Promoting Hydration in the Workplace
How Hydrated Employees Can Lead to More Productive and Happy Employees
It's an Epidemic!
Apparently, there's an epidemic occurring, and most of us are unaware. It seems that we are all going about our lives woefully under-hydrated, borderline dehydrated even. In the US, we are surrounded by easily accessible sources of water, yet we willfully, stubbornly refuse to drink enough of it to keep our bodies adequately hydrated.
But I'm just sitting at my desk…
We tend to think that it's the construction workers and laborers who must be diligent in hydrating themselves. Surely sitting at our desks in our cubicles in the relative comfort of our temperature-controlled offices does not require much of our bodies. While we cannot equate the needs of a physically demanding occupation with those of a cushy office job, we tend to forget one important thing—our BRAINS need water to function! An under-hydrated or dehydrated employee with a case of raisin-brain is more likely to be less productive, less focused, and less motivated at work. In addition, dehydrated office workers may be at greater risk for headaches and back pain since blood volume to the brain decreases and vertebral discs shrink and compress.
What can be done?
But what can be done to improve our overall water consumption? Outside of our homes, we spend the most time at work and during the most active times of the day. Employers, therefore, are uniquely positioned to make the most impact and effect meaningful change. They also stand to benefit greatly from their employees' well-moisturized brains and water-infused bodies.
Things employers can do to encourage hydration:
- Ensure easy access to water fountains or coolers
- Establish routine water breaks
- Leave fruits out for employees.
- Educate and remind employees about the positive effects of consistent hydration in the workplace.
- Provide reusable (and branded!) water bottles that they'll actually USE.
We can help with that…
Sharper Brand specializes in this final strategy for encouraging hydration in the work place. Sometimes, a flashy new branded water bottle is just the thing needed to kickstart a hydration awareness campaign!
Customized water bottle options are vast, and choices are available for every budget.
Things to consider when choosing a water bottle:
- Materials - Imprinted water bottles come in a variety of materials with different properties that make them suitable for different purposes. Rigid plastic bottles like Camelbak and Nalgene use Tritan Eastman copolyester, which makes them durable, long-lived, and machine washable. Soft, squeezable bottles made of LDPE, PET, or polypropylene make excellent choices for active people and athletes. Aluminum or stainless water bottles are strong, environmentally friendly, and frequently stylish.
- Budget vs Brand - Brand name bottles like Camelbak, Nalgene, and Specialized are a little more pricey, but they are extremely well-received by all audiences, and their perceived value is often greater than generic water bottles. Recipients of customized Camelbak bottles keep them longer and use them more often. That being said, there are many unbranded custom water bottles that may fit the needs and style of the targeted recipient group without the name brand price tag.
- Function - How does the custom bottle dispense liquid? It may seem like a silly thing to consider, but people often have strong opinions about the way they drink water from a bottle. There are the straw sippers, wide mouth guzzlers, super suckers, and bite valve devotees-which type do you have in your workplace?
- Capacity - How much liquid do you need to carry? Avoiding frequent fill-ups by choosing a large capacity bottle can save time, but then again a large bottle can be unwieldy or cumbersome to drink from.
- Bells and Whistles - Would your employees appreciate other amenities that go with their branded bottles? Bottles can come with carabiners, carrying loops, kangaroo pouches, removable bottoms for carrying keys/money, insulating sleeves, etc. Consider whether adding “features” increases the likelihood that employees will hydrate.
It only works if they use it…
Ultimately, the bottle you choose should reflect the style and ethos of the company and people who will use it. The most important question when making a decision on which customizable water bottle to distribute to employees or members, then, is this: will they use it?