Next week’s Clean Air Day is the UK’s largest air pollution campaign, bringing together communities, businesses, schools and the health sector to share how we can better improve our air environments.
Alastair Reynolds, vice president and general manager of global services, Honeywell Building Technologies, comments below on how awareness of air quality must extend to our indoor working environments if employers are to prioritise the well-being of their employees:
“Clean Air Day is an important reminder of the gravity of air pollution and how it impacts the health and well-being of the UK public. Indeed, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK each year. When tackling the issue of air quality, we must also examine indoor air quality in the places in which many of us spend large portions of our time. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, indoor air quality in office spaces is now of paramount concern to workers and the companies that seek to retain them.
“According to our research, 94 per cent of UK workers believe that the quality of the air they breathe has a direct impact on their health and well-being, while 86 per cent believe indoor air quality is less healthy than the outdoor air they breathe on a daily basis. Furthermore, UK workers believe that improving indoor air quality provides myriad benefits including better overall physical health, fewer allergens in their working environments, fewer airborne contaminants, better overall mental health and even improved productivity and solving.
“In light of these concerns, indoor air quality is not an issue companies can afford to take lightly. It should be a stark warning to organisations that 65 per cent of UK C-level executives and 48 per cent of the general workforce state that they would leave their jobs if their employer does not take measures to create a healthier work environment, in which indoor air quality is a saliant factor. Given the significance of employee retention for any prospering organisation – and the importance of worker health and well-being – companies should use Clean Air Day to reflect on how better they can improve the quality of their working environments.”