In a survey of workers in India, nearly all respondents (95%) agree that the quality of the air they breathe has a direct impact on health and well-being, according to a report released today by Honeywell. Honeywell’s third annual Healthy Buildings Survey recently queried 2,500 office workers in buildings with 500-plus workers in Germany, India, the Middle East, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The survey sheds light on the impact of buildings on both occupant well-being and the environment. The data found that office workers in India place high importance on indoor air quality (IAQ). In fact, respondents in India led the other regions surveyed with 64% saying they are extremely or very worried about their office building’s IAQ, a 9% increase (55%) from Honeywell’s 2022 Healthy Buildings Survey.
Respondents in India place heightened importance on the actions of their employers and office building managers compared to other regions surveyed. More than eight in 10 (81%) respondents believe it is extremely or very important that employers or building managers keep workers informed of the office building’s IAQ. Additionally, for the second consecutive year, India the other regions with more than half (56%) of respondents saying employers or office building managers should monitor building IAQ continuously or often. Troublingly, 17% of respondents suspect monitoring happens rarely or never.
A majority of respondents (93%) believe that limiting investment of IAQ technology shows a low commitment to employee safety and well-being. Office workers in India are action-oriented about advocating for their own health and lead the other regions surveyed with 67% saying they would take direct steps to improve air quality on their own if their employer did not put measures in place to maintain a healthy indoor environment, compared to 50% globally. Further, 27% of respondents would look for another job if their employer didn’t put measures in place to maintain a healthy indoor environment (compared to 21% globally).
India was mostly aligned with the other regions surveyed when respondents were asked what job perk or benefit, they would be willing to give up if it meant re-investing that expense into reducing the environmental impact of their building. Nearly all respondents in India were willing to give up at least one job perk or benefit for reinvestment (98%), with the most notable items being:
● Food perks, like coffee, tea or snacks (49%)
● State-of-the-art technology for their day-to-day work (47%)
● Free parking or public transit subsidy (42%)
● Part of my salary or bonus (38%)
Of the five regions, surveyed workers in India are the most concerned that employers or office building managers actively take steps to reduce a building’s carbon emissions, with 85% of respondents noting importance. When asked to compare preferences for employer prioritization of better IAQ or reducing a building’s carbon footprint, nearly half (45%) of respondents prioritized IAQ compared to less than a quarter (21%) who prioritized reducing the carbon footprint.
“IAQ has long been a priority for workers in India. These findings show that this concern isn’t waning and that workers expect employers and building managers to offer continuous information on building health and to take constant action,” said Ashish Modi, president, Honeywell Building Technologies, Asia. “Many building owners struggle to find a balance between IAQ and energy efficiency, but ready now solutions exist that can help achieve both of these goals.”
Honeywell’s ready now Healthy Buildings solutions can help improve occupant well-being, meet energy efficiency goals and, importantly, change the way occupants experience a building.
Surveyed workers’ concerns about the environmental impact of their workplace may be buoyed by the emphasis organizations are placing on sustainability as detailed in the 1Q 2023 Honeywell Environmental Sustainability Index, a quarterly survey of business leaders directly involved in their organization’s environmental sustainability initiatives measuring key trends pertaining to global efforts in climate change mitigation and other sustainability initiatives. Seventy-one percent of organizations surveyed in the second release of Honeywell Environmental Sustainability Index ranked sustainability as one of their top five priorities (highest percentage) and 63% of surveyed organizations said energy evolution and efficiency are a top priority. The Index shows organizations are increasingly taking a balanced approach to environmental solutions, embracing more technological solutions alongside process changes.