Hello? Can you hear us? Sorry, you can’t hear me? That noise? Oh, just the dog… sorry! For many homeworkers these moments may be soon be a thing of the past as countries carefully ease their lockdowns and companies — including Knauf Insulation — cautiously prepare to safely welcome their colleagues back to work sites.
Philippe Coune, Knauf Insulation’s Group HSE lead for the EMEA region, says: “After weeks of intense work, inventive solutions, stress, challenges and preparation, we are finally starting to welcome some colleagues back on site. A new important step is just ahead of us.”
To mark the occasion, the company’s HSE network has created a light-hearted video to celebrate the positivity of everyone at Knauf Insulation, whether they are continuing to work at home or now adapting to strict new on-site health and safety measures. “We really can’t wait to see everyone again,” says Philippe.
Still, for many millions of employees in companies around the world, homeworking will continue to be a reality and is likely to become increasingly widespread as we all discover what it is like to go to work in a post-crisis world.
Creating a healthy workspace
Knauf Insulation can help. We may not be able to navigate the perils of video-conferencing or organise kitchen/office ergonomics, but insulation can contribute to a healthy home workplace — especially when combined with good natural lighting and ventilation.
First, it is unhealthy and unpleasant to work from home if you are freezing at your computer or sweating through a conference call. Our mineral wool solutions help us stay cool when it is hot and warm when it is cold. They also save energy costs and for most people at this challenging time every penny counts.
Secondly, poor indoor air quality is the enemy of work-from-home productivity. And it is a growing health concern. In the US, for example, indoor concentrations of some pollutants can be up to five times higher than typical outdoor concentrations, while if your home is mouldy or damp there is a greater chance of developing respiratory issues.
Helping to improve air quality and acoustic comfort
When installed with good ventilation, our insulation can contribute to air quality by creating dry, warm homes with no cold spots where mould can grow. Even better, our mineral wool with ECOSE Technology® contains no added formaldehyde and is certified to the highest Eurofins Indoor Air Comfort Gold standards.
Finally, it is impossible to concentrate on that PowerPoint presentation if you can hear your noisy neighbours, screaming children or noise from building services such as lifts and external noise pollution.
You might miss the chatter around the work coffee machine, but when it comes to getting work done, silence is golden. Good acoustics are also good for our health. Around 65% of Europeans live in urban areas that are exposed to dangerous levels of noise pollution.
“Under normal conditions we would sleep when others sleep and most of us leave our homes during the day. During lockdown we became aware of our neighbours, many of us shared space with other people all day and this became a perfect storm in terms of acoustic discomfort,” says Maro Puljizević, Knauf Insulation’s Acoustics Project Manager at the company’s Core Research and Development Department.
The fibre structure of our mineral wool is highly effective at absorbing noise. Knauf plasterboards, our Heraklith Wood Wool and Urbanscape Green Roof solutions can also be customised to provide a large variety of systems that meet any noise-absorbing requirements.
Need to reduce the volume of those neighbours? Our DRS Sound Supreme Board is hugely popular with public buildings such as hotels where a quiet night’s sleep is a priority.
When we finally discover what a post-virus world looks like, there is a good chance that for many millions their working life may never be the same again. But if you find yourself working from home, even occasionally, make sure it is as healthy, comfortable and productive as possible. We can help.