Water Coolers: An Inexpensive Productivity Tool

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Office workers next to water cooler

Modern management theory now recognises that one of the most valuable assets that a business has is its staff, and millions of dollars each year are spent by companies in training and development activities to build and sustain morale. Even the most successful business can be ruined if the staff members cannot work together as a team, and often, it is the little things that can cause friction and disharmony. Seemingly silly things like weeks of summer heat and no water coolers in the office is enough to start a conflict that drains energy and distracts everyone from the important tasks needed to be done to actually run the business.

How to keep office workers productive

These situations are totally avoidable if the management realises that the work environment, just as much as the operational issues need attention. The old saying that an army marches on its stomach is just as true of any other group of people with a common objective. An office is no different, and to have refrigerators to store food, and drinking water available in water coolers is just as essential to productivity as the latest computer equipment.

In a manufacturing environment, this also extends to the workshop floor, where strategically placed water coolers can improve productivity by giving the workers quick access to clean and cool water rather than have them walk distances to the crib room to access water bottles. Water coolers in this environment are also much more practical from a safety point of view, due to the difficulty of keeping a large number of empty bottles from spilling out of rubbish bins onto the workshop floor and creating a tripping hazard.

Water in any working environment is a healthier alternative to drink in large quantities than soft drinks or energy drinks. While one or two of these drinks a day do little harm and can be refreshing, only water can be safely consumed, especially in the heat, without the adverse effects of ingesting excess sugar and caffeine. Providing water coolers in any working environment, whether it is office, retail, manufacturing, health services or any other sector, will ensure that workers have the hydration and energy necessary to perform the operational tasks that drive the business forward.

The last thing a business needs is to have its valuable staff members wasting their time and energy in conflict with each other over a lack of basic amenities. It is hard to imagine for those people who work in comfortable, air-conditioned modern premises with ready access to office water that some employees still work in conditions that would almost be considered third world.

There are productivity gains to be had by providing employees with the kind of amenities that demonstrate to them every day that the company considers their contribution to be valuable. Providing a few water coolers at strategic locations is a good place to start.