For 74% of North Americans, the thought of stepping into a building with known air quality issues is a cause for great distress. The news comes from a recent survey conducted by Ambius, an interior landscaping firm, that dives into where current worker priorities lie with regards to health, work-life balance, hygiene, cleanliness and access to green space, being at the forefront of people’s minds.
“As we continue to struggle with the consequences of COVID-19, and as employees gradually return to workplaces and general public spaces, it is clear priorities have shifted with health, safety and wellbeing at the forefront of concerns,” said Matt Hayas, Director of Product and Innovation at Ambius.
The survey corroborates with the results of a separate survey conducted by Honeywell earlier this year, which found that, as a result of this anxiety, many workers were even considering quitting their jobs should their concerns go unaddressed. Of the 3,000 workers polled in the Ambius study, 69% of them said that their workplace needed better investment with regards to health hygiene and safety.
This concern for indoor spaces is not just restricted to the workplace, however. According to 62% of respondents, the same concerns go for restaurant and retail. In fact, 73% said they would even consider paying higher prices for products and services if it meant that the environment, they were in had better air quality and safety measures than the cheaper alternative.
Air Quality Becoming a Sticking Point for Physical and Mental Health
The survey highlights a clear link between mental health and wellness and public spaces. Since the start of the pandemic, 57% of respondents said they have placed a greater importance on a proper work, life and health balance, citing commercial spaces as being the primary antagonists towards that balance. For instance, one in two of those surveyed stated they often felt foggy and tired at the end of their workday either due to workload or environmental factors.
For those in physical workspaces, 70% of respondents are under the impression their workplace air quality needs improving. Meanwhile, 39% describe the situation as either average, poor or bad. Compounding this issue, there is also often a general lack of communication between occupants and key decision-makers, placing an even greater value on air quality reporting within these spaces.
“Based on our research, the data shows that people everywhere are keen of investment in smarter, healthier spaces in all walks of life,” said Hayas. “They want better air quality, green space provision and overall support when it comes to physical and mental health. All of these areas will be essential for current and future employees, as well as everyone entering public or leisure spaces, with people wanting to feel safe and in healthy environments wherever they go.”