In recent years water coolershave become a ubiquitous sight in the workplace, alongside stationery, IT equipment and hot water urns. While chilled drinking water and in particular plumbed water coolers have not always been highlighted as the essential commodity it is now, studies have shown that it aids concentration and production and is therefore a key aspect of the working environment. Anyone who has ever worked in an office without a plumbed water dispenser can certainly vouch for their importance.
In relation to water coolers, the typical image that is conjured up is a generic office or call centre, but nowadays it has been acknowledged that it is in fact an essential item for any workplace; especially those that involve high levels of physical exertion. From libraries to garages; everyone needs several glasses of water while at work to keep a clear head. Before the commercialisation of chilled drinking fountains the importance of having regular drinks was somewhat overlooked. Some companies still request that their employees don’t have hot or cold drinks at their desks, due to the risk of spillage, suggesting that they wait until their break for refreshment. However, having regular drinks of water keeps the drinker awake and alert, improving their levels of concentration and as this becomes common knowledge companies are realising the increased productivity a simple water cooler can provide.
While it is important for a variety of work places to have a drinking water fountain, there are multiple reasons to have several fountains around an office environment. Aside from the need for refreshment and to stay hydrated, those who work in an office and specifically in front of a computer are advised to leave their desks for several minutes each hour. A quick walk to the water cooler allows employees to stretch their legs, move around and rest their eyes in a way that will not break their concentration or provide an extensive distraction.
From both the employee and the business owner’s point of viewdrinking fountains are a positive contribution to the working environment. The business owner will see an increase in productivity and the employee will have greater comfort at work and better health as a result. As they are such a popular product there are many cost-effective options to suit any office. For those low on space there are counter top water coolers or recessed water coolers that offer the same quality of chilled water, without the impact on space. There are also outdoor drinking fountains,vandal proof drinking fountains and the option of plumbed in or bottled water coolers.
Depending on the location and the budget there is a solution for every office. While it is not currently a legal obligation in the UK for employers to provide drinking fountains for their staff, it is highly recommended. The common cliché of workers congregating around the water fountain to share gossip is well known for a reason; because it is fulfils a need that everyone shares. The water cooler at work is a sight that is here to stay.