Indoor air quality is known to be a factor causing health issues and has been connected with sick leave among employees through many studies in developed countries. However, it has not been given the attention it deserves considering the fact that there is a lack of information and statistical data on the subject specifically in the Philippines.
Organizations implement new solutions and software to improve their business process, that results in process automation and more than the usual eight hours a day, five days a week (sometimes six!) are being spent by employees indoors rather than outdoors.
Indoor air pollution in offices is widely recognized as one of the most serious potential environmental risks to human health. (Source: here) Employers are not aware of this and it can cause serious productivity loss.
Indoor air quality is defined by four factors such as temperature, humidity, room air motion, and contaminant concentration.
Extensive research has also yielded indications suggesting that improving working environment results in a reduction in a number of complaints and absenteeism and an increase in productivity and the indoor environment has the biggest effect on productivity and the indoor environment has the biggest effect on productivity in relation to job stress and job dissatisfaction. (Source: here) By improving air quality, independent experimental studies done indicated that work productivity may increase by 5%. (Source: here)
The cost of providing the indoor environment is more than an order of magnitude smaller than the cost of employees getting sick, and providing a superior environment may well be the most cost-effective way of increasing worker productivity.
Studies provided evidence that indoor environmental quality does influence the prevalence of acute respiratory illnesses, allergies and asthma, and sick building symptoms. (Source: here) Deteriorated indoor environments cause various symptoms, sicknesses, reduced comfort and loss of concentration which may result in inconsistent work, longer breaks, less care of customers, shorter working hours, and sick leaves. (Source: here)
Considering all these facts, the potential for indoor air quality for becoming a health hazard for employees has risen significantly. In the succeeding months, it is necessary to raise awareness for the working environment to take in consideration and assess problems connected with poor indoor air quality and health implications which may occur in the workplace.
Employers should concentrate on creating a healthy workplace and reduce productivity loss from poor indoor air quality.