UK workers believe the quality of the air inside their building has a direct impact on their health and wellbeing, a new study reveals.
A total of 94% of UK respondents in a survey agreed with the issue as the importance of indoor air quality has come to the fore due to the connections made during the COVID pandemic when building owners were warned viruses are more readily transmitted in stale air conditions.
The report by Honeywell featured 500 workers in buildings of 500-plus workers in Germany, India, the Middle East, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Nearly a quarter (24%) of surveyed UK office workers are extremely or very worried about their office’s indoor air quality (IAQ), up from 21% on last year’s survey.
Additionally, eight in 10 respondents (82%) say their expectations for improved IAQ have increased in the past three years.
The report also revealed that 16% of respondents don’t know how often, if at all, their employer or office building manager monitors their office building’s current IAQ, compared with 7% of global respondents. ‘This leaves room for employers to improve both workplace IAQ and communication of IAQ metrics to their employees’.
Nearly half (49%) of respondents want their employer to prioritise both better indoor air quality (IAQ) in their building alongside reducing their building’s carbon footprint.
Mark Chapman, Syntegra’s Director of Environmental Services, said: ‘The UK workforce is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of indoor air quality alongside other environmental concerns.
‘Business owners need to prioritise the provision of a clean, well-ventilated workplace to prevent the spread of viruses and promote employee health and wellbeing.’
Manish Sharma, vice-president and general manager of sustainable buildings at Honeywell, said: “These findings suggest that surveyed UK office workers care not only about their building’s IAQ but also about the carbon emissions that the building may emit… As we continue to move towards a more energy-efficient future for buildings, it’s important to know that IAQ and sustainability are not mutually exclusive goals – building owners don’t have to choose one over the other, they can prioritise both.’
Staff were asked what they would be willing to give up if it meant reinvesting savings to help reduce the environmental impact of their building and 80% of the UK respondents said they were willing to give up at least one job perk.
Their responses included:
- Building amenities, like lounges or fitness centre (36%)
- Food perks for employees, like coffee, tea, or snacks (33%)
- Less temperature control like running the heat or using AC less (30%)
- State-of-the-art technology for my day-to-day job (21%)
- Part of my salary or bonus (14%)
Mark said: ‘Syntegra offers a range of indoor air quality services, many of which are cost effective and relatively quick and easy to implement to improve employee health and wellbeing.
‘With the increasing focus on IAQ, we encourage business owners to get in touch at the earliest opportunity to discuss specific environmental concerns and we can advise on appropriate next steps.’