The Future of IAQ and the Positive Impacts of Healthier Indoor Spaces
‘Straight Talk!’: Insights from Dr. John McKeon
In a recent engaging episode of ‘Straight Talk!” from Jeff Cross, Media Director with ISSA, and Dr. John McKeon, CEO of Allergy Standards and the principal of iAIR Group, vital insights emerged on the evolving landscape of health and wellness in building management, especially in the post-COVID era.
The Post-COVID Paradigm Shift:
As Dr. McKeon emphasizes, the pandemic has left an indelible mark on our perception of indoor environments. While the fear associated with COVID-19 may be receding, the focus on cleaning for health and wellness is a paradigm shift that’s here to stay. This transformation is especially critical in the context of facilities management.
Adapting to New Realities:
The reluctance to return to office buildings post-pandemic is a reality that needs addressing. Dr. McKeon highlights the concept of “flight to premium,” suggesting that not all offices will witness a return of their workforce. The key, as per Dr. McKeon, lies in demonstrating the health and maintenance of a building. This involves not just achieving high standards of cleanliness but also effectively communicating these efforts to employees.
Leadership and Strategy in Facility Management:
A pivotal change noted by Dr. McKeon is the shift in facilities management to a strategic level, involving C-suite executives. Companies are now appointing roles like Chief Wellness Officers, signifying the importance of health and wellness in the corporate environment. This approach not only impacts how facilities are managed but also plays a crucial role in talent attraction and retention.
The Importance of Training and Education:
Training in this new era goes beyond traditional methods, focusing on educating and empowering cleaning professionals. Dr. McKeon advocates for a holistic approach towards training, one that not only enhances skills but also provides a deeper understanding of the ‘why’ behind their tasks. This focus on professional development is essential for elevating the industry standard.
Sustainability and Health in Buildings:
In his talk at the Sustainability Hub, Dr. McKeon touched upon the confusion surrounding sustainability and health in buildings. He encourages engagement with programs like the iAIR Academy to cut through this confusion, emphasizing the need for clear and accessible information on these crucial topics.
The Future of Indoor Air Quality Standards:
Looking ahead, Dr. McKeon predicts a future where standards for indoor air quality in buildings are not just a norm but a necessity. He sees a rise in sensor technologies and wearables enabling individuals to measure their indoor environments actively. This progress aligns with a broader trend of people seeking to be proactive about their health rather than reactive.
This insightful episode of ‘Straight Talk!’’ with Dr. McKeon sheds light on the importance of maintaining health and wellness in building environments. The shift towards a more health-conscious approach in facility management reflects a deeper understanding of how our surroundings impact our well-being. As we move forward, the emphasis on quality indoor environments will become increasingly integral to our daily lives, as crucial as the air we breathe.
About ‘Straight Talk!’
‘Straight Talk! ‘ is an ISSA webcast and companion podcast series that spotlights cleaning industry issues, providing news and information, how-to tips, marketing and management strategies, and much more.
Hosted by Jeff Cross, ISSA media director and industry veteran, the program features an open forum for providing a wide variety of topics to all ISSA members and the global cleaning industry.
Established in 2020, the webcast series boasts more than 100 episodes spotlighting the facility, contract cleaning, specialty cleaning and restoration, residential cleaning, distribution, and manufacturing segments of the global cleaning industry.