Can Drinking Water Every Day Keep the Doctor Away?

Why drinking water is good for your workforce.

Good old January. It’s the month of the post-Christmas slump. Resolutions are made and abandoned. Depression reaches a peak. Summer seems a distant prospect. And for employers, sickness absences are at their highest levels of any time in the year, thanks to the prevalence of colds and flu. Short of initiating a policy of compulsory flu vaccinations and vitamin C shots, there’s no way to fully avoid that January sickness surge, but there is one way to help counter it: water.

Now, OK, I know that sounds like a big claim, but providing drinking water for your workforce – whether through a traditional cooler, or a fountain with a sports bottle refill station – allows them to stay hydrated, which in turn boosts immunity, so they’re better prepared to fight off whatever winter lurgies are lingering in your vicinity. But that’s not the only reason why water is good for your workforce.

Five reasons to provide drinking water for your staff

      1. Reduce Sickness Absence – In addition to the above, drinking water aids digestion, reduces fatigue, regulates body temperature and improves the mood, all of which can help improve staff attendance.


      1. Concentration – The human brain is made up of approximately 85% water. Consequently, when we’re dehydrated we get headaches and find it difficult to concentrate. A joint 2013 study by the University of East London and the University of Westminster indicated that staying hydrated may be a way of “freeing up of attentional resources” as the sensation of thirst can distract us from other tasks, reducing reaction times by as much as 14%.


      1. Productivity – If you’re unable to concentrate it goes without saying that your productivity will fall. In a second study by the University of East London, it was shown that productivity increased by 14% when subjects were hydrated, largely because they felt better and were able to focus on the tasks allocated to them.


      1. Happiness – In every workplace there will be cliques and schisms and there’s no way to counter clashes of personality, but even mild dehydration impacts on the mood, making tempers more likely to flare. By making sure that your team have access to fresh water, you’re more likely to be able to maintain a happy workplace.


      1. Fresher Air – On the surface, this sounds like a silly one, but no one likes to work in a smelly office, and drinking water can help to prevent bad breath. By washing away oral bacteria and lingering food particles and diluting the unpleasantly scented compounds thus created, breath is made fresher. And being odourless, water is the only drink able to achieve this, creating a pleasanter working environment for everyone.


The European Food Safety Authority recommends a daily water consumption of 2.5 litres for men and 2 litres for women to maintain a healthy level of hydration. Given that most of us spend more than half of our waking day at work, it stands to reason that much of our water intake should happen there, for the good of your business as well as your team.