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How Does Air Quality Impact The Performance Of Office Workers?

By Christa DiLalo, Associate Market Director, Research Services

Air Quality Matters

While occupiers generally spend a lot of time and money designing the space they occupy to make it appealing to employees, promote collaboration and raise productivity, one key factor that can have a huge impact on worker performance that is often overlooked is the quality of the air that employees are breathing.

A recent study published by professors at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health highlights the impact of air quality on worker performance.

The study placed workers in several different working environments and tested their cognitive function. The bottom line: cognitive performance was much higher in a Green environment than a conventional environment.

The study concludes: “Office workers had significantly improved cognitive function scores when working in Green and Green+ environments compared to a Conventional one. Exposure to CO2 and VOCs [volatile organic compounds] at levels found in Conventional office building was associated with lower cognitive scores compared to levels in a Green building.”

For occupiers committing to a long term lease, high air quality may be one of the most important and often overlooked aspects of a building. High air quality may have a greater impact on worker productivity than any other factor.


Christa DiLaloChrista DiLalo is an Associate Market Director and works with the Principal Economist to prepare cutting-edge research about commercial real estate on a national level. Christa also conducts primary research, data-driven analysis, and forecasting for the office and industrial sectors of Northern and Central New Jersey—one of the largest suburban markets in the country—as a critical member of the firm’s New York Tri-State Research Services group.

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