With President Biden’s goal of 200 million vaccines in the United States by April 29th 2021, public places that were closed for months are reopening. Many Americans are receiving updates on office reopening from their workplace and will be leaving behind home offices and zoom calls for their traditional spaces. Here at i2M, we understand there might be some hesitation in going back to the office after the past year. We are here to help calm your fears with some information about how office environments are changing.
Earlier this month, ASHRAE updated their position on airborne transmission of the coronavirus in buildings to say that airborne transmission is significant and should be controlled. The previous statement said that it is significantly likely, meaning this update is to a stronger position. Because airborne transmission is significant indoors, proper air filtration is one of the most important upgrades your office can make. Unfortunately, the cost of upgrading old filtration systems to support the recommended MERV-13 filters can hinder organizations from making these changes.

Portable Air Filtration

In general, installing portable HEPA filtration is less expensive, and equally effective as long as it meets the proper space requirements. ASHRAE recommends portable HEPA filtration as an alternative.

Our TRI-KLEEN 500UV includes a MERV-8 pre-filter, a cylindrical HEPA filter to trap viruses and particles, and a UV-C germicidal bulb to inactivate viruses and particulates. This unit was tested at the prestigious UNICAMP University in Brazil and was found to inactivate 99.99% of coronavirus particles within 1 minute. The conclusion of this study was to recommend the use of the TRI-KLEEN 500UV due to its ability to inactivate viruses at the 99.99% rate of reduction after one minute.

Traditional Office Environment

You may have left behind your office’s open floor plan workspace in March 2020 and will return to a more traditional configuration. With social distancing measures, all desks will need to be at least six feet apart to reduce risk. However, it is important to consider installing a product like TRI-KLEEN 500UV to decrease risk of airborne transmission.  Some organizations may consider going back to more of a cubicle set up or installing plexiglass barriers. With these new measures, you probably won’t be sitting directly next to your coworkers this summer.

Staggered Breaks

Before the pandemic, most offices had general break policies in which employees could take their lunch break at any time. In 2021, that may not be the case at some larger companies, as employers are trying to limit the number of people in breakrooms at a given period. A great addition to a kitchen or breakroom is a TRI-KLEEN 500UV. It is impossible to eat while wearing a mask, so TRI-KLEEN 500UV will add extra protection against airborne contamination. Even with the addition of a TRI-KLEEN 500UV, chairs and tables will still need to be spaced six feet apart to further limit contamination. This will help employees feel safe while they eat lunch with coworkers.

Limited In-person Meetings

Remote workers across the world are feeling zoom fatigue from virtual meetings and virtual events. Unfortunately, that may continue to be the case for a little while longer, depending on the size of the organization. Many companies are limiting in-person meetings to have them only when they are absolutely necessary. When they are necessary, a TRI-KLEEN 500UV is a great addition to a conference room as it will inactivate 99.99% of particles within one minute. Some employees may feel hesitant to sit in a smaller space for an extended period of time with their coworkers, portable air filtration is a great way to calm their fears.

At some point, companies will need to prioritize in person meetings again. Meeting in person is the best way to maintain connections to coworkers and establish cross functional teams. This will be important as people transition back into the office environment. With TRI-KLEEN 500UV, you can lower your risk of covid within the space, while still accomplishing the goals of your meeting.

Over the past year, the business world has resiliently adapted to the new challenges of working from home, and many organizations and employees have thrived, while others have struggled. This process will be another challenge, just like anything unfamiliar. With leadership taking the right steps, it can help all employees to feel more comfortable with going back to the office.

i2M can help you evaluate your requirements for portable air filtration. Give us a call or send us an email to learn more. We are happy to assist you as your workspace transforms to a post-covid world.

Sources:

https://www.ashrae.org/about/news/2021/ashrae-epidemic-task-force-releases-updated-airborne-transmission-guidance

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/30-ways-offices-will-change-after-covid-19/ss-BB1dmT55#image=1