Air quality in the workplace

|March 21, 2023

Air quality in the workplace has always been an important topic in the world of business and operations. For many different reasons, good air quality brings a lot of benefits to a company and the bottom line of that company’s business. For the same reasons, bad air quality can be costly to a company and have a negative effect on that company’s bottom line.

While this matter has always been true, the topic of the effects of air quality in the workplace has become exponentially more important since the beginning of the pandemic. COVID-19 changed the landscape of air quality and its effects. We can all remember the temporary closing of public spaces and workplaces – those months when everyone quarantined and worked from home. Returning to the workplace was…edgy. In this “new normal”, here are the effects of air quality in the workplace:

Physical Health

The most obvious effect of air quality in the workplace is its effect on the physical health of employees. Simply, bad air quality can cause and lead to the spread of physical illness. 

Mental Health

While the effects of air quality on physical health are more obvious and measurable, we have to remember that it’s 2023 – any change to physical health is tied to mental health. For example, a workplace with visibly poor air quality may contribute to the collective paranoia of a workforce, thanks to COVID-19. Employees that worry about getting sick focus less on work and collaboration and more on their health risk, even if they don’t get sick.

Employee Satisfaction

Clean air may go unnoticed, but poor air quality will not. Even if poor air quality doesn’t have a negative effect on the physical and mental health of your employees, doing nothing about the issue will definitely make them feel undervalued. Employees that don’t feel valued are less satisfied with their jobs. This leads to lower productivity and quitting.


Through both the physical and mental health of employees, air quality can have serious effects on employee productivity. From the physical standpoint, bad air quality can cause employees to fall ill, and the spread of illness can cause widespread absence. This would inevitably bring down the overall productivity of employees. Bad air quality may also have a negative impact on mental health, too. Employees that are irritated, stressed, or just in a generally bad mood, are less productive, and bad air quality is a definite contributor.

Some Evidence

If you’re not convinced and need some evidence to support what we’re saying, take it from the Harvard School of Public Health. In an article published in September of 2021, the negative effects of bad air quality on employee cognition and productivity are outlined. 


So, there’s what you should know about the effects of air quality in the workplace. Worried you may have issues with the air quality in your workplace? Visit our website for more information or give us a call today!

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