Physical work environment: major survey in India

What impact does our workplace have on our health and well-being? To answer this question, Saint-Gobain Research India conducted a study of over 30 company premises. The results speak for themselves. 

Physical work environment: major survey in India

Saint-Gobain Research India conducted a study with the Green Business Certification Institute (GBCI), the world leader in sustainable and environmental certifications for office buildings. The objective is to assess the health performance of 30 company premises in nine major Indian cities.
Over 1,500 employees took part in this survey, the aim of which was to show to what extent the physical work environment can have a significant impact on the health, well-being and productivity of those who spend their time there. 

Strong correlation between working environment and health 

Conducted over 3 years, between 2018 and 2021, the survey highlighted certain shortcomings in Indian offices and their consequences for the health of employees, most of whom are consultants and professionals in IT, finance or purchasing. It revealed that levels of pollutant or toxic substances were above the permitted limits in 73% of offices, that levels of nitrogen dioxide and dangerous particles were found in 67% and 63% of the buildings studied respectively, and that only one of the 30 establishments assessed maintained an air quality considered healthy.

Furthermore, light levels were insufficient in 64% of offices and 74% of the employees questioned indicated that they could not see out of a window. And last but not least, although the thermal comfort conditions meet standards in 75% of work spaces, noise levels exceed the authorized thresholds in 73% of cases.

Harmful consequences for health

Because of the low light levels, 60% of the employees interviewed explain that they have problems with their vision. Similarly, poor air quality causes health problems for 44% of respondents. Not being able to see out of a window can also lead to tiredness or disrupted sleep cycles – 71% of respondents report sleeping less than seven hours per night. Lastly, a poor working environment can cause muscular problems according to 66% of the employees questioned.

Air quality, acoustics, thermal regulation and visual comfort can all contribute to improving the quality of workspaces, and therefore the health of employees. Saint-Gobain Research India is now working on the second part of this study to scientifically prove the correlation between a better view on the outside and well-being, by monitoring the physical and mental health of employees.