Workplace quality very important for 78% Millennials in the US

Here is why India Inc. should focus on indoor air quality (IAQ) optimisation


That the pandemic has pushed organisations to rethink operations is something that we are all aware of. But did we ever imagine that the younger lot of job seekers will give so much importance to the quality of the office while looking for a job? That is what is happening in the US, as per a survey by Honeywell. In fact, workplace quality is a deciding factor in job search!

A survey in 2021 by the same company had found that facility managers in the education, healthcare and real estate sectors as well as those from data centres were sure that COVID-19 was likely to have long-term effects on their operations. Today, almost six out of 10 organisations are likely to invest in indoor air quality optimisation and other solutions to make their buildings healthier than they were before the pandemic. Very interestingly, Millennials, who will form the majority of the workforce, are seeking healthy workplaces. A whopping 78 per cent are of the belief that workplace quality is a deciding factor when they are looking for jobs. A significant 69 per cent are open to trading other benefits for better workplaces!

As per data cited in the ‘Healthy Buildings, Healthy Profits: How Office Design Can Drive Business Success’ report, 75 per cent of facility managers in the US are looking at or have already considered permanent rehauling of operations. Not surprisingly, smart buildings have become a topic of discussion these days. More attention is being paid to the protection and improvement of the health, comfort, happiness and productivity of the people within the building. And of course, indoor air quality (IAQ) is a very important component in this issue.

So, why is the IAQ and quality of the work space so important?

Like Americans, who spend about 87 per cent of their time inside buildings, Indians today are also spending more time indoors. From their homes, professionals get into air conditioned cars and travel to their workplace, where they sit within air conditioned rooms and work till they head back home in the evening. So, like the Americans who spend another six per cent of their time travelling in vehicles, Indian professionals too are spending a fair amount of time within vehicles. Given the traffic snarls that our metros are known for, most working professionals in India spend a considerable amount of time on the roads, within their vehicles or public transport, commuting to or from work.

It is, therefore, high time that India Inc. begins to focus on ‘occupant experience’ by enhancing the health and happiness of workspace inhabitants, which has the following advantages:

It improves productivity. A research by the World Green Building Council and Cornell University reveals that better ventilation can boost productivity by 11 per cent. Better lighting can improve it by 23 per cent, and better environmental controls can result in 12 per cent better productivity.

Employees who are comfortable at work and enjoy their physical work spaces will put in their best.

When employees work in healthy work spaces, they will fall sick less often. That means, health insurance claims will also go down.

Healthier employees means lower absenteeism.

With better indoor environment quality or IEQ, there are lesser chances of employees suffering from allergies, asthma, respiratory diseases, depression and stress.

Better IAQ and lighting also improves the cognitive function in the occupants.

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