In a survey of U.K. workers, an overwhelming majority of respondents (94%) agreed that the quality of the air they breathe has a direct impact on their health and well-being, according to a report released today by Honeywell. Honeywell’s third annual Healthy Buildings Survey recently queried 2,500 workers in buildings of 500-plus workers in Germany, India, the Middle East, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The survey helped shed light on the impact of buildings on both occupant well-being and the environment. Nearly one quarter (24%) of surveyed U.K. office workers are extremely or very worried about their office’s indoor air quality (IAQ), a 14% increase (21%) from Honeywell’s 2022 Healthy Buildings survey. Additionally, eight in 10 respondents (82%) say their expectations for improved IAQ have increased in the past three years. Even more, 16% of respondents don’t know how often, if at all, their employer or office building manager monitors their office building's current IAQ, compared with 7% of global respondents. This leaves room for employers to improve both workplace IAQ and communication of IAQ metrics to their employees.

Nearly half (49%) of respondents want their employer to prioritise both better indoor air quality (IAQ) in their building as well as reducing their building’s carbon footprint. The findings suggest that office employees are becoming increasingly aware of their work environment and its effect on their overall well-being and productivity, and the environmental impact of the building itself.

“These findings suggest that surveyed U.K. office workers care not only about their building’s IAQ but also about the carbon emissions that the building may emit,” said Manish Sharma, vice president and general manager of Sustainable Buildings, Honeywell. “As we continue to move towards a more energy efficient future for buildings, it’s important to know that IAQ and sustainability are not mutually exclusive goals – building owners don’t have to choose one over the other, they can prioritise both with Honeywell’s ready-now solutions.”

The U.K. was aligned with the other four surveyed regions when respondents were asked what they would be willing to give up if it meant reinvesting costs to help reduce the environmental impact of their building. A majority of U.K. respondents were willing to give up at least one job perk or benefit (80%), with the most notable items being:

  • Building amenities, like lounges or fitness centre (36%)
  • Food perks for employees, like coffee, tea, or snacks (33%)
  • Less temperature control like running the heat or using AC less (30%)
  • State-of-the-art technology for my day-to-day job (21%)
  • Part of my salary or bonus (14%)

Honeywell's ready now Healthy Buildings solutions can help improve occupant well-being, meet energy efficiency goals and, importantly, change the way occupants experience a building.

Surveyed workers’ concerns about the environmental impact of their workplace may be buoyed by the emphasis organisations are placing on sustainability as detailed in the 1Q 2023 Honeywell Environmental Sustainability Index, a quarterly survey of business leaders directly involved in their organisation’s environmental sustainability initiatives measuring key trends pertaining to global efforts in climate change mitigation and other sustainability initiatives. Seventy-one percent of organisations surveyed in the second release of Honeywell Environmental Sustainability Index ranked sustainability as one of their top five priorities (highest percentage) and 63% of surveyed organisations said energy evolution and efficiency are a top priority. The Index shows organisations are increasingly taking a balanced approach to environmental solutions, embracing more technological solutions alongside process changes.