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Millennials Lead the Charge on IAQ Office Concerns


Millennials move the dial in the U.S. workforce. They are expected to account for 75 percent of the country’s workforce by 2025.

A recent survey from Carbon Lighthouse, a tech company focusing on commercial real estate, shows that millennials — individuals born between 1981 and 1996 — will also play a strong role in the country returning back to the office after more than a year of social distancing and remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey showed that millennials’ concerns about returning to the office do not include wearing masks or social distancing.

A main concern for millennials according to the survey is indoor air quality (IAQ). The survey confirmed that 82 percent of millennials will feel safer returning to offices with real-time information available to them via their phone or computer.

The survey also revealed that millennials will also frequently ask employers,”What IAQ measures have building management taken to make the building safe?”

IAQ has taken on a higher priority among facility managers in the wake of the pandemic, and institutional and commercial facilities are taking steps to improve it as we return to normal. Financially, the decision to address IAQ is a sound one, as the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimates that improved IAQ in offices could add as much as $20 billion annually to the U.S. economy.

The connection between IAQ and its influence on millennials and the economy is clear from other survey takeaways.

  • 82% say real-time IAQ information would make millennials feel safer about returning to the office

  • 78% would feel safer staying at a hotel with access to real-time IAQ information on their devices

  • 73% would consider IAQ when booking a stay at a hotel or attending a social gathering.

Dave Lubach is managing editor, Facility Group

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