SURVEY: Only 36% of American Workers Describe the Indoor Air at their Workplace as Very Clean

Fellowes Brands, a leading manufacturer of air purifiers for more than a decade, encourages employers to invest in indoor air quality improvements that bolster employee wellness and productivity 

In observance of the International Day of Clean Air on Sept. 7, Fellowes Brands, a family-owned company providing trusted workplace solutions for 105 years, announced results from a recent national survey that found only 36% of respondents describe the indoor air at their workplace as very clean.

The survey of 1,120 American workers who work on-site and indoors for their employer also revealed that 91% of respondents agree clean indoor air helps them perform their best at work, while 88% believe clean indoor air should be a right for all employees.

Employers that invest in air purification with True HEPA filters to improve a building’s indoor air quality (IAQ) can protect workers from airborne viruses, including COVID-19 and its variants, bacteria, pollution, allergens and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Cleaner indoor air is also linked to increased cognition and productivity, according to research led by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that Americans, on average, spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often two-to-five times higher than typical outdoor concentrations, making cleaner indoor air an important focus for businesses on International Day of Clean Air.

COVID-19 and its variants remain top of mind for American workers, with 73% of respondents saying they were at least somewhat concerned about contracting the virus as a consequence of poor IAQ at work.

The majority of survey respondents also reported being at least somewhat concerned about the following additional consequences of poor IAQ in the workplace:

  • Allergy symptoms: 71%
  • Viruses other than COVID-19: 68%
  • Headaches: 66%
  • Fatigue: 65%

“The results of our survey are clear — most American workers understand the health risks of poor IAQ and the benefits of working in very clean air,” said John Fellowes, fourth-generation CEO of Fellowes Brands. “Businesses that invest in improving their IAQ with air purification, HVAC improvements and increased ventilation will reap rewards with a healthier, happier and more productive workforce at a time of great competition for the best talent.”

Air purification is one of the four key components of cleaner indoor air, according to a recent Lancet COVID-19 Commission report, and it is one of the most effective and fastest-to-install defenses against COVID-19 and other viruses that can quickly spread through workplaces.

Indoor air purification with H13 True HEPA filters can remove 99.95% of particles as small as 0.1 microns, including allergens, such as pollen, dust, pet dander, and smoke that can lead to poor IAQ and associated health risks. Improved IAQ also lowers risk of stroke, lung cancer, respiratory disease, and other health concerns.

About Fellowes Brands

Celebrating its 105th year under the private ownership and executive leadership of the Fellowes family, Fellowes Brands is a global leader of broad-based business solutions that help professionals be their best and feel their best. Headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, USA, Fellowes Brands operates from 24 locations across the globe. For more information, please visit

About the Survey

Fellowes Brands fielded a survey on Aug. 22-23, 2022, about indoor air quality topics via SurveyMonkey Audience to 1,120 U.S. adults who are employed full-time or part-time and who work at least part of the time indoors at their employer’s location. The survey had a margin of error of +/- 2.99%.