What does hydrating our workplace do for us?
The Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations from 1992 (which can be found here if you’ve a spare few hours), sets out the provisions employers should make in the workplace. It has a great section on drinking water, including these main points;
- Employers must provide an adequate supply of drinking water for all people in the workplace
- The water should be readily accessible
- A sufficient number of drinking vessels should be available
- The water must be free from contamination
But aside from complying to the law, today we’re making like Monty Python and asking – ‘what does hydrating our workplace do for us?’.
In order to grow, plants need water. In order to be productive, employees require hydrating. Indeed, in a recent study, the University of Connecticut (2010), found that even a dehydration level of 1-2% causes a decrease in cognitive function.
With the correct amount of H20 flowing through your system, your mind is more alert and focused. Proper hydration increases the sympathetic nervous system (Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, 2010). This nifty system is responsible for your ‘Fight or Flight System’, the mechanisms which negotiates how we respond to situations, whether we ‘fight’ problems, or run away from them in ‘flight’.
Dehydration causes brain tissue to shrink, which in turn impairs our executive function (Kempton et al. 2010). Now, our executive functions include our planning skills and our visual-spatial processing. Both areas crucial to the planning and completion of projects and tasks.
Dehydration doesn’t always appear as we’d imagine, a recent study of GP’s found that 1 in 5 patients present with symptoms of fatigue that could be due to dehydration. With 66% of office based workers admitting to making mistakes when tired (Red Bull, 2015), hydrating your workers could result in fewer mistakes, and higher efficiency in your workplace.
It may seem counterintuitive, but employees who take short and regular breaks are better workers, with higher levels of job satisfaction, fewer aches and pains, and higher commitment levels to their jobs. Create a refreshment area in your office, with water and coffee facilities, and you’ll see a boost to your profits, and your worker satisfaction.
Offering your employees the opportunity to have a break and a chat can have additional benefits, also. Chatting over the water cooler will enable your employees to forge stronger relationships, strengthening team connections and support. As a Gallup survey (1999) found, employees with a friend in the workplace were found to be more productive, more committed to quality, and were more likely to believe their job was important.
Looking after the health of your workers
Drinking an adequate amount of water keeps our bodies healthy. Proper hydration allows us to maintain the balance of bodily fluids, energises our muscles, maintains our kidney function, and keeps our brain ticking over. If employees are properly hydrated, they are sure to be happier, healthier, and more alert – leading to fewer sick days and higher productivity levels.
So, what does supplying water in the workplace really do for us?
A hydrated workplace is one that is more productive, efficient, and cohesive. Talk to us today about refreshing your workplace with a Borg & Overström solution, or find the right water dispenser for your office from our specifier here.
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