Are your employees staying hydrated at work?
The importance of water is well known but often over looked in office environments in favour of hot drinks and vending machines. Staying hydrated is one of the simplest ways to improve health, concentration and well being. It can lead to lower levels of sickness absence and increased mental and physical performance. Caffeinated drinks can worsen the effects of dehydration and negatively effect employee performance unless consumed along side water or other non-caffeinated drinks.
What are the symptoms of dehydration?
Some of the physical symptoms of dehydration include:
Dehydration also effects mental performance and has a wide range of symptoms including:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Reduced alertness
- Shorter attention span
- Poorer information retention
All of the symptoms mentioned above impact on employee performance; it can reduce productivity, cause a poorer standard of work and errors and negatively affect the office ethos.
How can you help employees stay hydrated?
There are many ways to encourage members of staff to regularly drink water but first, itâ€™s important to make sure youâ€™re complying with standards set out by the Health and Safety Executive. The right of access to fresh drinking water is set down in the Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992; specifically it states, 1) there should be an adequate supply of wholesome drinking water, 2) it should be a) readily accessible and b) conspicuous to members of staff and 3) there should be an adequate numbers of cups or drinking vessels except for water fountains etc where drinking water is in a jet.
We recommend that you go above and beyond the regulations set out by the Health and Safety executive to proactively encourage staff to remain dehydrated instead of stopping at the provision of adequate drinking facilities. In many parts of the UK tap water suffers from hardness because of a high mineral content. There are three solutions to provide great tasting, fresh drinking water to members of staff:
- Office water coolers provide fresh cooled, drinking water. There are two types of office water cooler
- Water softeners and filters can be used to remove minerals and make tap water taste better.
- a) These can be purchase as standalone water softeners and have tap water poured into them
- b) water softeners can be plumbed into the mains to filter and soften your water supply.
We recommend using a plumbed water cooler in your office to enjoy a constant supply of fresh drinking water. With bottled water coolers there is always the potential that you’ll run out of water, water filters and softeners can be slow to filter water and using a mains plumbed water softener can be more expensive than a plumbed in water cooler