Hydration safety in a workplace – why does it matter?
Drinking approximately eight glasses of water seems like a simple formula for staying hydrated throughout the day. The number of glasses raised may differ depending on age and weight, but should not rely on water availability, especially at work.
Why does hydration matter?
Water directly impacts health and overall body and mind functioning:
- it regulates body temperature
- it transports nutrients and flushes out toxins
- it improves metabolism
- it boosts cognitive functions
An adult needs to consume about 2 – 2.5 litres of water every day. Regular water intakes support health and make up for natural water losses due to bodily functions. Any lags in water supply cause dehydration, which results in headache, fatigue, lack of concentration and mood swings.
Luckily, one can replenish the water deficiency with food and drinks. On average, 30 % of the water we consume each day comes from food, and the remaining 70% from beverages, including juices, coffee and tea.
The mentioned brews have a diuretic effect on our bodies but their impact is not as big as we think. The amount of water we lose with coffee and tea consumption is marginal compared to the water supplied with these beverages.
However, water is opted for because it is calorie-free, and contains no stimulants and sugars, therefore is much more convenient for consumers with health issues.
The question is, how to address hydration and water availability in a workplace?
Hydration in a workplace – tried, tested but so-so practices
A typical full-time employee spends 40 hours a week at work and needs steady access to a water source. Drinking water is mandatory for each workplace, and there are many ways to provide easy access to fresh water.
One of the most common ways is to fill staff kitchen pantries with bottled water. Bottled water is handy and is also a hygienic way of serving water, but it also comes with two major flaws – the waste of leftover water and the amount of plastic. Let alone the logistics and stocking of bottled water within reach of the workers.
Also, plastic waste needs to be recycled, which generates extra costs for the company. The same problems occur with the water dispensers fed with giant 19-litre-bottles.
The tap water could be a solution for plastic overload. However, water straight from the tap is usually of poor taste, which is found unpleasant by many employees. Under sink water filter is an easy fix, but that limits the drinking water source to one tap in the staff kitchen, which can be off-route for some workers, and thus make them hydrate irregularly.
It is problematic also because people at work are preoccupied and have no time to fetch a glass of water from the kitchen or forget to take a sip when the water source is out of their sight. In effect, fatigue and headaches appear, affecting the employee’s mood and work.
Keep the employees efficiently hydrated in the workplace
The more beneficial way to provide water for employees is to deploy dispensers fed with mains water around the workplace.
Such dispensers can be placed in people-dense areas for easy water access. Another perk is that the dispensers (aka water coolers) come with professional water filters that turn regular drinking water into a beverage worth a sip. Seems like a perfect solution for hydration problems in every workplace.
Easy access to high quality, filtered water is the win of having the free-standing water dispenser at the establishment. Another one is the modern, sleek design of the water coolers, a casing in trendy colours and, of course, easy operation with a touch panel. Hence, drinking water dispensers can serve in the open space area, waiting rooms, conference halls, and even board offices.
Building healthy habits in the workplace
Providing drinking water sources within the reach of the employees helps them stay hydrated during the business, and supports the habit of regular water drinking in their off-hours.
Easy water access at work boosts health and productivity, promotes networking and sparks random brainstorms with co-workers while pouring yourself a glass from the water cooler.
Taking a few short breaks during the work shifts can work well for everyone, regardless of the type of job. A well-hydrated mind works at top speed, and the overall well-being is satisfactory. Mains-fed water dispensers guarantee hydration safety in the workplace to everyone.