In today's issue: remote work air quality, the unhealthy facts of air pollution, and mother nature says not-so-fast, return-to-office policy makers.
Happy Friday. Cough.
NATURE RAINS FIRE ON RTO
Here on the U.S. east coast and in the midwest, we're undergoing an adjustment to the new climate normal: toxic wildfire smoke blowing in from afar and disrupting, well, everything.
Because our west coast buds are used to this kind of thing, you would think that companies and local governments would simply borrow established policies for keeping workers safe in these circumstances.
Nope. Here in NYC, there were flimsy responses from both companies and the city in post-apocalyptic early June, when you could barely see your hand in front of your face on 5th Avenue. Mayor Adams essentially told the populace, "you're on your own," with a tweeted warning to "limit" outdoor activity. (Like, commuting?) Google was the outlier, instructing employees to work from home.
The thorny part for cities is the economic reality behind the RTO movement. "The last thing downtown business districts want just as some semblance of post-Covid normal is returning is a retreat to work-from-home," reports Cheryl Munk at CNBC.
However, we're not on our own when it comes to work. "Generally speaking, companies have a duty to provide a safe work environment under federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules. Many states also have OSHA laws concerning workplace safety."
HEALTHY AIR AND DISTRIBUTED WORK
As noted above, employers have an obligation to ensure their employees work in a safe and healthy environment. That's a much easier problem to solve when the boundaries of that environment are the walls of an office—a bygone era.
So how does that obligation change in the era of modern work, where the place and time we work is a mish-mash of hybrid, remote, distributed, virtual, co-working, or multi-office models?
Kenneth Freeman takes a closer look and asserts that the answer lies in empowering people with the data they need (AQ monitors) and portable solutions (filters) that can be applied without the intervention of a "facilities manager."
WAIT A SEC, IS AIR POLLUTION REALLY ALL THAT BAD?
Yep. Air pollution causes 8 million global deaths annually, equivalent to tobacco-related deaths. It not only leads to lung cancer but also increases the risk of other cancers like neck cancer and mesothelioma. Additionally, it contributes to various diseases including cardiovascular issues, strokes, heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders.
ON THE INTERNETS
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Google Meets option to turn on all cameras
— Soren Iverson (@soren_iverson)
Jun 29, 2023
Oh, and happy birthday to the U.S.A. We're taking next week off to celebrate, so look for the 26th issue of EiT on the 14th.
- The EiT crew at Status Hero