At Flying Saucer, our mission is to work with businesses who are searching for creative solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. We recently attended Web Summit with the goal of interacting with more impact brands, and while we met numerous incredible, passionate teams, we did a roundup of the absolute 10 coolest startups we met while there. This article is part of a series showcasing these individual startups and what they’re doing to positively impact the world - be sure to check out the others and subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest news on everything impact!
Sick Building Syndrome? What is that?
We spend 87% of our time indoors, and while you might think that indoor air quality and your general indoor environment is a lot healthier than being exposed to all of the elements outside then, well, we’re sorry to have to be the ones to burst your bubble.
Indoor air is often just as nasty as outside air, and you’re breathing it in non-stop, all day. No, don’t hold your breath. Keep breathing. Lucky for you, there’s a new impact brand working to preemptively tackle all of the issues surrounding poor air quality. They’re basically out here saving the world, addressing the importance of healthy indoor climate, one business at a time.
If you work in an office or if you own a business that’s housed inside of an office, you’ll definitely want to read ahead. We spoke with Clairify to dive into just how much indoor air quality and employee productivity are connected — and how they’re working to solve a problem that millions of businesses all over the world have.
What’s There to Know About Indoor Air Quality?
Boy, is there a lot to know about indoor air quality. And, it extends well beyond just temperature and indoor pollution. As you might know, if you work in a stuffy office, or — and let’s be honest — any office in general, your environment can totally affect your performance. If you’re cold, you’re not focused. If you’re hot, you’re not focused. And, if the air quality is so poor that you keep getting sick, then you’re not even in the office.
Clairify set out to identify links between indoor air quality and productivity. The result? A pretty comprehensive four-point list of the major connections between health, productivity and the indoor environmental quality. They also found that it can lead to infectious diseases, allergies and asthma, and acute sick building symptoms. Great, you’re sick and now the building’s sick too?
In the United States, for example, they found that 16% of contamination comes from the inside of a building. Just 10% comes from the outside. And, that’s making the people inside the building sick. It’s not the flu, it’s not allergies, and it’s not quite clear, at first, what exactly is wrong with them. But, it’s the building itself.
Introducing Clairify, the Impact Brand That’s Improving Indoor Air Quality
All that sick building stuff sounds pretty horrible, right? Well, Clairify’s doing something about it. We’ll get to the technical stuff in just a bit, but for now, it’s all about the impact a healthy working environment can have on employees’ health and productivity.
Average rates of absence from work across Europe are between 3% and 6% of working time with the most common reason being sickness or health-related issues. A reasonable estimate of the cost is about 2.5% of GDP, meaning that by not investing in the health of your employees, you are effectively losing money on the amount of productive time they will have to be absent from work.
So, sure, you might have to invest a little more upfront in a solution like the one Clairifiy is offering, but the financial investment pays off big time in terms of long-term employee productivity, reduced sick days, and so much more.
Even Harvard agrees! Their study regarding the impact of green buildings on cognitive function showed that air quality absolutely has the ability to positively or negatively impact our health. And, companies who invested in green building practices saw a 61% increase in cognitive function amongst their employees.
Yet another study released by Harvard showed increased cognitive function in workers who’d spent a day in a space with increased air quality that could lead to a $6,500 per person annual increase in productivity.
With that kind of increase in productivity, the question really becomes — can you afford not to invest in this kind of technology?
Speaking of productivity and investments - have you been doing everything you can to maximize yours when it comes to Customer Acquisition? Here’s our Startup’s Friendly Guide to Customer Acquisition - just so you can be sure!
Measuring, Analysing & Acting: Clairify to the Rescue
After identifying the problem, Clairify set out to figure out just how to solve it. Their smart software and state-of-the-art sensors measure a variety of helpful metrics inside of a building, including temperature and individual user comfort.
The software is constantly collecting data which then gets sent to an application where users can access a dashboard with all of the information they need to know. You can even give some feedback on your personal comfort levels, all of which help the software cater to your personal tastes.
And, this is exactly what employees are looking for. If you’re a business that’s trying to retain employees in today’s modern, millennial market then you’ve got to understand a few things. They’re not looking for bean bags, ping pong tables, or three months of vacation a year, they’re looking for engagement. Okay, maybe they are looking for three months of vacation, but who isn’t?
One Gallup study reported that highly-engaged teams are more productive. And that leads to 21% more profitability. So really, any way you look at it, it’s a win across the board. With modern employees placing more emphasis on their working conditions, what are equally modern companies to do? Listen to the employees! Cater to their physical and mental needs — and at the very least, give them a healthy office to work in.
After successfully developing the software and manufacturing sensors, Clairify is now ready to grow into the big, big leagues. We’re talking wide scale manufacturing and global production. That’s the kind of vision we can get behind — and it’s also the kind of vision this world needs.
Clairify’s Leading the World to a More Efficient Future
Maintaining and promoting the health and well-being of workers is a crucial element in improving the quality of work and employment. Seeing as indoor air quality is an essential component of green offices and the overall future of the workforce, the emphasis on air purification and environment management will only increase over time. It might be tempting to think of investing in the improving air quality as strictly an operational expense, but Felix van den Horst, Co-Founder at Clairify, has a different take:
“Investing in air quality is investing in your people - human resources at its finest. It’s a strategic investment for sure — and an operational necessity — but it always comes back to the people. The statistics are clear: when you care about your people, they show up for you and your business, they care about your business and they do their very best work. Clairify wants to make buildings work for everyone — the people who work there, and the people who run businesses in them. You shouldn’t have to choose between the two.”
Clairify’s ahead of the game on this one! Check out everything they’re doing as they work to improve healthy working conditions via their super-savvy technology.