We often hear that we need to drink enough water each day (generally, about 15.5 cups for men and about 11.5 cups for women). And since most of us spend a good part of that day at work, we took a look at some of the benefits of drinking water on the job.
Water is good for your eyes
Whether you’re in the office, working from home, stationed at a checkout register, or down on the warehouse floor, there’s a good chance you’re spending some time in front of an electronic screen. According to some studies, that can be as much as 6.5 hours daily. And that’s not counting all the screen time we log away from work.
That’s an eyeful for your eyes. It’s a good idea to give them a break and take a walk to grab some water.
Our eyes are 98 percent water, so they’re easily affected by how much water we consume. Having an office water dispenser can help you stay properly hydrated and greatly reduce many common eye ailments, such eye strain, blurred vision, and dry eyes.
Water helps you think clearly
Our eyes take in information that our brains then interpret, analyze, and act upon. Water comes into play here as well. When we don’t take in enough water, our blood volume decreases, lowering blood pressure. If you’ve ever felt lightheaded, dizzy, or even just a bit foggy or tired later in the day, it could be due to insufficient hydration.
Spending too much time in a chair or too much time on your feet can both negatively affect muscles and joints, especially if we don’t drink enough water at work. Water helps muscles contract and relax. It also helps keep muscle cells hydrated. That can offset the muscle strain and cramps that often come with too much chair time or too much time on the floor at work. It’s much the same story with our joints. Water keeps them well lubricated and helps remove toxins from the body to fight joint inflammation.
Water works overtime
Continuing to drink water after we close our laptops and turn out the lights is important, too. Our bodies do most of their recovery and repair work while we sleep. Water plays a key role in replenishing our systems and helping us regain proper physiological balance, which means we wake up feeling rested and refreshed to take on another day at work.
Water helps strengthen your immune system
We mentioned earlier that water flushes out toxins in our bodies. But if we don’t consume enough water, the toxins can build up and our immune system has to work harder to manage them. Good hydration supports a strong and stable immune system that can fight off viruses and bacteria that make us sick and keep us out of work.
Raise a glass to a better day at work
No matter what we do at our jobs, each of us would like to be as productive as possible, right? That’s one more area where water can make a significant difference. A 2013 study conducted by the University of East London showed that drinking water can result in a 14% increase in productivity. It stands to reason that something as simple and easy as making a few trips to the office water cooler or water dispenser each day could help us do more at work, stay healthier doing it, and feel better about it when we wake up the next day.
It’s an average morning at work and you’re sitting there going through your emails and as you’re sipping on a hot coffee in a styrofoam cup, the teammate working nearby tosses his first plastic water bottle of the day in the trash bin under his desk. At the same time, someone around the corner is changing the printing cartridges and throwing the used ones away while someone else opens an energy bar wrapper in the breakroom. You go to write something down on your notepad but the pen has gone dry, so you throw it like a basketball at a bin across the room, swish! The amount of single-use products that office workers use in a single day can really be astonishing. For someone who works in an office, the average amount of waste they generate is 4.4 pounds per day. Then if you consider the number of people who work office jobs, the amount of waste created becomes almost unfathomable. Much of this waste can actually be recycled but the current infrastructure and patterns of behavior in most American offices has left us with a waste-generation problem. Recently the issue of microplastics, a symptom of the disease that is plastic waste, is creating serious health risk issues for humans across the globe, potentially including yourself.
What is microplastic and where does it come from?
Anything that you use in your office that is made with plastic materials (e.g. pens, plastic bottles and cups, cutlery, coffee pods, etc.) either ends up in a landfill or sewage. In that landfill, the plastics break down into tiny pieces about the size of sesame seeds or even smaller (5mm or less in length). These are microplastics and from the landfill, these small but mighty plastic shards leak out of landfills and end up washed into nearby waterways such as rivers and ponds. Water filtration systems fail to stop these harmful materials from reentering our lives. They eventually make their way via those waterways into the oceans and lakes, into the fish and other animals that we consume, the water that we drink and even into the air that we breathe. Humans can come into contact with microplastics through ingestion, inhalation, and skin contact, and can cause health issues like cancer, organ failure, diabetes, neurological and reproductive issues, amongst others. These microplastics are pervasive across the globe and scientists don’t fully understand the extent of this problem or the long term impacts they could have on human health and the environment. What scientists do know, however, is that these materials are extremely harmful to marine life in the short-term, this puts an essential nutritional resource to many cultures across the globe at risk.
