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Infogrid launches its Healthy Building System

07 June 2021

RESEARCH FROM Infogrid shows that 58% would feel more comfortable if their employer used data to improve the healthiness of the building.

Infogrid, the company that combines the world's smartest IoT sensors with powerful AI to make any building smart, has published its report Creating a Healthy Workplace, which surveyed 2000 UK employees to understand how they feel about returning to the workplace as the next phase of lockdown easing begins today. Infogrid has launched the Healthy Building System to help organizations track factors including air quality, water safety, occupancy, cleanliness, and occupant welfare in one place. For the first time, companies will have a holistic view of the healthiness of their facilities to ensure their employees feel safe as they return to work.

Infogrid’s research surveyed UK employees’ opinions on returning to the physical workplace. It showed:

  • 50% of employees are concerned about returning to the physical workplace
  • Yet, 48% of those that expect to return to work believe they will be back before July 2021. A further 16% have already returned to the workplace in some capacity
  • Of those who aren’t concerned, 60% said it was because their employer had made their workplace safe. This factor was more important to employees than the vaccine rollout (54%)
  • Employees said regular cleaning has the biggest impact on how safe they feel to return to the office (73%). Other popular measures included limiting the number of people in spaces (69%), and improved air quality to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (61%)
  • The research also showed that employees are generally more conscious of their health at work, with 65% saying they are more concerned about the healthiness of the workplace than they were before the pandemic. More than half said that the healthiness of their workplace impacts their mental (54%) and physical (56%) wellbeing.

William Cowell de Gruchy, CEO of Infogrid commented on the findings: “This research shows that businesses have to accept that their employees have reservations about returning to the workplace. Organizations need to take action now to prepare the workplace. Not only to make their employees feel safe but to safeguard their ongoing welfare. Employees are now more conscious than ever of how their workplace impacts their wellbeing.”

The cost of not providing a good work environment is high, with half (49%) of respondents saying the healthiness of their workplace impacts their productivity. Employees also said it would impact their decision to stay in a business (47%) or join a new company (39%). This is backed up by studies from Harvard and over 20 other academic institutions linking air quality to lower sickness rates and higher productivity.

Cowell de Gruchy commented: “As humans, we spend 90 percent of our time indoors, and with their health on the line, employees will understandably be expecting more action from their employers to improve their workplace. A failure to meet their standards may see organizations lose talented workers. The challenge for businesses is how they can measure the effectiveness of the steps they are taking to make healthy working environments and reassure their employees. The answer lies in the use of data.” 

Using data to improve the healthiness of buildings
Employees are already bought into the idea of their employers using data to make their workplace safe. The majority (58%) of workers said they would feel more comfortable returning to work if their employer was using data to improve the healthiness of the building. They are most interested in having access to data on virus risk (59%), which is the risk of airborne virus transmission, followed by cleaning information (57%) and data on air quality (54%). The challenge for companies has been in the ability to collect and measure this data.

Cowell de Gruchy explains: “Until now the measurement of the factors that contribute to a healthy workplace - such as occupancy, cleanliness and air quality - has been a difficult, manual, and costly process. As a consequence, checks are typically done irregularly - if at all - and the data produced is unreliable and siloed. This makes it difficult for organizations to make positive changes to improve the workplace and the welfare of their employees. However, breakthroughs in cost-effective and simple-to-deploy IoT technology means this no longer needs to be the case.”

Infogrid has today launched its Healthy Building System, the first product that combines the factors that contribute to making a healthy workplace into one unified view. Infogrid uses the best available sensors for each particular use case -  including air quality, water safety, occupancy, cleanliness, and occupant feedback - and integrates the data in its platform to provide organizations with a holistic view of their estate. Infogrid’s AI derives insight from the raw data generated by the sensors, making it easy for companies to identify issues and take timely action. Companies receive a healthy building score, a single metric that makes it even easier to understand, measure and improve.

“It is hard to overstate the power of a solution that will allow organizations to get a true understanding of the healthiness of their estate for the first time, including a benchmarking score they can measure their efforts against,” said Cowell de Gruchy. “This means companies can quantify the impact of measures such as social distancing, regular cleaning, and air quality in the office, to reassure employees that it is a safe environment for them to return to.

“Beyond COVID-19, it gives organizations and facilities managers holistic oversight of their estate, helping them to define what the workplace of the future looks like based on the data they receive in real-time. The solution can be retrofitted at low cost to any building and, as well as helping to safeguard employees, it will help organisations demonstrate regulatory compliance, meet their ESG goals and improve the sustainability of their buildings as well.”

To find out more visit https://www.infogrid.io/infogrid-healthy-building-system

To read the full research, which includes data on what measures organizations have already put in place, what employees are looking for from the workplace of the future, and how employee opinion differs between age groups, download the report Creating a Healthy Workplace.

For more information visit https://www.infogrid.io/infogrid-healthy-building-system