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Is your office air quality making employees sick?

While it may not seem like it, poor indoor air quality has serious consequences on office workers’ well-being, including lack of focus and feeling ill.

Findings from a recent survey by Ambius suggest that 1 in 2 office workers in the US experienced lack of focus due to poor air quality, while 40% needed to take sick leave.


The most commonly experienced indicators of poor indoor air quality by office workers in North America include poor air circulation, excessive dust, and smell of chemicals.

In both the US and Canada, poor air circulation topped the list at 38% and 44% respectively, followed by dust (36% and 43% respectively).


Survey respondents placed the onus of air quality squarely on the shoulders of employers.

Four out of five respondents in both countries agreed that it is important for employers to take the initiative to improve air quality in offices, however, over a third of Canadian and over a quarter of US office workers are unaware if they are doing so.

With more than a third of US workers and 56% of Canadian workers spending over 8 hours in the office a day, improving the air quality should be a priority for employers.

While keeping the air clean and healthy in today's office environment requires many factors working together, one easy way is to introduce more plants into the office space. Whether grouped with interior planting or large green wall installations, when plants are incorporated through biophilic design, the overall well-being of office workers is impacted for the better.

Kenneth Freeman, Head of Innovation at Ambius said: "With workers spending so much time indoors, it is imperative that businesses are aware of ways to create indoor environments that can positively impact the health and well-being of employees – and that includes air quality. Bringing elements of nature into the workplace has positive effects on performance, including increases in productivity, job satisfaction, creativity, and a greater sense of well-being."

Photo / 123RF

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