While you may think that you can avoid microplastics simply by not eating fish, unfortunately, that is not the case. Researchers at the University of Victoria in Canada analyzed microplastics levels in the bodies of various people and found the biggest sources of microplastic to be not only from seafood but also from the air they were breathing and bottled water they were drinking. That’s right, bottled water! The very thing that is breaking down and creating the microplastic problem in the first place. An article in Time magazine states, “when people drink their water only from bottled sources, they ingest about 90,000 microplastic particles every year from that water, but people who drink only tap water get 4,000 of such particles a year”. This fact is shocking and certainly has left us with a distrust of bottled water here at Bevi. Because we know that microplastics are harmful to our bodies, we need to start to reduce the amount that we are allowing to enter the environment and ultimately our food chain. It is not enough to simply get better at recycling single-use plastic products. We also need to work at not creating them in the first place. Workspaces and offices are one of the largest sources of plastic pollution and there are so many ways these spaces can be altered to be better for the environment and better for the health of their employees. Read on!
How can I reduce the amount of microplastics my office creates?
Office managers and eco-friendly workplace warriors can really help when it comes to combating the issue of plastic waste and microplastics. Initially, there might be some investment needed in order to move away from things like single-use plastic forks and spoons and toward reusable silverware that is much better for the environment. There may be other hurdles to overcome, such as not having a good recycling program in your area. There may also be some pushback from co-workers initially, who are used to having their iced coffee in plastic cups every day or who just don’t see the urgency in changing their behavior. Here are some steps you can take to reduce the amount of plastic waste coming from your office and in turn you will be helping to reduce the amount of microplastics in your surrounding environment. Ultimately your company and your co-workers will thank you.
1. Find some inspiration
There are so many great zero-waste influencers on social media these days and they are helping to teach others about all of the great DIY projects and eco-friendly products they use in order to reduce the amount of waste they generate. You can follow a lot of these folks on Instagram such as the waterthruskin and get inspired to go waste-free yourself. Follow accounts likezero.waste.collective that provide tips on things like creating a zero-waste dishwashing routine. That’s something you could implement in the office!
2. Trash Audit
In order to make changes, one often has to find the urgency to do so. There is no way to find the urgency unless you know how much you are actually wasting. A good way to do this is an office-wide trash audit. It can be eye-opening and will spark behavior change amongst your co-workers. In order to do this, take a trash bin from different parts of the office including the breakroom, the printer room, conference room, or whatever other rooms you may have. Dump it out and with gloves on go through it, and write everything that you find in there on a whiteboard or piece of paper. If there is more than one of something, for example, multiple plastic cups, just put extra tally marks next to that item on your list. If you’re noticing one type of garbage taking up most of the space in the bin, you might try to make that the first thing you try to switch from disposable to reusable. You can even share with the rest of the company what you found, and give them the heads up that there might be some small changes coming their way.
3. Make the easy switches
To get buy-in, tell the people in your office why these changes are important and thank them for working with you to make your office healthier and more sustainable. Start a BYOB initiative and encourage people to bring their own reusable coffee cup and/or a reusable water bottle. If your company can, a good way to discourage the use of disposable plastic products is by supplying team members with company-branded water bottles or travel mugs! Plus when they’re using the cups out-of-office, these can serve as free advertisements for your business!. Motivate team members to pack lunch from home and avoid eating out. This might be difficult to get everyone to do, but try tying this initiative in with a healthy-eating initiative. Something that would help start this process would be to make sure you have a refrigerator where your co-workers can store their lunches, and perhaps even a dishwasher if possible. Employees can go one step further and bring bamboo or metal cutlery and their own reusable straws. Every little thing helps! The most important part of this part of the process is raising awareness across the company. Choose someone to spearhead and be the face of the zero-waste initiative. You can incentivize your co-workers by putting different teams in competition with one another to see who can reduce their plastic waste the most in the upcoming months.
