Sneezing, cough, runny nose, and other allergy symptoms can kill productivity. Make your home office the ideal place for work. Update your interior design, do some spring cleaning, and manage your sniffles with the most effective allergy prevention tips1 by Telfast.
Effective allergy prevention begins with correct and adequate knowledge. To avoid allergic reactions, you must first identify what triggers them.
Below are some indoor allergens that may be the culprit2:
House dust - a combination of mold spores, mites, dried food particles, pollen, animal dander, fibers, and insect parts2
Pets - includes dander or skin shedding, fur or feather, saliva, and urine2
Cockroaches - allergens commonly found in saliva, body parts, and digestive enzymes2
Mold - spores (or seeds) produced are smaller and less potent than pollen but still trigger allergies2
Houseplants - plant terrariums, large plants, those planted in wicker baskets, and dried flowers and live pine trees displayed during Christmas are common sources of mold2
Prevent the onset of your allergies while you work. Know these allergy facts and use them to transform your work-from-home space into an allergy-proof haven.
1. Get rid of the carpet
Dust, pet dander, pollen, mold - almost every type of allergen accumulates in the carpet.1 Replace with hardwood or other flooring material impervious to these particles.3 Walking on carpet causes allergens to fly around in the air and into your airways.
2. Ditch the curtains
They may be pretty to look at, but like carpets, curtains also gather dust, pollen, and other allergens in the air. Replace with shades or blinds or opt for washable drapes that are easier to clean.3 Considered swapping them with roll shades.4
Pro Tip: Vacuuming once a week keeps window treatments clean and allergen accumulation minimal.1 4 Frequent washing during open-window months also works for fabric curtains.
Stacks of paper gather dust and other particles that trigger allergies.5
Clearing clutter frees both desk space and brain space. It also gets rid of irritants that cause your sniffles and hamper your productivity, too.
Set a weekly decluttering schedule4 where unnecessary paperwork is removed and recycled. Print documents sparingly or go paperless if your work allows. Save documents on the cloud or your computer to reduce waste and clutter in your office.5
4. Keep it fragrance-free
Exposure to lotions, air fresheners, cleaning products, and other scented items may lead to nausea, headache, or asthma attacks.6 Stick to fragrance-free products. If you’re sharing your workspace with others, ask them to do the same.
5. Keep windows closed during the allergy season
Staying indoors and closing all entryways will prevent allergens from entering the house.3 Rely on air conditioning during the pollen season. Make a habit of cleaning condensation and mold from window sills and frames. Consider double paneling windows in cold climates.3
6. Swap out upholstered furniture
Replace upholstered furniture with chairs and desks made from wood, plastic, metal, or leather. These are easier to clean and don’t gather as much dust and particles as upholstery.3
7. Keep your workspace animal-free
Keep your home office pet-free. If you must keep a dog, cat, or any other furry pet, keep them out of areas you frequent.3 Make sure they take regular baths to reduce shedding and dander.1
8. Invest in a good air filter
Invest in a reliable air filter equipped with HEPA or small-particle filter. Position it in a way that the clean air flows toward you.1
9. Use a hygrometer and dehumidifiers
High humidity fosters mold growth. Measure humidity level with a hygrometer to know the moisture level in your home office. If it goes above 60 percent, use a dehumidifier.4
10. Clean your keyboard
Clean your keyboard regularly using compressed air for dust lodged in between the keys. Remember to disconnect it from the computer or power off your laptop when doing so.5
Working with allergies may be unavoidable, so you must do everything you can to allergy-proof your home office.
Can’t focus on your work because of your allergies? Follow these tips and have a fast-acting medication ready whenever you need it.
1. https://www.allergychoices.com/blog/how-to-create-an-allergy-free-at-home-workspace/ Last visited on 8 February 2021
2. https://www.medicinenet.com/indoor_allergens/article.htm#what_about_allergies_to_pets Last visited on 8 February 2021
3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/in-depth/allergy/art-20049365 Last visited on 8 February 2021
4. https://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/allergy-tips Last visited on 8 February 2021
5. https://www.sylvane.com/blog/celebrate-allergy-and-asthma-awareness-month-with-a-clean-office-space/ Last visited on 8 February 2021
6. https://www.webmd.com/allergies/nasal-allergy-trigger-fragrances Last visited on 8 February 2021