What is the cost of bad indoor air quality?

Companies invest in impressively designed workplaces, yet little attention is paid to the air quality in these workspaces. So we asked ourselves: is there even a positive return on investment (ROI) in investing in good indoor air? Or rather, what are the costs of poor indoor air in offices?

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The foundation of any successful business starts with healthy and satisfied employees. In fact, that's why most companies spend over 90% of their total cost on their staff. Many invest in ergonomic, technologically top-equipped, and impressively designed workplaces, but fail to consider indoor air quality. So we asked ourselves: is there even a positive return on investment (ROI) in investing in good indoor air? Or rather, what are the costs of poor indoor air in offices?

What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?

Indoor Air Quality, or IAQ, refers to the quality of air inside buildings. The quality of the air we breathe indoors has a significant impact on our performance, health and well-being. The immediate health effects of poor IAQ include poor concentration, eye, nose and throat irritation, as well as headaches, dizziness and fatigue. The transmission of viral diseases (e.g. COVID-19) is also strongly dependent on indoor air quality (read more here). For these reasons, it is important to keep an eye on the quality of indoor air. But is there a positive business case for it?

The value of good air quality in an office

Employees in offices and other enclosed facilities spend up to 100% of their time indoors. According to the EPA, indoor pollutant levels can be 2-5 times higher than outdoor pollutant levels. How does this affect your company's bottom line? Research has exciting answers to that question.

A publication from Harvard University brings further exciting findings:

  • Companies that ensure optimal indoor air quality are up to 10% more productive.

  • These companies are able to create up to 37% more net revenue.

It is therefore proven that it is worthwhile to invest in optimizing the air in our offices. Systems like Airica can help to better understand the quality of air in buildings and take appropriate measures.