OHT researcher Dr. Deepshikha Batheja co-authored a study investigating the impact of three components of air pollution – carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), and particulate matter of less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) – on daily productivity in five call centers in India. Significant reductions in worker productivity, measured by the number of calls per shift, were observed with increasing levels of all three pollutants: one standard deviation increase in the concentration of PM2.5, CO, and O3 correlated to decreases in worker productivity by 11.8, 10.8, and 6.0 percent, respectively. Notably, increases in CO levels were associated with significant reductions in worker productivity despite CO concentrations below WHO-recommended levels. More than half of the productivity losses observed in this study were attributed to CO, while PM2.5 and O3 each accounted for 21 percent. Call centers serve as major private sector employers in India and drivers of the national economy, highlighting the need for policies targeting pollution-driven reductions in employee productivity and well-being.

Read the full article, published by the Center for Effective Global Action, here.