Workplace health is a significant area of interest for office managers.
A healthy, energised workforce means greater productivity, a reduction in costly sick days, and a more positive atmosphere in the workplace.
It’s National Nutrition and Hydration Week from the 11th-18th March.
What better time to think about ways in which we can keep hydrated and healthy and functioning at our best while at work?
There are lots of ways that office managers can take responsibility for employees wellbeing at work.
They can ensure all health and safety regulations are adhered to. They can hire an office cleaning services to ensure the workspace remains clean, hygienic and germ-free. Also they can offer benefits such as discounted gym memberships. And encourage healthy eating and activities such as cycle to work schemes.
One element that is often overlooked, however, is how important it is to stay hydrated at work.
When people think of being healthy they usually consider diet and exercise as the two main factors, but keeping hydrated is massively beneficial.
Office managers who encourage employees drink lots throughout the day may notice a more positive and motivated atmosphere in the workplace.
Why is staying hydrated important?
Hydration is crucial to health
Not drinking enough water can have severe consequences.
Water makes up to 60% of a person’s body weight.
It is crucial that we keep replenishing the body with water as it is used up.
Long term health effects include kidney problems and seizures.
More short term effects include headaches, nausea and vomiting and an inability to concentrate.
Even if you aren’t severely dehydrated, these symptoms can have a massive impact on your ability to get any work done.
Dehydration can cause mood swings
A person who is dehydrated may become ill-tempered and irritable.
Office managers naturally want to ensure that their team works as harmoniously as possible together to make sure they are being effective, communicating well and enjoying their job.
Just one person becoming short-tempered can hurt the entire team.
While no one can guarantee that access to water will result in employees beaming from ear to ear all day, making sure water is readily available, particularly on warmer days, will help.
It will certainly eliminate dehydration as the culprit if someone isn’t as cooperative as you’d like them to be!
Office managers – how to encourage workers to stay hydrated
Water coolers are best
Office water coolers supply your staff with clean, fresh, cold drinking water that will help them stay hydrated.
There is, of course, the cliché of people wasting time ‘gossiping by the water cooler’.
However, in fact, there is some evidence to show that office workers who have access to water coolers are more productive than those without them.
Water coolers are better for the environment than offering vending machines with individual plastic bottles. Especially if you encourage reusable bottles.
Most people find that the filtered water from the water cooler tastes better than that from a tap. Thus, this encouraging them to drink more too.
Water coolers also run on less energy than a vending machine would do. This could save business owners money on their water bill as well.
Encourage water over sugary, or highly caffeinated drinks
Providing employees with plenty of fresh clean water is the best way to stay hydrated.
Doing so also means they won’t be as tempted to drink lots of sugary or caffeinated drinks during the day.
Sugary drinks can cause a burst of energy followed by an unproductive slump as insulin levels spike and then drop.
This is no good for your employees or your business.
Staying hydrated in the workplace can make a significant difference to employees productivity and mood.
Because of this, employers should encourage workers to remember to stay hydrated as part of their overall workplace health strategy.
Doing so could see an improvement in the quality of their work. A more harmonious working environment would also be the result. Additionally, time off would be reduced. Overall you’d have a happier, healthier workforce.
It is certainly well worth considering!
Keeping your workforce hydrated is just one of the ways to help your employees stay healthy.
Maintaining a clean and hygienic workplace is another!
If you are looking for a professional office cleaning services, Swift can help.
Get in touch with our friendly team to discuss your office cleaning needs today.
Call our team today on 0203 405 8442 for a free, no-obligation quote.
Inspiration from Office Managers on how to encourage your teams to stay hydrated
Following on from our article, we asked Office Managers what tips and tricks they use to ensure that their employees stay hydrated at work.
Here’s what they had to say:
“Give special mugs to everyone in the office to encourage and remind them to keep drinking throughout the day and keep tea and coffee in stock.
Offering fruits with high water content such as apples and grapes can also help people keep up their fluid intake.
Also get a BRITA water filter so people can have jugs of freshly filtered water by their desks.”
– Haleigh Kling, Culture and Development Lead, Glück Gamevy
“Buy everyone in the office a reusable water bottle, such as the Polar Gear Daily 750ml Tritan Water Bottle. It will encourage competitive water drinking in the office. We all ask each other ”how’s your bottle going?” “hit the lunchtime target yet?”.
It’s taken a bit of coaching of everyone, but everyone recognises the benefits to their health and productivity!
We also make a point of taking short breaks to get tea, coffee, etc. together. It’s a break from our screens, a few extra steps and a relaxed part of the day.
Changing habits is a team effort, so that’s where my focus has been” – Alex Todd
“We have given employees water bottles as gifts. The Bevi station has also done wonders for us. I think it’s helpful to have different flavours and the option for sparkling/still. It keeps things interesting as not everyone likes just plain old tap water.” – Tori Stackhouse
“Staying hydrated at work is important simply because our bodies need it and must make up for the lack of moisture in office buildings.
Staying hydrated also keeps you regular and keeps you from falling asleep in the afternoon.
I have been buying water flavourings from a family-run company Stur drinks.
We do a philanthropic project every month. Last year we bought everybody water bottles from a company that gives back by purchasing Biosand water filters for clean drinking water in a town in India.
You can have your logo put on or use their silly quotes. I like the one about drinking from a garden hose.
Everybody wins! You can check them out at www.faucetface.com.”
– Laura Starr Levengard
“I set a 1-2 hr timer at my desk that serves three purposes. Hydration, productivity, body health (screen break for eyes, check posture/stretch/switch desk to stand or sit).
My goal is to finish my water before the timer finishes, hit the restroom and refill when it goes off.
I also use the timer for loosely following Pomodoro technique on productivity.
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that uses a timer to break down work into manageable intervals.
The timer going off helps me make sure I am not glued to my desk all day or staring at my screen for 4 hrs straight.”
– Carol Norton
“We bought everyone glass water bottles with different coloured silicone covers. We have chilled filtered water on tap in the kitchen.
Everyone has commented on how much extra water they’ve been drinking.” – Jo Channell
“I simply take a post-it note and write down 1-5 and as I drink I cross off the number!” – Margaret Prosser
“By using an Ulla, I went from drinking hardly any water to 2L+ a day, got everyone in my office onto it too!
Ulla is a hydration reminder bottle attachment! It tracks what you drink, reminds you if you aren’t drinking enough, and fits on any bottle: https://www.ulla.io/”
– Lucy Plummer