Experts say even mild dehydration can have a negative impact on productivity, energy level and alertness.
Employees cite many barriers to drinking enough water, including lack of time and having to pay for it.
King of Prussia, Pa. (June 19, 2018) – Corporate wellness is a nearly $8 billion industry in the United States. Yet new research conducted by Quench, a leading provider of filtered water systems, finds that most American employees don’t readily consume, on a daily basis, the one resource that is largely available, very inexpensive, and vital to health and productivity: water.
The Quench study found that more than three-quarters (77%) of those surveyed did not think they consumed enough water on a daily basis to meet their health needs.
The national survey of more than 1,000 employed Americans found that the most frequently cited cause for not drinking enough water was lack of thirst (43 percent). While that might seem logical, experts say that thirst is not an on-time indicator of dehydration because the thirst sensation doesn’t appear until after people are dehydrated.
While optimal consumption varies by individual, conventional wisdom calls for eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (64 ounces). Experts say that even mild dehydration can have a negative impact on productivity, energy level and alertness.
Generally, men drink more water than women. More than one quarter (27 percent) of men say they consume enough to meet their health needs, while only one in five (20 percent) of women do.
Generational differences exist too. Millennials (the largest generation in the workforce) are more likely to always drink enough water during the work day (26 percent) versus Gen X (21 percent) and Baby Boomers (20 percent).
Still, Millennial employees cite similar obstacles as their Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts for not drinking enough water: lack of time to get it (39 percent vs. 36 percent and 31 percent, respectively), having to pay for it (27 percent vs. 24 percent and 16 percent, respectively) and dislike of the taste of the water at work (24 percent vs. 22 percent and 19 percent, respectively).
Tips for Employers
Quench offers three tips for workplaces to encourage employees to drink more water during the workday.
- Given concerns raised by employees about not having enough time to get water during the day, review floor plans to ensure that water sources are only a short distance from workspaces.
- Provide fresh, filtered, great-tasting water that doesn’t run out. Installing bottleless water coolers that connect directly to the building water supply and filter it at the point of use are a preferred option to large plastic jugs that are not environmentally friendly and must be replaced each time they’re empty or the individual plastic water bottles that are expensive and create such environmental problems that many universities and towns now ban them entirely.
- Create engaging communications campaigns that encourage employees to get up, walk around and get a glass of water throughout the day, and promote a healthy workplace culture.
“Every employer wants their employees to be healthy, alert and productive so they can deliver results,” said Tony Ibarguen, CEO of Quench. “One inexpensive way to boost productivity is to encourage hydration. Companies that make it easy and convenient for their people to access and drink more water throughout the day may see their employees’ energy levels, engagement and work capacity increase.”
Mr. Ibarguen noted that communications campaigns touting the benefits of staying hydrated throughout the day are an important addition to workplace wellness programs. “The first step is to make clean, filtered water readily available. But many of our customers also reinforce the importance of hydration to overall health through employee communications and culture initiatives to drive the message home.”
The survey was conducted by ORC International using their Online CARAVAN Omnibus. ORC interviewed a demographically representative sample of 1,043 adults ages 18+ who are employed full-time or part-time (562 men and 481 women). This survey was live on April 16 – 22, 2018. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level is +/- 3%.
Quench USA, Inc. offers Water-as-a-ServiceTM solutions by providing filtered water systems, including bottleless water coolers, ice machines, sparkling water dispensers and coffee brewers, to customers across the United States. Our point-of-use (POU) systems purify a building’s existing water supply to provide reliable and convenient filtered water to a broad mix of businesses, including government, education, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, and other large commercial customers, including more than half of the Fortune 500. Headquartered in King of Prussia, PA, Quench has sales and service operations across the U.S./North America to serve our 40,000+ customers. Quench is an AquaVenture Holdings business.