Indian Workers To Quit Their Jobs If Office Air Quality Doesn’t Improve
Photo by Nastuh Abootalebi on Unsplash
Improving the air quality in your office will increase your employees’ productivity, according to multiple studies. Indian workers take workplace air quality very seriously, with 82% saying they’d consider quitting their jobs if their employers didn’t actively work to improve it. There’s a good reason for them to feel this way as research has found that poor workplace air quality can affect cognitive performance. So, just how bad is the air in your office and what can you do about it?
Poor performance in tests
A recent study published in Environmental Research Letters looked into the effect of increased levels of PM2.5 and CO2 on workers’ performance. PM2.5 are tiny particles that can be found both indoors and outdoors. Participants completed two tests; a color-based test and a math-based test. As PM2.5 and CO2 levels rose, participants were slower to respond to the color test questions and their response times were reduced. When completing the numbers test, CO2 caused slower responses. Increased PM2.5 and CO2 levels also resulted in fewer correct answers. These results show that office workers’ brains are significantly impacted when they’re exposed to these pollutants.
A healthier office
86% of Indian workers say they prioritize staying up to date on the air quality in their workplace. It’s clear to see that you need to do all you can to reduce PM2.5 and CO2 levels for the benefit of your workers’ health and for your business’s sake. Windows should be kept closed as this stops PM2.5 particles from getting in. A good office ventilation system is a must as one study found that MERV 13 filters were most effective at reducing PM2.5 particles. You must make sure air cleaners are used as these will clean the air that comes into your office from outdoors. Maintenance is also key in reducing indoor CO2 levels. HVAC filters should be changed every 60 days. A fresh and clean workplace can also be achieved with regular commercial duct cleaning. Air ducts can get blocked with dust, dirt, pollen, and more. When these are removed CO2 levels drop, air quality improves, and your workplace becomes healthier, fresher, and cleaner.
Other common pollutants
It’s not just PM2.5 and CO2 you need to be aware of. High levels of NO2 are also commonly found in offices. One study found that the median indoor levels of NO2 in offices were 22.7 μg/m3. Exposure to NO2 comes with many health risks, including breathing difficulties, impaired lung function, and respiratory tract irritation. VOCs are other chemicals that will be lurking in your office. They also reduce workplace productivity, with one study finding participants had a 13% decrease in cognitive scores for every extra 500 μg/m³ of VOCs in the office.
Offices with poor indoor air quality can seriously impact the performance and health of your staff. Indian workers want better indoor quality and it’s your responsibility to provide it, so ensure you prioritize this in your business.
Neel Achary is the editor of Business News This Week. He has been covering all the business stories, economy, and corporate stories.