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Start Your Own BYOB initiative with Bevi

Often times, the Office Manager is on the front lines of a continuous battle between those employees who value convenience and those who prioritize environmental impact. From balancing the office’s budget to fielding all types of employee complaints, the Office Manager is almost always stuck between a rock and a hard place.

As with any daunting task, it’s best to start small. And implementing a Bring Your Own Reusable Bottle initiative is a great place to start.

Rather than stocking and restocking sky-scrapers of plastic cups in your kitchen, reduce your plastic waste exponentially by encouraging employees to take their favorite canteen into work with them. This BYOB approach will not only save the Office Manager time, but save money — money that can be reinvested in something everyone in the office will love, like fruit or snacks!

Don’t left the office kitchen battles continue: check out these 5 tactful ways to get everyone on board — and even excited about — the new BYOB initiative.

Green Strategy #1: Form an eco-minded task force

Form an eco-minded task force

Remember: there’s strength in numbers.

Whether you’re an Office Manager or an environmentally-conscious employee, it’s best to have a team of people behind you when proposing a new and drastic change to life at the office.

Don’t face the rebuttals and complaints alone. Gather a squad, inform them of the change and its rationale, and let the company know that there’s a whole group of excited employees ready to answer any questions that may come up.

Especially at larger companies, where it’s unlikely everyone knows each other on a first name basis, try to involve a few people from each department in your sustainability task force. Employees are more likely to trust and support the people they work with everyday than a faceless email announcement from someone they’ve never met.

Before kicking-off your BYOB program, be sure to form a squad of people who can help hype up its positive, environmental impact, as well as field any comments or concerns different departments may have.

Green Strategy #2: The long distance relationship

Is this your recycling bin? Looks like it’s time to get Bevi.

For some offices, getting rid of plastic cups might be as simple as never buying them again. In other offices, however, the transition might not be as smooth. If you’re worried about an impromptu employee mutiny, there are several ways to ease your office into a more zero-waste approach to water cooler talk.

After launching your BYOB program, try leaving only a small stack of plastic cups in plain sight. Chances are, many folks won’t go looking — or won’t know where to look — when the stack disappears. This will help to incentivize people to bring in their bottles, since having to find and restock the plastic cups is more effort than carrying your own bottle. You might get some annoyed comments about the lack of cups over Slack, but stay strong! Tell these folks where they can find more cups, but don’t restock them yourself.

If your office isn’t equipped with reusable glassware, keeping an emergency pack of single-use cups on hand is kind of a must — especially if you frequently have visitors. In this case, stash the solo cups away in a secret cabinet or drawer, and reveal them only when you’re expecting guests.

In general, if the BYOB initiative is more controversial than you planned, relieve separation anxiety by making the transition from plastic cups as gradual and reasonable as possible.

Green strategy #3: Get custom bottles made for your office

Office Hydration Bevi

If you’ve got the budget, this is a no brainer.

What better way to launch your BYOB initiative than to purchase a personalized or company-branded (or both!) reusable bottle for each of your employees.

Many companies that are both getting a Bevi and moving into a completely new office space like to include reusable bottles as part of a ‘Welcome to Your New Office’ gift for each employee. Broadly speaking, moving into a new space is the perfect occasion to put new, eco-friendly systems in place!

While not every office has the funds to purchase bottles for everyone, there are many work-arounds. Water proof stickers are a simple and affordable way to get employees hyped about showing off their newly decorated reusable bottle around the office. Have your designers create a whole series of stickers to pick and choose from, or get everyone a decal of their name. Another solution is to work with your team to select and design a bottle that people can order on their own if they so choose — this works well in offices in which most people already have a favorite bottle, and may not need the company topurchase one for them.

Once your custom bottles arrive, encourage folks to leave them at work. With shiny, new reusable bottles on their desks, the die-hard plastic cup users will surely become BYOB champions.

Green Strategy #4: Reinforce — and reward! — positive behaviors

Shoutouts on Namely

At Bevi, we love giving shoutouts over Slack or in our HR portal, Namely.

Ever heard of intermittent reinforcement conditioning? If you haven’t, all you need to know is this: it works! As foreign as this term may sound, chances are it’s something you’re already doing in the office. Each time you randomly give a shoutout to an employee over Slack, you are using the power of intermittent conditioning to motivate and reinforce positive behaviors!

The true beauty of intermittent conditioning lies in the fact that you only have to reward behaviors occasionally in order to reinforce them. In knowing that they might get recognition for their positive behavior, employees will start to make good habits part of their normal routine, whether it’s helping to clean out the fridge or bringing their reusable bottle into work.

Don’t take this the wrong way: we’re not suggesting you treat your co-workers like Pavlov’s dogs!

All we’re saying is that highlighting or rewarding someone who has brought their reusable bottle into work is a really great way to motivate that individual — and others — to keep your BYOB initiative going strong.

Green Strategy #5: Proudly share positive results

Cheers to reusable bottles

A toast, to all those who use a reusable bottle. Cheers!

Similar to Green Strategy #4, keep your BYOB program top-of-mind by frequently sharing how it has positively impacted your office and beyond.

In addition to a company-wide email or appreciation post, go big and briefly share results in the next All Hands meeting. If eliminating plastic cups has saved you enough money to buy more snacks for your office, put a sign on the fridge or water cooler explaining how the new treats are the fruits of your office’s collective labor!

For companies that have an explicitly environmental mission, your newly instated BYOB initiative could be a great occasion to brag about your company’s awesomeness on social media. Some companies might even opt to highlight an eco-warrior of the month; in other words, give a shoutout to an employee that has gone above and beyond when it comes to keeping things green at work.

