As a business owner, you’ll understand the importance of providing clean and safe drinking water to your team. Staying hydrated is vital for our overall health and wellbeing.
Did you know that just being slightly dehydrated can result in a loss of focus, productivity and reduced energy levels? Not ideal for getting the best out of your office team!
So how much water should we be drinking at work every day? And what can you do as an office or facilities manager to support your team in ensuring they stay hydrated?
How much water do we need?
Firstly, the amount of water we need to consume depends on a number of factors. It will depend on a person’s age, weight and height and also any medical conditions. It also depends on what type of work or general activity someone is doing.
If for example, someone is working outside in a labour-intensive job in hot weather, they’re going to want to drink plenty of water. On the other hand, if a job is fairly sedentary and someone is sitting at a desk in an air-conditioned office, they won’t need to drink as much water.
Overall though the rule of thumb is to drink at least 6 – 8 glasses of water per day. Official guidance from the European Food Safety Authority recommends 2.5 litres for men and 2 litres for women a day.
There are basic requirements to ensure all UK workers have access to clean water and these are outlined by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations. It states that employers must provide the following:
*Drinking water that’s free from contamination.
*Water that must be easily accessible and marked by an appropriate sign.
*Employers must provide an adequate supply.
What water source is best for my office?
With so many different water supply options available, it can be challenging to determine the best option for your workplace. Business owners can choose to supply water via the following options:
*Pre-filled water bottles
*Bottled water coolers
*Free-standing point-of-use water dispensers
*Plumbed-in undercounter water taps
In this blog, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of bottles, water coolers, free-standing point-of-use water dispensers and under-counter water taps.
Whilst some offices provide bottled mineral water for staff and guests, this option is an expensive one. It’s also a bad idea if you’re an office that values sustainability goals. Most of these bottles are made from single-use plastic which is one of the worst environmental polluters. As the name suggests, it’s used only once and is rarely recycled. This damaging pollutant is threatening to harm wildlife and is desecrating our oceans.
In the UK alone, it’s estimated that five million tonnes of plastic are used every year, and nearly half of this is on packaging. Many businesses are introducing a ban on single-use plastics and encouraging their teams to use sustainable packaging and utensils.
One great idea is to gift your team with reusable eco-friendly water bottles. You can get them branded with your company logo and it encourages your team to refill their bottles at work, helping them stay hydrated.
Standard kitchen tap
Whilst there’s nothing technically wrong with drinking from a kitchen tap, in fact many of us may do this at home, it won’t give you great-tasting water. So if you value your team and their well-being, providing them with fresh filtered water at work shows you care about them. It’s also a simple office perk that your team will value.
Tap water is legally acceptable for your team to drink but it won’t be filtered so it may contain some contaminants. Also if you’re unlucky enough to live in an area of hard water – which in the UK, over 60% of us do – your water may taste metallic or slightly bitter.
If you only have the option to provide basic tap water, we recommend you at least opt for a filtration system that you can refill and keep in your fridge. This can be adequate if you’re a very small team although if you’re a larger business, logistically, this option is simply not feasible.
Plastic bottle-fed water cooler
Next up is the classic plastic bottle-fed water cooler. A favourite from the late 80s, these can still often be found in various public spaces like your doctor’s office or in waiting room settings. They consist of a large and bulky water bottle that sits above a dispensing unit. They’re often paired with single-use plastic cups – again not ideal if you’re working towards being a green operation.
The main benefit of having one of these is that they can sit anywhere in the office as they don’t require to be plumbed in as the water comes from the bottle itself. However, there are downsides.
You’ll have to carry around these heavy and bulky bottles, keep some in storage and get new ones regularly delivered. Not only is this entire process a hassle (especially if you’re the office or facilities manager responsible for water orders), the regular deliveries have a negative carbon footprint on the environment.
In conclusion, these are fast going out of favour with businesses and being replaced with more convenient, sustainable, and cost-effective water solutions.
Freestanding point-of-use water dispenser
Looking for a stylish hydration station? Enter the free-standing water dispenser. Far superior to the cheap-looking and dated bottle-fed dispenser with single-use plastic bottles stuck on the top, these POU (point-of-use) water dispensers are convenient and efficient.
They will need to be plumbed into a mains water supply, but once they are, they can easily provide your small office team with both hot, cold and ambient water at the touch of a button. They even offer contactless dispensing options.
They’re an attractive addition to your office and are stylishly designed. They can be free-standing or sit on countertops, plus their high-capacity dispense areas are designed to accommodate sports bottles and jugs. This will help to keep the whole team hydrated and reduce the need for single-use cups.
As mentioned, they’re a good option for small offices, but if you need a water dispenser that can handle higher capacity or one that will sit in high-traffic areas like break out spaces or your office kitchen, you may want to consider an undercounter water tap.
Undercounter water taps
Undercounter water taps are becoming increasingly popular in offices due to the many benefits they offer. They are widely regarded as offering the most premium water experience on the market for office workers.
Firstly, they save valuable office space because they’re typically installed and plumbed in under kitchen counters. This is particularly beneficial when office kitchen space is at a premium.
Additionally, their sleek and minimalist designs create a clean, contemporary and clutter-free look that has become the norm in modern office interiors. Not only that but they’re easy to use and maintain, and offer a choice of water drinks. Users can opt for filtered chilled, ambient, boiling, sparkling and still options.
Another great thing about undercounter water taps is that they’re a sustainable option for your office. They’re more energy-efficient than the office kettle and traditional hot water dispensers because they heat only the amount of water needed, thus reducing consumption and saving on energy costs.
Most modern models also offer touchless sensors for the ultimate in ease and convenience, plus they can help reduce the spread of germs and bacteria, making them ideal for high-traffic areas.
What’s right for my office?
Ultimately, it’s up to you and your team to choose what water dispenser is right for your office. If you need any advice, our friendly team is on hand to help and we offer free consultations to help you define your bespoke requirements. Simply contact us for more information and we’ll help you ensure your team stay healthy, happy and hydrated.