Office Workers Blast Indoor Air Quality Conditions

More than privacy, noise levels or even employee restrooms, the nation's office workers are most interested in improving the indoor air quality in their workplace.

In fact, just under half (49 percent) of office workers polled in a recent national survey, conducted on behalf of Kimberly-Clark filtration products, selected indoor air quality (IAQ) as the thing they would most or second most like to improve in the office where they work.

In the northeastern United States, more than 60 percent of office workers chose improving indoor air quality as the thing they would most or second most like to improve. That compares with 43 percent of Southern respondents who chose IAQ conditions as the thing they would most or second most like to improve.

Office workers from the Northeast were also more concerned about IAQ conditions than those in other regions - evidenced by the fact that 72 percent of Northeastern survey respondents said they were "very" or "somewhat" concerned about the quality of the air they breathe while at work. Women from around the country shared that worry, with 61 percent of female office workers polled saying they were "very" or "somewhat" concerned. These numbers are slightly higher than the general population of office workers; 56 percent of all office workers polled said they were "very" or "somewhat" concerned about the quality of the air they breathe while at work.

Northeasterners and women were also slightly more likely than the general population of office workers polled to link poor IAQ in the office to ill health effects. Thirty-four percent of Northeasterners and 32 percent of women indicated that they or co-workers have suffered ill health effects due to poor IAQ in their office. That compares with 25 percent of the general population of office workers polled.

What happens when office workers believe they are sick from poor IAQ? Nearly 50 percent of those office workers linking ill health effects to poor IAQ said that it affected work performance, while 34 percent said it caused missed time at work.

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