Why Hydration is Becoming a Workplace Issue

18 Sep 2019

Category: Company News

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When it comes to employee wellbeing you perhaps don’t consider the impact of water, but hydration is becoming a workplace issue. 

In the UK the average contracted hours for a full-time job are 37-hours per week, and 16-hours a week for a part-time job role. Considering how much time we spend at work, it’s essential to our health and wellbeing that we meet our hydration needs. 

For some people staying hydrated at work can be a struggle. With busy schedules and high workloads it is easy to forget to drink water. The type of work you do can also have an impact. If you have to wear specialist clothing or work in an environment that makes it difficult to access water. 

In the UK a third of Brits admit to not drinking enough water. With further research by the National Hydration Council revealing that 1 in 5 GP appointments are dehydration related. 

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that good hydration is a growing workplace issue. 

Health & Safety 

Under the 1992 Workplace Health and Safety Regulations, employers are required by law to ensure workers have access to safe drinking water. 

The Health & Safety Executive, provide organisations with guides on how to implement good hydration habits within the workplace. They advise that when working hard or at a high rate in heat, employees should consume at least half a pint of water every 15 minutes. 

Under the Health & Safety Executives views, dehydration not only impacts the health and safety of employee wellbeing, but can affect the safety of others.  

When people are severely dehydrated mistakes are easily made, as our brains cognitive function is significantly reduced. If you are carrying large loads, or behind the wheel of a vehicle this can all put others at risk. 

While hydration may not appear to be a critical workplace issue, the impact on productivity and wellbeing means many organisations are doing more to ensure people drink water at work. 

Occupational Health 

In recent years Occupational health and HR professionals have shouldered the role in ensuring that people at work understand the importance of hydration. 

According to the UK Job Index, human resources roles have increased over the past year by 5%. This is an indicator that more organisations are taking their employee wellbeing strategies seriously. 

One of the key roles of both HR and Occupation Health is to ensure people are not at risk of dehydration. It is within their role to provide access to water. As well as give guidance and training for hydration in the workplace. 

This can often be a challenge, especially when it comes to the varying roles many of us play in the workplace.  

For example, medical staff working long hours, or call centre staff. People who work in these roles can find it difficult to take a break and have a drink of water. 

Likewise for staff who are required to wear heavy protective clothing, such as those within the building scector. Extreme temperatures and workwear mean people need to drink more water, but these workers are at risk of dehydration. 

To battle these challenges, many organisations are creating workplace hydration strategies. This includes training for employees, and guidance for managers on how to give adequate hydration breaks. 

Many organisations have chosen our Billi taps to create better hydration for their employees. Take a look at our case studies of where you can find a Billi tap.