Staying hydrated is key to our mental and physical wellbeing, yet ensuring our daily intake of water is in line with the recommended eight glasses a day is easier said than done. A new study reveals how access to high-quality water facilities in the workplace would not only increase intake but also improve employee wellbeing and reduce employers’ plastic footprint.
Wellness and productivity
A Waterlogic survey report highlights that employees are happier and more productive when they have better access to drinking water facilities, with 73% of the 6,300 respondents saying this improved their overall wellbeing.
Addressing employee wellbeing isn’t about any one area in isolation; instead it takes into account:
- Employee’s physical health
- Mental wellness
- Job satisfaction
Encouraging healthy behavior in the workplace can inevitably lower health issues and increase motivation and morale.
Furthermore, 95% of workers state that drinking more water increases their concentration and productivity, which means that encouraging good hydration habits should be of utmost importance to any employer. Surprisingly, 20% of respondents even say they’d be more inclined to stay in their job if they had access to filtered water, highlighting that workers across the world are considering their own wellbeing, and the way in which employers show that this is valued.
With an easy option being to grab a plastic bottle of water on the go or at work, staying hydrated isn’t always environmentally friendly. By providing plastic water bottles and water coolers, employers are fulfilling their duty to supply decent drinking water, however the damage plastic is causing to the planet is becoming irreversible with billions of tonnes ending up in landfills every year.
Waterlogic’s study suggests that switching to mains-fed water dispensers could drastically decrease the number of single use plastic bottles ending up in landfill sites. 49% of employees in the UK still use single-use plastic bottles each day, but the survey also shows that this figure could drop to 15% if instant filtered water was supplied.
Based on responses from other locations, the report notes that single-use plastic bottle waste could be reduced by more than 29 billion bottles per year across the UK, USA, Germany and Australia if every workplace has access to a filtered mains water supply.
Importance of water quality
Despite most survey respondents having nearby access to standard tap water in their workplace, only 60% say they’d actively use this water resource. However, 84% of those with access to bottle-based water coolers and 71% with access to plastic bottled water in the workplace do reach for these options instead. The taste and smell of tap water is seen as a common deterrent, with 26% stating that they avoid drinking it because they don’t fully trust its cleanliness and origin.
With employees still likely to choose less sustainable ways of staying hydrated, when offered only tap water each day, employers should consider their responsibility around ‘plastic footprint’ and waste reduction. Many of those surveyed concluded that if they had access to high-quality filtered water, their intake would double from an average of 1.1 litre a day to 2.2 litres, but a noteworthy 72% agreed that their employer had a responsibility to tackle the issue of disposable plastic waste.
Making the switch
Providing employees with high-quality water is an easy way to improve staff wellbeing and productivity, reduce a company’s environmental impact, and cut down on costs.