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Published on 06 June 2019 13:43

Hydration in the Workplace

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Key Learning outcomes
  • Drinking water regulations for businesses
  • Drinking water options for commercial sites – the good, the bad and the ugly
  • How to make an environmentally conscious choice
  • The importance of filtration when it comes to energy efficiency and sustainability
  • The accreditations you need to lookout for
Easily accessible drinking water is a necessity in the workplace. It is extremely important for your employee’s health and wellbeing, as well as their productivity. When an employee is properly hydrated, they are shown to work 14 percent quicker, creating a far more productive workforce. In this CPD article, we aim to share the different drinking water options available to you – considering available space, end user, capacity and environmental factors - to help you make a more informed decision when choosing the right drinking water system for your workplace.

1.0 Drinking water

The UK Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations of 1992 (regulation 22) states that employers must provide an adequate supply of drinking water for all employees that is free from contamination, easily accessible and suitable for purpose.

There are a wide variety of options available to meet these standards that can make a positive impact on your employees’ health and wellbeing whilst enhancing a business’ sustainability credentials, increasing productivity and reducing costs.

Just how important is it to keep hydrated?

Detrimental effects on cognitive and physical performance are known to be proportional to the degree of dehydration and is highly significant at 2 percent dehydration for all mental functions.

A study conducted by the University of East London found that productivity increases as a person drinks water. Water allows for a person’s brain to be better able to focus on tasks, and hydrated subjects perform 14 percent quicker.

What are the current options of drinking water provided in the workplace?
• Kettles and urns
• Water coolers
• Drinking fountains
• Bottled water
• Filtered drinking water systems

The truth behind kettles…

There is plenty of research about domestic kettle use, but very little when it comes to commercial. The Energy Saving Trust found that 85 percent of people boil the kettle at least once a day. 40 percent of households boil the kettle four times or more a day – and most (75 percent) say they boil more water than they need.

They estimate that overfilling costs British households £68 million on energy bills a year. If only one person is having a hot drink, it makes no sense to fill or even half-fill the kettle. All the energy used to heat the water you don’t use will be wasted.

Based on this, we can only imagine just how much energy and water is being wasted in workplaces and offices across the UK. Crucially this could mean that companies could be forced onto a higher energy tariff, costing them more for power.

Considering that a kettle can take anywhere between 2.5 to 4.5 minutes to boil, large amounts of time are taken up by staff waiting for kettles to boil which impacts on productivity – a study published in The Telegraph in 2014 found that an average of four days a year are wasted per employee!
Staying hydrated in the workplace is essential for productivity, allowing for a person’s brain to be better able to focus on tasks.
Staying hydrated in the workplace is essential for productivity, allowing for a person’s brain to be better able to focus on tasks.
 
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About

14-15 Bertie Ward Way
Dereham
Norfolk
NR19 1TE
Kelly Knight
Tel + () 01362 852 241
kelly.knight@zipindustries.co.uk
The information contained in the CPD article web pages is not intended and accordingly shall not be relied upon either as a substitute for professional advice or judgement or to provide legal or other advice with respect to any particular circumstance. RIBA Enterprises accepts no responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the information contained.
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