4. Amenities: better for employees, the environment & your budget
Now that you got everyone using their reusable coffee mugs and water bottles, it’s time to take things up another level. There are tons of innovative products on the market that are specifically meant to reduce the amount of office waste that a business might generate. Bevi is an awesome way to inspire employees to refill their bottles all day long and save office managers from the stress of restocking shelves with beverages. With Bevi, your co-workers can completely customize their beverage with carbonation or different flavors. This makes the hydration experience throughout the workday much more exciting and generally reduces the amount of dehydrated and angry people in the office. Bevi is often cheaper than continuing to buy and stock tons of single-use seltzer cans or plastic water bottles. Additionally, if you have anyone coming to the office, the Bevi is a fun way to entertain your guests while also providing them a delicious and healthy beverage.
5. Recycling Programs
Recycling is not standardized throughout the US and often much of what we think we’re recycling ends up in landfills anyway. Some cities are better at recycling than others, so it’s important that if you are trying to become zero-waste in the office, you should research the recycling programs for your general area. If you find that the recycling programs in your area are inadequate, there is a company called TerraCycle who is ready to help you! TerraCycle has various programs and products aimed at eliminating the idea of office waste. The Break Room Separation Zero Waste Box™ is a good way to collect all of the recyclable material from your breakroom. TerraCycle will provide you with points that can be redeemed for various prizes or exchanged for money toward a charity of your choice.
We spend so much of our lives in our workplaces and within those spaces, we each generate a huge amount of waste. Most of that is plastic waste that ends up as harmful microplastic particles that could harm the health of our employees and co-workers later down the line. Shouldn’t we all be taking steps to reduce the amount of waste we generate during the workday? Hopefully, this information and our tips will help you kick off a zero-waste initiative in the office, and please share this article with other office managers if you found it helpful!
Many companies these days understand the importance of retaining brilliant young talent as well as the cost associated with high turnover rates. Over the past decade, it has become increasingly common to invest in corporate perks such as ping pong tables and bean-bag chairs, napping pods and meditation rooms. While these office additions may help with employee burnout, there isn’t much evidence that they address the actual wants and needs of employees when it comes to their health and wellness in the workplace.
One Havard study that looked into the wellness programs of various large US companies and found that 80% of those programs lead to less-than-satisfactory results. Much of this had to do with the types of perks that were a part of the wellness programs, which were not actually addressing the issues that mattered most to the majority of employees.
Another study dove deeper into this idea of “perks” to discover which were the most important to employees and their productivity. This found that air quality, comfortable lighting, and great water quality were the 3 most important wellness perks from a survey of 1,600 workers. These three categories were more important than having healthy snacking options and even fitness centers on-site. This was due to their power to promote not only the employee’s physical wellness but also their emotional and environmental wellness.
Water quality as an essential perk stood out to us here at Bevi because we’ve seen first-hand how increasing hydration in the workplace has benefits in productivity and general employee satisfaction. Workers that are dehydrated are usually lower energy, more irritable, and less focused and alert during the day. A large part as to why this occurs is because the hydration options in most offices are limited, uninteresting, or unhealthy.
While plenty of office managers and business owners offer freshwater for their employees, coffee and sodas are also extremely popular. Those options are less healthy than water and definitely do not have the maximum hydrating power that H2O does. Coffee and soda are historically less boring than water and when they need a break from their busy day, sometimes employees want to sip on something a little bit more exciting than plain old water.
The lack of exciting options leads many team members to forget about hydrating all together, which brings on those other symptoms of dehydration discussed earlier. It is through solutions like Bevi, the smartest and most exciting watercooler around, that office managers can boost the “water quality perk” in the office and also increase retention and performance. Employees hydrate more times throughout the day when using Bevi because they can completely customize their beverage to their liking, adding carbonation and flavors, as well as adjusting the temperature of the water. The flavoring has little or no calories and is created using natural ingredients that are gluten-free and kosher. That means that with Bevi, there are options for everyone in the office from the soda-loving accountant to the seltzer-obsessed communications manager.
