Workers Welfare

Milliken marketing and design director Alison Kitchingman shared her thoughts on providing higher levels of support for facilities users:

“Safety as well as mental and physical well-being are now firmly at the top of the corporate agenda,” she says. “Employees need help and reassurance

that the office can be safe and find ways to maintain social distancing and good hygiene practices.”

Companies have an obligation to create a work environment that minimises the potential
for virus transmission, Ms Kitchingman continues. They also have a responsibility to develop a new culture and promote responsible behaviours, where employees will be required to play their part and act responsibly.

“Flooring can be an effective tool to help with social distancing and promote mental and physical well-being in the workplace. Floor coverings can provide the perfect medium for informative communications
that can direct traffic flow and indicate the positioning of individuals and furniture pieces. Signage embedded into the floor is impossible to overlook and simple to follow.”

Alison Kitchingman, Milliken marketing and design director

Carpet can effectively be used to define boundaries, create zones, provide wayfinding, set navigation, direct traffic and provide a measuring tool through graphic messaging, colours

and patterns, she continues. Floor tiles not only provide an effective way to design important new safety elements into the office layout, they also help promote a spirit of positivity and sense of security.

“They provide a highly visible and easy to follow guide for employees returning to work.
In addition, they contribute well-being elements to improve the workplace experience: from introducing vibrant colours and beautiful patterns, to using cushion backing for improved acoustics and luxurious underfoot comfort,” says Ms Kitchingman.

Humidity Solutions business development for indoor air quality Anais Stone says that whether working at home or in the office, the quality of the air we are breathing has never been more in focus.

“Whilst acknowledging
that good ventilation is key,
our homes and offices are increasingly built to be more airtight to improve insulation and conserve heating costs and, as winter approaches, we will be less inclined to open the windows – how can we ensure that our indoor air is as ‘clean’ as possible?” she asks.

Firstly, users need to find out more about their air quality, Ms Stone continues. There are a

variety of monitors available – wall or desk mounted – which monitor and record all the vital elements of IAQ, including VOC, CO2, relative humidity and temperature. Where improvement is required, and where adequate systems are not already built into the fabric/ design of the building, or are out-dated, there are some straightforward and cost- effective retro-fit solutions:

Humidity control is achievable as stand-alone units or positioned above a false ceiling to regulate levels. Scientific evidence has proven that maintaining relative humidity between 40% and 60%

will significantly reduce the transmission of airborne viruses, she continues.

Stand-alone room filtration units can also provide fresh, clean air by trapping 99.99% of ultra-fine particles using HEPA filtration. This removes particles up to 0,003 microns, captures chemical pollutants (VOCs) using activated carbon filters, and can be completed with an app to allow condition monitoring and remote control.

She further explains that heat recovery units allow fresh air into a building whilst being filtered and recovering the heat from the extracted, stale air and can be extremely efficient.

“Provision for air movement, filtration and humidity all greatly improve Indoor air quality. Monitoring and recording

of these values is critical to establishing, and maintaining, a healthy air quality.

“As each building varies in its requirements due to location, usage, existing infrastructure etc, we do recommend consulting

a specialist who can advise
on the right solutions for your specific environment,” Ms Stone concludes.

Anais Stone, Humidity Solutions business development for indoor air quality