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80% of people would feel more positive about a return to the office if action was taken to improve air quality in their workplace, according to the new Air That We Breathe report. 

The authors surveyed 200 people aged between 25 and 55 who work in offices across the UK. 

88% of those surveyed said that air quality measurement at workplaces should become mandatory. 

The research was conducted by communications consultancy, JPES Partners whose head of property, Duncan Lamb, said: ‘The survey responses made it clear just how much the pandemic has focused people’s thinking on the issue with 86% of respondents saying that the issue of air quality in the workplace is now more important to them.

‘Accordingly, it’s now a factor which is influencing people’s willingness to return to the office environment and needs to be addressed by all businesses – and not just those which are office-based.’

people sitting on chair in front of computer

Less than a third of those surveyed reported that their employer had taken measures to improve the air quality of their workplace during the past year.

The research’s author, Stephen Collins, said: ‘Examples of basic measures which had been taken included employers who have simply put more space between workstations with some even moving to larger buildings to make this strategy possible.

‘Of the more positive comments, one respondent noted that their employer had added filters to the air conditioning units while another reported that air quality levels were now tested daily.’

Duncan Lamb added: ‘It’s a substantial challenge for the owners of existing buildings that will need to be adapted if they are to meet higher expectations around air quality. For new developments, the issue is perhaps more straightforward but for all types of assets there is likely to be an additional layer of cost as more intensive and sophisticated systems have to be put in place.

‘However, on the upside, it’s clear that engaging with the issue can contribute positively to the marketability of a workplace and also its long-term asset value.’

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