Human Resources managers and Wellness Directors should look into how Bevi can be an addition to your company-wide wellness programs and initiatives. We now know that increasing the water quality and options at work can help dehydrated employees struggling to get through the long workday, and we think Bevi takes that to another level by bringing excitement back into staying hydrated. A less dehydrated workforce is a higher-performing and happier workforce and that is key to retaining top talent these days.
We are excited to share that Bevi has been honored in Built In Boston’s Prestigious Best Places to Work List in 2020. Bevi is ranked #24, and the complete list is available here.
Built In Boston helps Boston tech professionals stay on top of tech news and trends, expand their networks and carve out futures at companies they believe in. The Places to Work list rates companies algorithmically based on compensation data and employer benefits. Rank is determined by combining a company’s score in each of these categories.
Located in Charlestown, Bevi is disrupting the beverage supply chain by using intuitive, user-centered design to provide customizable, healthy beverages at the point of use – and to save the waste generated by over 150 million plastic bottles, and counting.
“I really wanted to work for a company that shared my values, and Bevi’s environmental mission really aligns with who I am. Since I started, Bevi has tripled in size. My role has changed so much along the way: I started as a Sales Assistant working mainly behind the scenes, and now I go all over New England to meet clients and partners face to face. Unlike my previous experiences, at Bevi I’ve been encouraged to take initiative and think outside the box to find solutions; I really enjoy this creative aspect of my role.”
– Jen Toro, Team Lead – Territory Sales Manager
Bevi has an open-door policy, even our CEO is just a Slack message away! Our office features an open floor plan, and we even have an onsite gym. As a mission-driven company, we value the impact our employees have on the community and offer paid volunteer time. We work hard, but we play hard as well. Our office gets together monthly for office parties, and an annual retreat.
We have various internal groups at Bevi that collaborate and support each other! “The Green Team” connects on topics like recycling and environmental impacts, changes we can make not only as a company but how we can improve as individuals. We have a Diversity and Inclusion Group – Bevi DNA, where we discuss diversity initiatives, share experiences and support one another.
Do you ever feel downright sluggish at work? Nothing, not even your usual dose of coffee seems to help?
In the fast-paced world we live in, it is paramount that each of us can contribute to the best of our ability. We all clamor to be the MVP. The employee everyone admires, the boss loves, and the one who is constantly praised for “killing it” time and time again. We look up to this person and wonder how they can consistently produce great results.
Doesn’t there seem to be something preventing you from reaching that level?
Well, there is, and it affects 77% of workers every day.
I know what you’re probably thinking. There’s no way this guy knows the secret to unlock higher productivity in the workplace. While that may be partially true, I do know that proper hydration is one of the key ingredients to increasing productivity. I’m not just saying that – a recent study showed that adequate hydration could lead up to a staggering 14 percent increase in productivity.
Ok, now go grab some water and come back to finish the blog!
The Dehydration Epidemic
The jog in the morning, a cup of coffee when you get into work, the sodium packed dish that you had for lunch. Can you spot what’s missing? Proper hydration. This is a typical schedule for many 9-5 workers, and water, in its holistic self, is bereft from that equation. For those who do have an office job, a majority of their day is spent at work. The way you hydrate, there can have a considerable impact, not only on the job but away from the office as well.
Look around your office. Say you have 50 people. 39 of them are dehydrated and are functioning at sub-optimal productivity levels. It’s an epidemic. An epidemic that can easily be abated by drinking more water.
Did you know that the minute you start feeling thirsty means that you are already dehydrated?
Even slight dehydration has huge ramifications that can cause a near domino effect. Dehydration -> lower productivity -> lackluster results. This is a vicious cycle. As consumers, we have to make a change and be proactive about hydration. Your body and your manager will thank you.
Speed kills. The age-old saying. And it’s true. The faster you are on the ice, on the field, or in the office, all the better.
