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How Air Pollution impacts the productivity of Employees?

How does air pollution affect the productivity of employees ?

You become fatigued and less engaged in daily activities when there is poor vision and smoke in the air. If you spend the majority of your day sitting at a desk, you spend at least eight hours breathing in the air there. If so, it’s time to consider how the indoor air quality of your workplace impacts your health.The effects may potentially lead to a decline in worker productivity.


Poor air quality has been related to a number of detrimental health effects, especially for more vulnerable societal groups like children, the elderly, those with pre-existing diseases, etc., as well as for more serious outcomes like death and hospitalizations. A growing body of evidence shows that pollution affects workers in more subtle ways by lowering the amount of work that is produced “on the job.” Such productivity losses take place at pollution levels that adhere to air quality standards and recommendations.

As well as shortening lives, generating and exacerbating health issues, polluted air makes us more susceptible to airborne illnesses like the flu, the common cold, and Covid-19. Pollution has been linked to a variety of illnesses, including lung cancer, hay fever, asthma, heart disease, and mental health issues.

Researchers found that air pollution significantly affects workers’ productivity, health, and mental capacity at work as well as their performance.

According to Haoming Liu, an associate professor at the university, an increase in PM2.5 of 10 micrograms per cubic meter over a period of 25 days reduces daily output by 1%, affecting businesses and employees.


Main pollutants which affect productivity:- 

Research has connected two contaminants, ozone and fine particulate matter(PM2.5), with worker productivity.

In the presence of heat and sunshine, complicated interactions between nitrogen oxides and volatile organic molecules, both of which are directly emitted, result in the formation of ozone, a gas that is not directly emitted. PM2.5 is made up of both liquid and solid airborne particles that come in a wide range of sizes.

Smaller impacts brought on by ozone, including declines in lung performance measurements, may not require the use of formal medical care. 

PM2.5 has been demonstrated to alter blood pressure, irritate the ear, nose, throat, and lungs, and result in light headaches.

Researchers discovered that PM2.5 can have an impact on employees both indoors and outdoors, ozone may primarily have an impact on those who work in outdoor environments.

Health effect of air pollution on employees:-

Employees in heavily polluted cities often experience respiratory problems as well as headaches, exhaustion, allergies, and even intestinal problems. Winter months, when there is less fresh air movement and fog, make these situations worse. Productivity declines and absenteeism rises.

According to research, daily changes in pollution levels have little immediate effect on how productive a day is likely to be. But persons who work in these situations will start to be less productive if the pollution persists for a while. They will undoubtedly get lethargic, develop headaches, and have trouble breathing. Some people may even develop more severe conditions like asthma, lung conditions, or even heart difficulties.

Conclusion: – Poor air quality in office buildings lowers employee productivity, raises absenteeism, raises operational costs, and exacerbates chronic illnesses like asthma. It can lead to weariness, mood changes, sadness, and a loss of concentration, making the job unpleasant and decreasing productivity. Your staff may take more sick days and fall ill more frequently as a result of poor indoor air quality. In addition, long-term exposure to bad indoor air can cause dangerous conditions like lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and heart disorders. Since indoor air quality has a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of your employees and staff, it should be one of your top workplace concerns.

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