A couple of days back, the Air Quality Index in and around Delhi started increasing and went beyond 800; there were statesmen proposing solutions like eating carrots, doing Yagya to please the lord of rains and such.
While solutions as in-apposite as these were trending on Twitter, the government did declare a public health emergency. As an implication of the same, schools in Delhi were closed and the work at construction sites was also paused. But, then there is the working and business class who had no choice but to inhale the air that is equivalent to smoking almost 33 or more cigarettes in a day!
Nonetheless, instead of attributing SMOG and poor AQI to burning leftover crops, bursting crackers or blaming the neighboring countries, as an employer it is better to think of the ways to keep employees safe aka minimize the impact of Smog on their health.
Here are a few simple ways to care for employees this smog season. Let us begin.
- Buy Air Purifiers- Employees and employers spend more than half of their day inside the office. So, a little investment in an air purifier for each floor in office will go a long way. Trust us, it does help in purifying the air that goes to the lungs.
- Gift Them Masks with respirators- While the employees are inside the office, they get to enjoy the pure air, but what about the time they are outside the office or commuting? For such times of the day, gift each one of them a mask. Make sure the masks have respirators though!
- Offer them Flexibility- Smog peaks at certain times in a day, precisely- morning and evening. Try giving a buffer of 2-3 hours or work from home for some days and help them breathe better. Companies can use HR software to keep a tab on the minimum work hours they want their workforce to complete.
- Reduce Smoke Breaks- Educate them- tell them that breathing in Delhi is no less than smoking cigarettes. So, why not try and control their habit for some days and reduce their smoke breaks?
- Keep Them Hydrated- The employees should stay hydrated more than they usually are. Make them understand the importance of drinking plenty of water and juices. Companies can install a reminder on the floor that reminds employees to drink water every 20 minutes or so.
- Urge them to exercise indoors- Exercising involves cardio and thus breathing heavily outside the house will draw a lot of pollution that it will go deeper into the lungs. As an employer who cares, companies can advise the employees to exercise indoors.
- Plant Natural Air Purifiers- Spider plant, Snake plant, Aloe Vera, and Bamboo Palm are known for their air-purifying quality. In order to purify the air around the office premise, companies should plant more and more of these.
In a nutshell, there is not much that an employer can do about the itchy eyes but as far as the air quality is concerned, companies should do their bit. Also, don’t forget to educate and aware the employees about the current situation and what they can do about it so that the same doesn’t reoccur next year.