Sitting in the office – how’s the air quality…?

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We’ve found a survey carried out by YouGov which found that indoor air pollution is prevalent in workplaces across Britain – potentially causing long-term health problems.

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) commissioned YouGov to carry out the survey which reports that almost 70 per cent of office workers believe that poor air quality in their place of work is having a negative effect on their day-to-day productivity and well-being. Additionally, a third of office workers are concerned that poor indoor air quality could be having a negative effect on their health.

Opening windows is the most commonly used form of ventilation, with 60 per cent of office workers saying it is the first thing they do if they need “fresh air”.  Although this is seen as a natural response, by opening our office windows, we run the risk of further polluting our working environment by letting in outdoor toxins, the survey found – we can’t win either way!

Given that people spend 90 per cent of their time indoors and are spending, on average, 212 days a year at work, it is important that buildings maintain proper, effective, well-maintained ventilation systems, including air conditioning, are operating in all offices across the UK. And that responsibility falls on property & building managers.

Those office workers surveyed reported suffering regularly from symptoms commonly linked to poor indoor air quality:

  1. Sixty-eight per cent of office workers experience lapses in concentration on a monthly or more frequent basis.
  2. Over two-thirds (67 per cent) of recipients reported suffering from fatigue while at work on a monthly or more frequent basis.
  3. More than half (54 per cent) of office workers surveyed experience decreased productivity on a monthly or more frequent basis.
  4. More than a third (41 per cent) of people experience watery or irritated eyes when in the office on a monthly or more frequent basis.

The BESA survey follows a report published by the Royal College of Physicians earlier this year, which revealed that air pollution, both indoor and outdoor, could be linked to at least 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK.

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