Millennials’ concerns about indoor air positions indoor air quality (IAQ) as a catalyst that will drive employee engagement, leasing activity, and hotel bookings for the foreseeable future, according to a new survey from Carbon Lighthouse. The Impact of Indoor Air Quality on Millennials’ Return to Work and Travel survey, conducted in May 2021, explores the extent to which millennials’ priorities around health, wellness, and safety will affect economic recovery and growth. Given their economic influence as employees and consumers, the results of the 1,000 person U.S. consumer survey focuses on millennials’ perspectives about returning to the office and booking travel.
An overwhelming majority of millennials say they will feel safer returning to the office (82%) and hotels (78%) with access to real-time, transparent information on IAQ. In fact, real-time IAQ information would make 68% of millennials feel safest even when compared to annual certifications (27%) and one-time health and wellness audits (5%).
The survey makes it clear that promoting good, healthy, and stable indoor air quality is critical to any strategy to invite the masses back indoors. Whether returning full-time or through a hybrid work model, 75% of millennials say they would consider the indoor air quality at work. IAQ concerns are prompting never-before-asked questions from millennials — almost half will ask, “What IAQ measures have building management taken to make the building safe?” Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimates improving IAQ in offices could add as much as $20 billion annually to the U.S. economy. These insights mean today’s leading employers will seek healthier buildings for their employees. This puts the onus on office owners and facility managers to assure tenants and their employees that they can safely return to the office.
Hotels have long competed for the coveted millennial segment. Today’s millennial travelers are aware of the role air quality plays in virus spread. Thus, 66% are concerned specifically about the IAQ in hotels. IAQ will also factor in millennials’ booking decisions with 73% saying they would consider IAQ when booking a stay.
“It will be millennials’ willingness to step inside public buildings that form the bedrock of our economic growth beyond 2021. Yet, tried and true strategies for retaining employees, tenants, and guests will not be sufficient in today’s economy,” said Raphael Rosen, CEO of Carbon Lighthouse. “After a year of education on the spread of airborne viruses, anxious millennials are looking more critically than ever before at the air they breathe. Those employers, offices, and hotels that offer IAQ transparency actively prove their continued commitment to health and safety, and will earn the trust needed to compete in today’s market.”
Additional survey takeaways for employers, offices, and hotels include:
- 88% of millennials say they would use a mobile app that provides real-time IAQ information
- 65% of millennials already use apps, devices, or air purifiers to monitor or improve the air quality at home
- 84% of millennials expect to stay at a hotel in 2021
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