If you have seen the newspapers this week you’ll have read that dehydration can be just as bad as drink driving when it comes to making mistakes. Loughborough University researchers found that dehydrated drivers were found to make just as many mistakes whilst driving as drunk drivers. But how is this relevant to your staff we hear you ask? Well, your staff might not be driving anything around the office (unless you’re the CEO of Google), but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to be hydrated. Our bodies are made up of well over 60% water, so it makes sense that we need lots of it to function properly.
Offices can be pretty dry places anyway, with air conditioning and the thick syrupy coffee provided by the coffee machine (coffee will not hydrate you!), so water is always a good idea, but it also has lots of other benefits to you and your staff:
1. Water Makes You Happy
Being dehydrated makes you crabby, so if you don’t want your staff to be grumpy by midday, they will need to be taking regular gulps of H20 regularly. According to research from France (Mens Health) continually drinking lots of the clear stuff does lead to us having a much better mood. So get them guzzling to get a better atmosphere in your office. Happy staff = productive staff.
2. Water Keeps You Alert
When your brain is dryer than Ghandi’s flipflop, you’re prone to a complete depletion in concentration. Which can mean that by lunch time, staff may struggle to focus on projects, targets, meetings and anything else required of them at work. It can be easy to reach for a espresso or sugary treat to boost concentration, but the effects are always short lived. For an instant and continual boost in concentration your staff need to swap their caffeine hit for water which will lubricate their brain and help them feel refreshed and awake.
3. Water Keeps You Healthy
Offices are hot beds for every bug going. Air conditioning sucks up and kicks out airborne lurgies, keyboards receive cough molecules and tiny blobs of sneezy mucus and with everyone working in such close proximity to each other, it’s almost a given that if one person turns up feeling crap, the following week everyone will have caught whatever person one dragged in. Water boosts your immune system which means drinking more water will genuinely help keep your staff sickness levels down. Water flushes out toxins, encourages your body to take in and retain nutrients, it keeps your nasal passages and eyes lubricated enabling them to keep out nasties, and helps your brain produce the amount of serotonin it needs to which is vital to helping keep depression at bay.
So encouraging your staff to drink water will directly benefit your business because it helps keep your staff healthy and your staff sickness levels down.
4. Water Keeps You Thin
Now, this isn’t strictly true as if you eat a high fat diet and refrain from exercise but still drinking water, you’re going to pile on the pounds – it’s not magic. However, water does contribute to a healthy lifestyle. With a massive 9 grams of sugar in just one can of coke, it’s not difficult to see why replacing that one can with a bottle of water can help a person stay in good shape. Unfortunately obesity is a huge concern for employers because it brings with it a huge amount of ailments that directly affect the workforce. Type 2 diabetes, higher risk of heart attacks and strokes, back ache, decreased energy levels – the list of problems is endless and office workers are some of the most at risk of obesity because their day to day work activity is so sedentary. Of course there are lots of things you can do to help your staff stay slim – introduce active desks, train them on how to do exercises to promote blood flow and provide nutritious food in the works canteen – but why not start with the basics and encourage them to drink more water. Water speeds up metabolism, staves off hunger pangs and promotes a good mood which means comfort eating is more easily avoided.
If you’re now sold on the idea of promoting water consumption in your office, there are lots of ways you can do this and here are just some ideas to help you get started:
- Have a herbal tea option in your coffee machine, herbal tea is water with added benefits!
- Make some simple signs to put up around the office, have fun with it, it’s just a gentle reminder for your staff asking them to up their water intake.
- Provide the water – have central desks with jugs of water or bottles of water for your staff to have for free, or you could install a water cooler if you’ve got the budget.
- Have a water only desk policy – ban food and sticky drinks at the desk so your staff can only drink water while they work. It might seem a bit mean but it will encourage them to drink water and it will protect your carpets and electronics from sticky spillage stains and residue.
Remember a healthy workforce is a happy workforce and the easiest step you can make to encouraging your staff to be healthy is by getting them to embrace water.