your employees about SBS and what they can do to avoid it. This might include things like avoiding perfumes or strong-smelling products, taking breaks outside of the office, and drinking plenty of water.
Best Office Designs to Avert SBS
There are so many types of office designs these days. With the modern work environment, more companies are trying to create a space that is not only functional but also stylish. However, it’s important to remember that the design of your office can also impact the air quality and, as a result, the health of your employees.
Here are some office designs that can help reduce the risk of SBS:
Cubicles With High Partitions
This type of cubicle design is becoming increasingly popular. The high partitions help to create a sense of privacy and reduce noise levels. They also block out distractions, which can help employees focus on their work. However, the downside is that they can also trap contaminants in the air.
If you opt for this type of design, make sure that the cubicles are well-ventilated. You might also want to consider using air purifiers to help remove contaminants from the air.
Open-plan offices are designed to promote collaboration and communication between employees. However, they can also be a breeding ground for SBS. This is because there are often fewer barriers to the spread of contaminants.
If you have an open-plan office, make sure that there is plenty of ventilation. You might also want to consider using cubicles or partitions to create a more defined space for each employee.
Private offices are the ideal option if you’re looking to reduce the risk of SBS. This is because they provide a more controlled environment. The air is typically cleaner and there are fewer opportunities for contaminants to spread.
If you have a private office, make sure that it is well-ventilated. You might also want to consider using an air purifier to help remove contaminants from the air.
Activity-based working is a relatively new concept that is becoming increasingly popular. The idea is to create a work environment that supports the different activities that employees need to do throughout the day. This might include things like quiet areas for concentration, break-out areas for collaboration, and standing desks for movement.
The benefit of this type of design is that it can help to reduce the risk of SBS. This is because there are fewer opportunities for contaminants to spread. There is also more opportunity for employees to move around, which can help to improve the quality of the air.
If you’re considering activity-based working, make sure that you provide plenty of ventilation. You might also want to consider using air purifiers to help remove contaminants from the air.
SBS is a serious problem that can have a significant impact on the health of your employees. If you’re concerned about the air quality in your office, make sure that you take steps to improve it. This might include things like increasing ventilation, removing sources of contamination, and using air purifiers.
You should also try to educate your employees about SBS and what they can do to avoid it. This might include things like avoiding perfumes or strong-smelling products, taking breaks outside of the office, and drinking plenty of water.
As you can see, SBS is a serious issue that may affect the overall productivity of your employees. Fortunately, we have shared a couple of office designs that you can use to manage this syndrome.
Choosing the right furniture will also help avert this condition. If you can, avoid using materials that could potentially release toxins into the air. Always remember to keep your office well-ventilated.
If you have any questions about SBS, feel free to talk to us!