If you’ve done some work around your employees’ wellbeing, you’ve probably started work on supporting them to eat right and move more. But there is another simple hack to increase wellbeing and productivity that’s often overlooked.
Drinking more water is linked to heightened productivity and fighting fatigue. And we’re not just talking about yawning at your desk: a fifth of all GP visits in the UK are related to fatigue, and dehydration is believed to be one of the reasons for that.
Drinking enough water also helps digestion, prevents pain, helps with regular kidney function, improves skin and overall appearance, fights sickness, boost workouts and even helps with weight loss: research found that increasing water consumption by 1-3 cups a day decreased calorie intake by 68-205 a day.
Sticking a water cooler in the corner of the room sounds simple enough, but research shows that it takes more than that to keep your team hydrated. Nearly 4 million people in the UK haven’t had a glass of water in over a week, and according to Statista, the UK consumed 206.2 litres of soft drinks per person in 2016. Yep, those are the same fizzy drinks that are linked to raised risk of obesity, stroke and heart problems.
So what can you do to get your team downing this health-giving liquid? And how much do you need to get them to drink? The truth is, there isn’t a golden rule. The optimal amount depends on gender, weight, height, physical activity and climate. But the NHS is usually a pretty good source of guidance, and on this one they’re saying 6-8 glasses – or roughly 1.2 litres - a day.
How can you improve your employees’ water consumption?
1. Encourage them to find out how much water they require
Ask your staff to use an online tool, like the H4H Hydration Calculator to see how much they should drink a day.
2. Create a routine
Every few hours, remind your employees to drink water. You can do it with a scheduled email, through your work calendar or even by literally walking into the room and reminding people to drink! It’s simple, but it works.
3. Help the environment, and your employees
Cut back on plastic and let your people feel the love by giving them reusable water bottles (you can even get some made up with your company branding).
4. Make water interesting
More than a third of people think drinking plain water is boring and it’s up to employers to re-educate. Place jugs of iced water, or water infused with mint, cucumber or lemon. We do this at yulife, and trust us – we’re a highly hydrated bunch!
If you want to get properly fancy check out sparkling water makers for the office, they’re an inexpensive way to get people drinking.
5. Utilise apps
If you can think of it – there’s an app for it. Get everyone to download a water tracking app like Waterlogged or iDrated.
See more employee engagement tips