Is a Dry, Low Humid Workplace Costing You Money?
June 1st, 2015 by Smart Fog
Allowing the relative humidity (RH) to drop in your workplace could cost you money, and lots of it. Regardless of your business’s industry, low humidity can have a significant impact on the modern-day workplace, affecting workers’ health, as well as nearby tools and equipment. To learn more about the costly effects of low humidity in the workplace and how to prevent it, keep reading.
Increases Chance of Illness
One of the many ways in which a dry workplace can cost you money is by increasing the risk of worker illness. We’ve talked about this before on the SmartFog.com blog, but it’s worth mentioning again that exposure to dry air causes the mucus membranes within the nostrils to dry out, at which point they may crack open and bleed. These newly created open wounds provide an entry point for bacteria and other potentially harmful microorganisms that could lead to illness. And when workers call out sick to work, it costs the company money, time and resources.
Damages Hardwood Floors
It’s a little-known fact that dry air can damage hardwood floors. This is due to the fact that wood is incredibly porous, containing thousands upon thousands of small holes (pores) on the surface. These pores expand and contract depending on the surrounding humidity levels. When exposed to dry air for a prolonged length of time, the moisture within these pores will evaporate into the atmosphere, causing the wood to shrink and even buckle at times. And to make matters worse, there’s no easy way to repair this type of damaged hardwood floors, other than replacing the affected planks/pieces.
Reduces Worker Productivity
Worker productivity and the respective business/company’s profits go hand in hand. When workers are productive, the company will benefit from increased profits. But when workers are unproductive, the company will suffer as a result. Several studies have found direct links between productivity and humidity (or lack thereof). Long story short, exposure to dry air causes workers to feel cold and uncomfortable, which in turn reduces their productivity levels.
As mentioned above, dry air can also damage the tools and equipment in a workplace. This phenomenon is similar to how dry air damages hardwood floors. It promotes the depletion of moisture, which causes tools and equipment containing hardwood to shrink.