Honeywell has released the results of a study on workers’ perceptions and feelings on the health and safety of their workplace. Conducted by Wakefield Research, the study surveyed 2,000 workers that typically work in buildings with 500 or more employees across the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and the Middle East.
The findings show that a staggering majority of the global workforce (68%) does not feel completely safe working in their employer’s buildings. This number is even higher for those working remotely (75%), who are especially skeptical about the safety of work sites. In fact, nearly one in four remote workers (23%) would look for a new job rather than return to a site that did not implement necessary safety measures.
“Workers are keenly attuned to the steps employers are taking to make their workspaces safer and healthier, especially when it comes to air quality and adherence to safety guidelines, which wasn’t previously a concern for some people,” says Vimal Kapur, president and chief executive officer of Honeywell Building Technologies.
“Air quality, for example, is not something that will be dismissed once we’re on the other side of this pandemic. It will be essential to the occupant experience, and good air quality will help make workers feel more comfortable as they return back to their offices.”
The surveyed workers’ concerns echo the latest scientific research on the spread of COVID-19 with 56% of workers being more concerned about transmission through the air than through contact with a surface. In terms of what poses a bigger threat to their safety, more than two in five (41%) of those surveyed believe that buildings with outdated ventilation systems are more dangerous than co-workers not following safety guidelines.
More than half of surveyed workers (54%) agree that their building management has not taken the steps necessary to keep them safer on the job, and 60% believe their building is more likely to make short-term changes in response to the pandemic versus long-term investments in building systems. Surveyed workers are most worried that building management won’t consistently enforce health and safety guidelines (42%), followed by worry that they won’t consistently invest in new technology to make working in-person safer (30%).