Middle East employees lead in correlating air quality with productivity

In a survey of workers across the Middle East region (Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE), an overwhelming majority of respondents (90%) agreed that the quality of the air they breathe has a direct impact on their health and well-being, according to a report released 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.

For the first time this year, the survey posed questions to gauge office workers’ beliefs and attitudes about their building’s environmental impact. Given a choice of having their employer prioritize either improving IAQ or reducing their building’s carbon footprint, nearly half (44%) of respondents say their organization should be able to accomplish both objectives. These findings suggest that employees’ concerns for the environment is increasing along with their belief that office IAQ affects their well-being and productivity.

Notably, 80% of those surveyed in the Middle East say good indoor air quality (IAQ) contributes positively to their productivity, more than the global response rate of 68%. The workers surveyed in the Middle East also voiced more trust than respondents in the other regions that their employer or facility manager has taken the necessary steps to provide safe IAQ, with nearly nine in 10 (88%) agreeing. The percentage of Middle East respondents who ‘strongly agree’ with this sentiment (58%) jumped by a surprising 17% from last year’s results. Ultimately, Middle East employees put the onus on employers and building managers to maintain IAQ.

Middle East respondents aligned with the other four regions in their willingness to give up job perks or benefits if it meant the funds would be reinvested to reduce the environmental impact of their building. A surprising 35% of respondents would sacrifice part of their salary or bonus, while nearly all of those surveyed (95%) would give up at least one job perk or benefit, including:

  • Food perks like coffee, tea or snacks (45%)
  • Building amenities such as a fitness center or lounge (41%)
  • State-of-the-art technology for their day-to-day work (40%)

Among the five surveyed regions, respondents in the Middle East and India tied for the lead in wanting to be kept informed about their office building’s current IAQ, with nearly nine in 10 (89%) wanting frequent or at least occasional updates. Those surveyed in the Middle East also led the field (63%) in claiming they would speak with their leadership if the latter did not put measures in place to maintain a healthy indoor environment.

“These findings suggest that surveyed office workers in the Middle East view safe air quality as a top priority and trust that their employer or building manager has taken the steps to provide it in the workplace,” said Phil Daniell, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Building Technologies, Middle East, Turkey and Africa. “The awareness of surveyed workers in the Middle East reflects the investments in the region to create healthier and more sustainable buildings to help meet respective development goals. This can continue to help guide employers and building managers stay ahead of the curve when it comes to improving occupant experience and a building’s carbon footprint.”

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.

The Honeywell Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 2,500 workers in buildings of 500-plus workers across five markets – Germany, India, the Middle East, the United Kingdom and the United States – between January 12 and January 22, 2023, using an email invitation and an online form. The da


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