Global study highlights impact of water access on employee wellbeing

A report on global workplace water consumption finds that workers are happier and feel more productive when employers provide better drinking water facilities.

The report, produced by Waterlogic from a survey of more than 6,300 respondents, also estimates that the USA alone could cut almost 19 billion plastic bottles from its waste each year through one simple switch.

Full-time workers from across Europe, North America and Australia have been asked about their daily workplace drinking habits, in a bid to find out more about employee well-being and corporate sustainability. As well as discovering that tens of billions of plastic bottles could be kept from landfill each year if employers offered access to instant hot and cold filtered water, the study shows just how important drinking water is to employee well-being and productivity.

  • 72.6% of respondents stated that better workplace water access would increase their overall well-being, and more than 20% of workers said they’d be more likely to stay at their jobif free access to filtered water was provided.
  • Employees all over the world stated that water increases their concentration and productivity above and beyond coffee or energy drinks. While 95.4% of respondents said that water is beneficial to both, only 80.8% felt the same way about coffee and just 47.3% stated that energy drinks had the same effect.
  • Workers in every country fail to drink the recommended amount of water each day at work, but also state that their water intake would double if access they had access to free filtered water – rising from an average of 1.1L consumed to an estimated 2.2L per day.
  • 70% of survey respondents felt that their employer could be doing more to reduce plastic waste from single-use bottles and cups in the workplace, but more than 40% said that they don’t feel their employer cares about doing so.

Mark Taylor, group chief commercial officer at Waterlogic, said that: “For companies who are committed to employee well-being, as well as to sustainability, it’s time to consider how something as simple as proper drinking water supplies can make a huge difference.

The majority of people who took part in this study said that having instant access to filtered, dispensed water at work would encourage them to drink more and stay better hydrated, with more than 70% saying it would improve their well-being and 56% saying it would improve their productivity.

Aside from the tens of billions of plastic bottles that would no longer go to landfill each year as the result of workplaces offering better drinking water access, it’s clear that the benefits from a human perspective are also vast.”

The survey also showed that while Spanish, French and Hungarian workplaces are the worst offenders when it comes to producing single-use plastic waste, Norway and Sweden are responsible for the lowest number of plastic bottles going to waste each year.