Throughout the day, our bodily functions cause us to lose pertinent fluids that are vital to our well being. These have to be replenished. If they aren’t, it can lead to dehydration… and well, we all know some of the nasty side effects of dehydration. Headaches, dizziness, fatigue, the list goes on and on. Losing as little as 2 % of your body’s fluids is enough to cause dehydration.
Right now, the hype is all around caffeine. The 4 dollar Starbucks coffee before work, the 3 dollar energy drinks packed with caffeine. Both of these do a great job giving you a short jolt of energy, but we are all too familiar with the afternoon crashes, killing productivity.
Our focus is backward. The hype should really be around proper hydration and not hitting our caffeine targets each day.
Our focus is backward. The hype should really be around proper hydration and not hitting our caffeine targets each day.
Here are some of the key benefits of drinking water; Let’s start to build the hype.
Increase oxygen throughout the body – Water is the main component of blood, which supplies cells with oxygen and nutrients and carries out waste.
Promote healthy brain function and increase mental clarity – 73% of the brain is water, so it’s understandable how big an impact hydration has on the body’s most important organ. Scientists have done studies to show that losing just 1.1% body water weight increases your neural effort when performing cognitive tasks, having an effect on short term memory, long term memory recall, arithmetic, and general problem-solving. Consuming water should allow you to think, synthesize, and act at your highest potential.
Increase energy levels and combat fatigue – Water is one of the most important energy sources in your body. It has several enzymatic functions, including contributing to good sleep, production of energy throughout the day, and restoration of bodily systems. Next time you are feeling a bit sluggish, try reaching for a glass of water in lieu of another coffee.
Prevent/treat headaches and migraines – Maybe you drank a few too many glasses of wine the night before or are simply not drinking enough water throughout the day, dehydration can often lead to the dreaded headache and even migraine. According to researchers, dehydration causes blood volume to drop, which results in less blood and oxygen flow to the brain and dilated blood vessels. Water is the catalyst for oxygen production throughout the body. Maybe it’s the missing cure for your chronic headaches.
Where’s the water?
The most common beverage you’ll find in almost every office is coffee. Coffee isn’t the evil dehydrating drink that it’s made out to be. Recent studies have shown that drinking coffee actually has a net hydrating effect. Still, multiple cups of coffee a day won’t give you the proper hydration you’re looking for.
The most significant limiting factor when it comes to workplace hydration is access. Some offices may not have a water dispenser of any sort which forces employees to either buy bottled water at the Starbucks down the street or, even worse, try to ignore their thirst. Larger offices may have a water cooler through a maze of cubicles and hallways that makes filling up a pain and not worth it. An easy way to fix this is by rearranging your layout or by adding additional sources of water.
Channel what we just talked about. 14 percent higher productivity, increased focus, added mental clarity. It’s in every office’s best interest to at least provide some water vessel to their employees. A simple water dispenser, or two, should suffice in almost any office.
For some, water can be too bland and flavorless. Luckily, we do live in the 21st century, and there seems like an infinite amount of healthy beverage options. People are becoming more health-conscious and aware of what they are consuming. Sparkling water is the big fad. Soda esque characteristics, yet hydrating and calorie-free without all the added sugars, chemicals, and whatever other ingredients that no one can pronounce without searching google. At least most of the time.
With the rise of employee perks, a number of offices now stock soda’s, seltzers, coffee, tea, you name it. There’s usually a divide in what people drink. Most are addicted to coffee, some will opt for the sugary soda, others will go for the healthier seltzer.
For the Office Managers out there – Isn’t it a pain ordering and restocking a variety of beverages for your employees, each with different preferences? What if I told you there was a suite of machines that provide delicious, customizable hydration on tap.
Bevi has a drink for everyone. Whether you’re looking for plain filtered water to keep you satiated, or your feeling a little ambitious and want to go with a fruity, sparkling option – the choice is yours. Check out how Bevi solved Medallia Food Services team’s need for variety here!
At the end of the day, how you stay healthy and hydrated is your choice to a point. If you don’t have easy access to water, then you’re at a disadvantage. Take action and get Bevi, and together let’s quest to stay hydrated!
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