Why the Office Water Cooler Is More Important Than Ever
Workplace Wellness Smart offices are recognizing that, beyond the many health benefits, proper hydration helps employees remain productive at work.
6 Ways to Say “So Long” to the 3 p.m. Slump
Rather be napping than working? Adding a few healthy habits and avoiding pitfalls that have an adverse effect on mood and energy levels can help create a happy, healthy and productive work environment.
1. Drink caffeine in moderation.
It’s generally a good idea not to exceed four 8 oz. cups of brewed coffee.
2. Sip plenty of water.
Every cell in your body depends on water. Keep healthy, hydrating beverages on hand so that all of your beverage choices throughout the day will be smart ones.
Create a healthy work environment by building a customized water order at ReadyRefresh.com and encourage employees to take regular water breaks throughout the day to help them stay hydrated.
3. Keep the germiest places clean.
Wipe desks and phones down regularly with disinfectant wipes and wash your hands frequently.
4. Stand or walk every 90 minutes.
Standing burns more calories than sitting — and walking burns even more.
5. Avoid late-night hours.
Productivity has been shown to decline when people work around the clock.
6. Take a lunch break.
A nutritious meal helps keep your brain (part of your body’s energy center) primed for productivity.
SOURCE: ReadyRefresh(SM) by Nestle
Everyone knows that a body literally cannot survive without enough water. Hydration plays a central role in core temperature regulation, organ function and toxin flushing. But there's another part of our body that relies just as heavily on water consumption: our brain.
While water makes up 70 percent of our body, it comprises roughly 75 percent of our brain. This correlation is astoundingly evident in professional settings, where business owners depend on their employees' mental clarity and office productivity to positively impact profit margins.
Hazards of under-hydrated employees
Dehydration leads to a number of undesirable side effects. These symptoms include mental confusion, thirst, sweating, slowed thought patterns, headaches and migraines, fatigue, malaise and a host of other consequences. Obviously, a tired, groggy, achy employee will not operate or think at maximum capacity.
Not only do under-hydrated workers perform their jobs more slowly and less effectively, they could also make costly and drastic mistakes that devastate a company's bottom line. For instance, a foggy-headed insurance agent providing a customer with incorrect coverage information may cost the agency expenses from improper claim filing or lawsuit.
A severely dehydrated employee could even suffer from serious health complications (such as fainting, stroke or heart failure) while on the job, leading to a worker's compensation liability for his or her company.
Benefits of optimal employee hydration
On the flipside of dehydration is optimal hydration. Employees who drink enough water feel healthier and think more clearly. An ideal water balance helps keep their body temperatures stable (regardless of hot or cold work environments), and they remain sharp and focused on the tasks at-hand.
Among the benefits of proper hydration are mood regulation, improved metabolism function, increased energy and the all-important trait of sustained mental clarity. Every company runner knows that these assets contribute substantially to operating and maintaining a successful business. Happy, healthy, quick-thinking workers learn easily, function well as a team and boost productivity and ROI.
Tools for providing in-office access to drinking water
So how much water should people drink on a daily basis? Doctors suggest taking in approximately one quart per hour of vigorous exercise or work. It is also recommended that water allowances be broken up into intervals. For instance, a construction worker should take around four water breaks per hour.
Many employees, however, work in less strenuous office environments. In these settings, constant and easy access to clean drinking water is still of paramount importance. A conscientious business owner should install water coolers and/or water fountains with paper cups around the workplace. You can also keep a breakroom fridge stocked with bottled water.
To encourage workers to drink more, many CEOs even opt to make water intake more fun and inviting by purchasing carbonated soda water makers with flavorful, fruity choices. Place them right next to the office coffee pot as a healthier option.