Whether you’re a small startup or an international corporation, a Bring Your Own Reusable Bottle initiative is a simple and effective way to reduce your office’s footprint.

The best thing about hydration is that your body is good at regulating it for you.

Whether you’re thirsting for a big glass of cold water or feeling like you need just a sip, your body naturally gives you a nudge — in the form of a craving — when it’s time for a refill.

We sat down with Dr. Tom Ronay, Medical Director at Circle Medical (the doctor’s office that comes to you, paid for by your insurance, now operating in the Bay Area), for a deep dive into hydration in the workplace. Since the majority of people spend most of their waking hours at work, how you hydrate in the office can have a big impact on your our overall health.

From coffee breaks to water cooler talk, sugar rushes to BYORB (bring your own reusable bottle), Dr. Ronay provided some insight into — and tips for — healthy hydration in the workplace and beyond.

What is happening on an anatomical level when a person feels thirsty?

Thirst is regulated by your blood vessels and kidneys via a complex and very fast-acting cascade that triggers your brain to crave fluids of any kind. This process all happens automatically: the human body is excellent at regulating hydration and is faster than any laboratory test out there. 1 out of 4 office employees say they don’t hydrate enough.

What do you consider the biggest limiting factor when it comes to workplace hydration?

Access is key. Some offices may not have a filtered water cooler, which forces employees to either buy bottled water at the Starbucks down the street or to try and ignore their thirst. Given that proper hydration can increase employee productivity up to 14%, it’s in every office’s best interest to provide a consistent and healthy source of beverages to their employees. In some larger offices, the water cooler might be tucked away in the corner or halfway across the floor. Small layout changes or adding additional hydration stations is a great way to give employees more immediate access to water.

Countertop Bevi at Catalyzer

Another key factor is how you decide to quench your thirst. When you feel thirsty, in reality any fluid can quench that initial thirst, but only some fluids — the healthy ones — will keep you hydrated and balanced.

Let’s chat a bit about the most common beverage in any office: coffee. Can coffee keep you hydrated?

Coffee is limited in how well it can hydrate you. It is in fact a diuretic, meaning it can actually cause you to lose more fluid than you gain. Similarly, it also can move your intestines more quickly than is typically comfortable. It doesn’t have to be coffee either — really any caffeinated drink will have this effect on the body, so it’s hard to work around it. While it is better than nothing, drinking coffee all day isn’t exactly the best way to keep yourself hydrated and focused in the office.

How do our bodies respond to caffeinated drinks and will they actually make us more productive?

How we metabolize caffeine is different from the way in which our body processes something like alcohol. Caffeine is metabolized and removed from your body quickly at first, but after about 4–6 hours its metabolized much slower, meaning it sticks around in our bodies for a fairly long time.

Caffeine Half Life

Contrary to common thought, coffee does affect people in the evening, sometimes even disrupting sleep. Besides disrupting the amount of sleep, it can really affect the quality of sleep you get; the time you spend sleeping becomes inefficient, meaning you require more sleep to compensate.

Coffee may give you that extra boost you need to finish out the workday, but it will ultimately affect the amount of rest you get after work.

As the saying goes, ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.’ How can someone like an office manager encourage employees to stay hydrated?

Forcing or shaming people to drink water is counterproductive, especially when there are many creative ways to integrate hydration into your typical office routine. For example, in our office, each person has their favorite mug, cup or glass. These personalized mugs or special glasses are fun and almost a form of personal expression.

Having a unique drinking vessel not only encourages people to fill up their glass, but also helps to lessen the occurrence of anonymous dirty cups in the sink.

What are some different types of healthy drinks an office can keep on hand for those employees that don’t usually opt for plain water?

The variety of alternatives out there is amazing. Many office now stock cold, fizzy drinks, hot drinks like tea, and everything in between!

In recent years, there’s been a national decrease in soda consumption and an increase in demand for healthier alternatives. People are now getting into different types of waters, such as mineral water, seltzer water, and fruit-flavored water, that are more satisfying alternatives to sugary carbonated drinks.

Press the touchscreen to pour - Bevi

For offices that have a mixture of water drinkers and soda lovers, Bevi is a great compromise. Plain water drinkers can have their fill of plain filtered water, while soda lovers can make the transition to Bevi’s unsweetened fruit flavors.

Hydration is often cited as a form of disease prevention. How do your experiences align with this concept?

As young doctors in training, we learned that providing access to hydration was all that was needed for most of our hospitalized patients. Our patients did not require precise measurements or IV hydration, unless they were immobile or elderly. If you provide access to water, the patient will take care of the rest.

Office Hydration

The same thing goes for flu or cold prevention in the office. Sometimes offices will provide their employees with Vitamin C during flu and cold season, but an initiative to hydrate more frequently could have an even bigger impact.

Keep in mind that our bodies are primarily water — somewhere around 60–78%. In general, our bodies are made up of elements that are subject to the laws of chemistry and physics, and therefore have many complex reactions. This means if you’re drinking poor quality water or your water level is simply low, you’re at a serious disadvantage on a chemical level.

When it comes to water, is there ever such a thing as too much?

In my own life, I have received a lot of conflicting advice on this point. My Sergeant in the Air Force always used to say “Drink water until you pee clear,” but this conflicted with what my marathon doctor advised me; he always emphasized that over-hydrating is a real risk for competitors.

Running

These combined experiences taught me that forcing water on people (or in this case, marathon runners) was annoying and counter-productive, but providing access to water was critical in any situation. Unless someone is elderly or has limited access to hydration, they will most likely drink as much water as they need.

Do you have a favorite way of hydrating?

I will admit that I drink one cup of coffee at the office, and I could definitely do more to keep myself consistently hydrated. Having a Bevi in the office would certainly help me take care of that!