BESA finds 70% of officers workers unhappy with air quality

A survey finds that poor air quality in offices is effecting health and productivity

A research survey carried out on behalf of the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) suggests that 70 per cent of office workers are discontent with the air quality in their workplace, claiming it hinders their productivity, motivation and general health.

The survey, conducted by YouGov, reveals that almost a third of office employees believe their office space has poor air quality and that it is effecting their working life and is also impacting negatively on their health and welfare.

Almost 60 per cent of those surveyed, said they must open an office window to enjoy any kind of ventilation and ‘fresh air’, but this increases the chance of allowing in harmful pollutions from outside.

A survey from the BESA suggests poor office air quality affects concentration

Office workers are not happy with workplace air quality

Many of those asked claimed to suffer from symptoms linked to poor building air quality, including itchy and watery eyes, of which 41 per cent of those surveyed claimed to suffer from in the workplace. A further 67 per cent said they suffered from exhaustion and 68 per cent claimed to have experienced periods of poor concentration.

Inadequate ventilation was blamed for these symptoms by 40 per cent of the office workers involved in the survey.

BESA chief executive, Paul McLaughlin, said: “Many people in the UK end up working more than 40 hours per week and, generally, we spend upwards of 90% of our time indoors… It is, therefore, crucial that buildings provide a healthy working environment.”

The survey follows a report published by researchers at the Royal College of Physicians, which claimed that up to 40,000 premature deaths per year could be attributed to building and outdoor air pollution.

Professor Stephen Holgate, from the Royal College of Physicians, said: “We now know that air pollution has a substantial impact on many chronic long-term conditions, increasing strokes and heart attacks in susceptible individuals.”

The BESA is therefore calling on the ventilation and air conditioning industry, the construction and building sector, and the wider general public to ensure that people are working in an environment that is controlled by an effective air ventilation system.

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and Institute of Healthcare Engineering & Estate Management (IHEEM) are both working with the BESA to tackle this very serious health issue.

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