A dirty office indoor environment and a clean mind cannot work together.
Falling sick frequently due to dirty office indoor environment can greatly interrupt your work performance, from causing missed deadlines to incomplete tasks, unsatisfactory work quality, decreased productivity and so on.
Since the majority of our time (90%) is spent at workplaces, the conditions of the environment we breed in have either positive or hazardous impact on our health and well-being. Knowing what makes employees unhappy is half the battle when you think about employee work satisfaction, morale, positive motivation, and retention.
There are viruses and germs all over the workspace due to various factors such as unhygienic dirty work areas, sick colleagues, and cross-contamination from other germ hotspots. This applies to all areas of the work environment, from the washroom to pantry areas, work desk and common spaces, as well as storage areas. This increases the risk of catching illnesses more frequently, causing loss of time and productivity for employees as well as employers.
Many employers today focus on encouraging employees to eat well and exercise, but they haven’t done much to improve the air their employees breathe.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory showed that an improved indoor air quality (IAQ) can increase up to 10% of work productivity and enhance cognitive function up to 61%. Poor IAQ will cause productivity to drop because of comfort problems, ill health, and sickness-absenteeism.
Allergic and asthma symptoms, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, airborne respiratory infections, cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, odor and irritation, are the most important health risks attributable to poor indoor air quality.
According to the Ministry of the Environment in Singapore, it is the responsibility of the building owner to assess the risks to health arising from the indoor air quality. The owner should also set up a program to ensure the acceptable IAQ, implement the program, monitor the effectiveness of the program, and keep records of all activities implemented.
Many discussions of green, sustainable, high performing and certainly net-zero energy buildings tend to focus on energy consumption, which while critically important, is only one aspect. Good IAQ is a key goal of high performing buildings but it’s often not factored into sustainable building discussions and programs.
70% of office workers complain about poor IAQ in their workplace and believe poor IAQ in their place of work is having a negative effect on their day-to-day productivity and well-being according to YouGov survey.
Improved IAQ can result in an 8-10% boost in employee productivity. Meanwhile, poor IAQ may cost a nation tens of billions of dollar each year in lost productivity and medical care.
A company may have the best health and wellness program for their employees towards a cleaner office indoor environment but if the IAQ is not improved, the programs won’t do much to make their employees healthier.
Christopher de la Cruz, CEO of the Philippine Green Building Council, said: “The real value of businesses lies in its greatest asset – its people.”
Giving employees the best possible working conditions to perform and stay healthy is not only wise from a financial perspective, it’s just the right thing to do.
Healthy employees mean healthy business.