By Jacklyn Reilly, Guest Contributor
Americans spend over 1,800 hours at work, the vast majority of which is spent indoors. So, providing clean indoor air is vital to employees. Employees improve their filtration system at home but what happens once they arrive at work? If steps haven’t been taken to improve air quality here, then the same harmful effects will be affecting workers.
Many businesses resist environmental regulation, seeing it as detrimental to productivity and damaging to profit margins. However, a look at the evidence suggests otherwise. Employees who breathe clean indoor air are likely to be more alert during their shift and, crucially, happier. By improving the wellbeing of workers, businesses guarantee a higher output and fewer absences. This is especially true when it comes to members of the workforce on performance related pay.
The Economic Benefit of Clean Indoor Air
World of Labor conducted in depth, evidence based research into the economic benefits of clean indoor air in commercial buildings. They started from the assumption that government regulation creates an “economic drag” on productive output. Then they looked at the increase in productive output that occurs when employees are breathing clean indoor air. They concluded that maintaining a clean indoor environment has benefits which outweigh the economic stagnation caused by regulation.
Indoor air pollution irritates the eyes, while causing fatigue, headaches and even anxiety. Clearly, these conditions make it difficult to work normally. Workers who breathe cleaner air feel more energized and confident in their jobs. No matter what kind of work they are doing, clean indoor air ensures sustained productivity.
Happy Workers Take Less Days Off
Workers who breathe clean indoor air describe themselves as being happier, largely because, as outlined above, they are healthier, more energized, and less anxious. Not only does this make them more productive on a day to day basis, but they also take less time off. Putting aside the fact that they become ill less often, happy workers take an average 15 fewer days off each year. Over a decade, that’s about half a year’s worth of work. That’s from the mere fact of them being happy on the job.
When put in this context, taking steps to reduce indoor air pollution feels like a small ask for governments and businesses. Unhappy or sick employees, conversely, lead to a spiral of negativity. For example, a sick day causes a project delay. This delay makes customers or business partners to lose confidence in your abilities. Then these customers find a new vendor for future projects. For many corporations, repeat customers create an essential part of the business model.
For physically demanding jobs, decreased lung capacity and oxygen flow around the body inevitably leads to a worsening of an employee’s performance. Even for cognitive tasks, fatigue and lack of stamina make concentrating for many hours at a time more difficult. The result of this is wage deflation for those who are on a performance related pay contract. Workers paid on performance have their standard of living decreased by poor IAQ. Not to mention a corporation’s profit margins. It’s a matter of justice, then, that everyone gets the chance to achieve their potential in a clean work environment.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Many professional ways exist to create a clean indoor air environment. Since 1984 Pure Air Control Services has engineered solutions to find and fix indoor air quality related problems. When an issue is suspected, our Building Sciences division conducts a thorough IAQ investigation to find the root cause. Analysis provided by our Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory supports these investigations. Finally, when a problem is encountered our Building Remediation Sciences division performs proprietary services like PURE-Duct, PURE-Steam and PURE-Decon to restore the indoor air quality.
Indoor air quality is a matter of wellbeing and fairness. A healthy and happy workforce outweighs extra rules to keep buildings pollutant free. All indoor spaces need clean indoor air but improving the air in private sector and governmental spaces provide a boost to workers’ wages and the overall economy.
For more information on how to improve your organization’s IAQ please call Pure Air Control Services, Inc. at 1-800-422-7873 or email us.