How many water coolers should an office have? Is there a hard and fast rule?
No matter how much or how hard you search, there seems to be no definitive answer as to how many water coolers are needed in an office. Too little and it can seem like a token gesture, too many and they are not used, but the bill remains high.
And spending too much on something that is not being used to its full potential is an inducing factor in many a headache for procurement managers, financial managers and the like; to them, the size and capacity of the water cooler is important, purely from a financial point of view. But, get it right, and the whole office will benefit, and your books will balance.
Why does an office need a water cooler?
Once you realise the benefits of a hydrated work force, you will wonder why as a company, you shirked from the idea of installing one.
Everyone needs water. But, the sad truth is, the majority of people don’t drink enough. Tea, coffee, fizzy drinks and juice all have their place but the issue is that as a nation, we have come to rely on the hit of caffeine or sugar from these drinks; associating the impact with being hydrated or counter-acting a sugar low.
We don’t hold on to a high hydration level. The brain, for example, needs a lot of water to maintain its plumpness and ability to function at the best possible level. Our internal organs are constantly working and, to ‘lubricate’ these workings and movements, it uses water. Thus there is constant waste because our kidneys are processing it to make it safe and there is urine constantly dripping in to the bladder.
When we are busy, we forget to drink. When it is warm, we sweat even though you may not think you do. On hot days, we perspire from the moment we get up, to the moment we go to bed – and we carry on perspiring and exhaling moisture.
But what many of us don’t do is constantly take in water. Plain, simple yet amazingly powerful water. We can get headaches, mistake the feeling of thirst for hunger; so we eat and some people can also get a little grumpy.
In a high pressured working environment, whether this is ‘out in the field’ or behind a desk at work, you should be constantly sipping water. And this is where a water cooler comes in. It can sit in the room, a constant reminder to your employees that in order to function to the best of their ability they need to be drinking it.
Tap water – the pros and cons
It’s free. It is in plentiful supply here in the UK. A tap is relatively easily to operate. In the main, you could say it is ‘clean’…
But it does contain chemicals, all in the name of ensuring that it is purified and safe, but there have been over 300 chemicals detected in UK tap water at various points in time.
You take the health of your employees seriously and by investing in a water cooler – either bought or hired – you can be assured that you are providing not only cool water, but clean water in a hygienic dispenser.
Staff, of course, can choose to fill their own bottle or glass etc., or they can use the disposable, recyclable cups that come with some of the filters (check the package that you opt for as to how many cups you get).
All you now need to decide is what size… and here are some guiding points to help you in your decision.
- Different companies will provide different sized water coolers but the most common size water drum that sits on top of a standalone dispenser is 5 gallons or just under 19 litres. Some manufacturers suggest one unit per 75 employees, but you may find that the rate of use changes with the seasons that is the heat in summer and so on.
- Plumbed in water dispensers negate the worry and the need for changing water canisters on top of the machine
- Many installers offer packages which include the number of cups provided, the number of water canisters per year and so on. Tapping in to their experience and understanding of how many water coolers you need, and the best place to put them, is a great way of getting value for money.
What are you waiting for?
Water coolers are indispensable in any workplace from the staff room to the office, from the factory floor to the reception area. Hydrate your staff!