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The terms ‘water cooler’ and ‘workplace’ often go hand in hand. Indeed, many of us may have had water cooler conversations with colleagues while getting a drink of water at work.
Having an informal space for impromptu workplace collaborations is great for workplace culture and community. And in today’s culture of working from home, some organisations have even introduced the concept of virtual water coolers to ensure remote employees don’t miss out!
And although there are many great social benefits to having a workplace water cooler in your office or factory, there are other important reasons why it’s a great addition to yours…
6 Reasons Your Organisation Needs a Workplace Water Cooler
There are a whole range of physical, social, environment and economic benefits for providing a water cooler in your organisation – here are 6 reasons why your workplace could benefit from one…
1. To Adhere To Australian Workplace Guidelines
According to the Compliance Code for Workplace Amenities and Work Environment, ‘an adequate supply of clean drinking water must be provided free of charge for workers at all times… positioned where it can be easily accessed by workers’ and ‘the temperature of the drinking water should be at or below 24 degrees Celsius’.
Providing a workplace water cooler helps organisations meet this compliance code simply and easily.
2. To Help Staff Stay Hydrated And Healthy
We all know the importance of staying hydrated to keep our bodies functioning correctly and prevent us from becoming dehydrated. What’s more, keeping our water intake up helps us remain active and productive and avoid fatigue.
Not drinking enough water can sometimes be exacerbated at work if we get too busy. A water cooler in a visible and accessible place can help with this and encourage staff to access cool, fresh water as often as they and their body needs it.
3. To Promote Great Communication And Culture
As previously mentioned, a workplace water cooler is synonymous with collaboration and conversation and is often an impromptu meeting place for colleagues to share ideas, problem solve and build relationships with those around them.
These benefits all have a role to play in building and maintaining a great working environment and indeed ‘the most crucial exchanges are informal, and happen around places like the water cooler’.
4. To Increase Productivity And Save Time
Water coolers in workplaces can increase productivity as by providing a convenient source of clean, fresh drinking water, employees are more likely to stay hydrated which can lead to increased energy levels and a greater ability to stay focused.
The social aspect also has a role to play as employees have a greater opportunity to discuss potential innovations and troubleshoot challenges with their peers.
What’s more, not having to refill water bottles, put on a kettle for hot water or wait for water to cool down in a fridge can also save a lot of time!
5. To Help Reduce Single-Use Plastic Waste
A significant benefit of having a water cooler in the workplace is that it can help to reduce single-use plastic waste.
Although in the absence of a water cooler many employees could choose to bring in their own water bottles, some may be more likely to purchase disposable plastic bottles instead and thus a water cooler can provide a more sustainable alternative, reducing the need for single-use plastic bottles.
6. To Help Save Money
Workplace water coolers can be a cost-effective solution for organisations to supply water for employees in several ways.
Firstly, renting and maintaining a water cooler is often less expensive than purchasing individual bottled water for employees on a regular basis. Moreover, having a water cooler removes the need for water to be stored in the fridge and can therefore reduce the amount of fridges required.
Additionally, as mentioned previously, having a water cooler in the workplace can help to reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste produced, which can help to lower costs associated with waste disposal and recycling.
Water Coolers for All Types of Workplaces
When we talk about water coolers in the workplace, we often think of an office environment.
However, water coolers are just as, if not more, necessary in other workplaces such as factories and outdoor sites.
Working in a factory, warehouse or shed can involve lots of manual labour, hot temperatures and walking around, which means staff are likely to require more water. Therefore, ensuring a plentiful supply of cold water is vital.
This is also true of outdoor work sites but in addition involves exposure to the natural elements (e.g sun, heat), hence the need for an ongoing supply of cold drinking water can be even greater.
4 Types of Water Coolers for Different Workplaces
Workplaces environment can vary from small offices or retail spaces to large factories and outdoor construction sites so it’s really important to explore the types of water coolers most suitable for your particular workplace.
1. Bottled Spring Water Coolers
This cooler consists of a large bottle of spring water sitting upside down on the dispenser and is dispensed through a tap or taps.
The cooler unit uses a refrigeration system to keep the water at a cool temperature and is easy to set up and maintain. However, the refrigeration system means these coolers can only keep the water cool if there is an uninterrupted supply of electricity.
2. Filtered Water Fountains/Bubblers
These are similar to bottle-based water coolers, but instead of relying on keeping stock of 15 litre spring water bottles, connect directly to the mains water supply with filtered, fresh tasting tap water.
One of the main advantages of water fountains is that they don’t require the ongoing replacement of water bottles.
3. Ceramic Pots (Portable option)
These water coolers can be placed anywhere and don’t require electricity, therefore can be a convenient and practical option for many workplaces and ‘are ideal for locations with no power or consumers who like their water at room temperature’.
4. Self-fill Water Filter Coolers
These water coolers use a filtration system to remove impurities and contaminants and improve the taste of the water. They are ideal for workplaces where the water supply may be of poor quality or taste but must be placed near the mains water supply in order to operate.
So Should You Get A Water Cooler For Your Workplace?
Here at Pacific Springs we would give a resounding yes to that question! We deliver our water coolers and spring water every week to a wide range of workplaces from offices to retail outlets, factories to warehouses so we know how much they are loved!
If you’re unsure if a water cooler is right for your workplace or would like to explore which types of water cooler could be right for you, just get in touch – we’d love to help!
- Model Code of Practice Managing the work environment and facilities https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1702/managing_work_environment_and_facilities2.pdf (30/01/23)
- The Water Cooler Effect: https://www.afr.com/companies/the-water-cooler-effect-20020208-j854y (30/01/23)