On the surface the difference between plumbed water dispensers and bottled water coolers might seem minimal, but when it comes to actually making that decision there are numerous factors that need to be considered to ensure that you are making an informed choice.
How often will it be used?
The first question that needs to be asked is concerning the usage. If there is going to be high usage with many people visiting the cooler throughout the day then the plumbed water dispenser would certainly save money. This might be the case for a very large office or for a hot location with poor air circulation. However, if you have a small office or cold weather the likelihood is that the bottled water cooler will be a cheaper option.
How much room have you got?
There is then the question of storage as the bottled water cooler will take up more room to store the 18.9L bottles, whereas the plumbed version will only need room for the actual water cooler.
While storage is obviously an issue when considering the size of the water bottles, you also need to consider location as the plumbed water dispenser will not be portable and will have to be connected to the mains water supply. In comparison the bottled water cooler can be moved to wherever there is space, as long as it is relatively close to the bottle storage, for ease of replacement.
What about your environment?
It is also advisable that the environment is considered as drinking water needs will change throughout the seasons, with summer being a peak time and winter needing much less water. Ensure that you factor this into the equation as the bottled option might seem ideal in winter, but then the cost will increase dramatically if you have a hot summer.
What budget to you have?
In addition to all these factors, you need to consider whether your company needs to budget for the water cooler or not. The bottled water cooler will need to be budgeted for as the amount consumed might change depending on the weather, whereas the plumbed cooler will offer a fixed price, allowing your more flexibility and the ability to plan ahead.
A water cooler is a very useful item to have in the office and will undoubtedly aid concentration and productivity, but when you’re choosing which type to get you need to consider the outlined variables carefully to ensure you find a suitable deal.