Millennials worry about indoor air quality

SINGAPORE, 1 June 2021; In just one year, Covid-19 changed the way people look at indoor air quality, health, and safety, according to a recent Carbon Lighthouse survey.

It should be a cause for concern for hotels, event venues, and offices as Millennials start to ask tough questions on indoor air quality standards and expect a safer environment.

Key findings in the survey The Impact of Indoor Air Quality on Millennials Return to Work and Travel showed that 82% of millennials indicated that real-time IAQ monitoring would make them feel safer returning to the office.

Most frequently (45%) millennials said that when they return to their offices they will ask, “What IAQ measures have building management taken to make the building safe?”

Despite decades of efforts to improve general air quality threatened by various types of pollution, never before has indoor air quality (IAQ) entered the mainstream consciousness the way it did in 2020. There is now ever-more persuasive evidence that we all must care about the air inside the places we work, travel, and play — with health and wellness benefits that extend well after vaccinations are prevalent.

MIT researchers discovered that social distancing, whether 6 ft. or 60 ft. apart, even when wearing a mask, doesn’t matter if the air indoors isn’t properly managed.

A Deloitte survey showed that millennials’ top two post-pandemic concerns are healthcare/disease prevention (30%) followed closely by climate change (20%). When millennials return to work and travel, they will demand greater transparency across all areas of their lives and favour technology-enabled solutions informed by data. Transparency and data will drive millennials’ decisions when returning to work or booking their next trip.

The survey of 1000 US consumers revealed that after 2020, millennials’ concerns about health and safety were noticeably greater than prior generations. Millennials are looking to re-enter spaces on their terms with an enhanced understanding of what constitutes healthy indoor air. They recognize the power of data, having relied on real-time information to keep them safe this past year.

Survey key findings
82% of millennials would feel safer returning to offices with real-time IAQ information available via their phone or computer.
78% confirmed they would feel safer returning to hotels with real-time IAQ information.

Whether returning to the office full-time or through a hybrid model, IAQ concerns are prompting serious questions from tenants who are working to bring employees back to the office. The survey revealed that millennials, the largest segment of employees, will pose never-before-asked questions about IAQ when returning to the office. This puts the onus on office owners and operators to help tenants assure their employees that they can safely return to the office.

Indoor air quality a priority

Almost half of the millennials surveyed will ask, “What IAQ measures have building management taken to make the building safe?” Further, the survey confirmed that IAQ would influence millennials’ confidence in returning to the office.

75% would consider the air quality at work when returning to the office.
82% say real-time IAQ information would make them feel safer about returning to the office.

A third of high-income millennials are planning to spend more than USD5,000 on an upcoming luxury trip – and hotels are seeing an uptick of group bookings for social gatherings like long-postponed weddings, family reunions, and travelling sports teams.

Hotels have long invested in experiential strategies to compete for millennial travellers, and the survey revealed that 84% of millennials expect to stay at a hotel in 2021. Despite progress against the pandemic, millennial travellers are aware of the role air quality plays in virus spread. With 66% concerned specifically about the IAQ in hotels, offering guests real-time IAQ information will help them feel safer about staying at a hotel.

78% of millennials would feel safer staying at a hotel with access to real-time IAQ information on their devices.
73% of millennials would consider IAQ when booking a stay or attending a social gathering.

The survey revealed that IAQ, specifically, is one of the easiest ways to assure guests of a hotels commitment to wellness and safety. Hotels have already done the work to provide quality air indoors. Now it’s time to market that back to guests to help them make informed decisions about where to stay. Those hotel owners and operators that use IAQ transparency to actively prove their continued commitment to guest health and safety will earn the trust needed to compete for bookings in 2021 and beyond.

The Impact of Indoor Air Quality on Millennials’ Return to Work and Travel survey clearly reveals a new set of challenges for offices, employers and hotels. Tried and true strategies for retaining employees, tenants and guests will not be sufficient in today’s economy. Fortunately, the survey uncovers that millennials’ priorities around health, wellness, and safety offer new opportunities to fuel growth.

The Impact of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) on Millennials’ Return to Work and Travel survey, conducted by Carbon Lighthouse and Dynata, gauged the sentiments of 1,000 U.S. consumers about indoor air quality as they consider returning to workplaces and hotels. Due to the overweighted economic influence of the millennial demographic as both employees and consumers, the analysis focused on 332 millennial respondents who took the survey.