Water is the elixir of life, essential for our well-being and vital for our body’s proper functioning. Despite being well aware of its importance, many of us often struggle to consume an adequate amount of water to stay hydrated.

Dehydration can lead to a range of negative effects, including mood changes, impaired thinking, and even kidney stones. Therefore, it’s crucial for organisations and leaders to take proactive steps to ensure that their employees stay hydrated throughout the workday.

The Importance of Staying Hydrated

The National Health Service (NHS) recommends drinking between six to eight cups of water per day. However, individual water needs can vary based on factors such as pregnancy, physical activity, and the surrounding environment. To gauge if you are drinking enough water, a clear pale-yellow colour of urine is an indicator of proper hydration.

Water, along with lower-fat milk and sugar-free drinks like tea and coffee, all contribute to your daily fluid intake. Proper hydration supports overall health, helps maintain energy levels, improves focus and concentration, and aids digestion.

Tips for Increasing Water Intake at Work

  1. Encourage Healthy Eating: One effective way to increase water intake is by promoting the consumption of fruits and vegetables. These natural foods have a high-water content, and by incorporating them into meals and snacks, employees can boost their daily water intake. Cucumber and melon are particularly hydrating choices. Victoria Malcolm, a wellbeing expert, emphasises this approach: “The high water content of fruit and vegetables means they are a fantastic way to introduce more water into your diet, whilst you are also getting all those essential vitamins and minerals.”
  2. Personalise Water Bottles: Providing employees with reusable water bottles can make a significant difference in their water consumption. Encourage them to choose a bottle that they love and don’t mind carrying around all day. Personalised bottles or those with features that monitor water consumption can also motivate individuals to drink more water consistently.
  3. Schedule Water Breaks: Remind employees to take regular water breaks during the workday. Half an hour before and after meals is an opportune time to drink water. According to Victoria, this approach is more effective than drinking water with meals, as excessive water during meals can dilute digestive enzymes and hinder nutrient absorption.
  4. Add Natural Flavours: Make water more appealing by encouraging employees to add natural flavours. Slices of lemon, sprigs of mint, or a few cucumber slices can enhance the taste of water and make it a refreshing choice. These healthy options add a touch of flavour without added sugars or calories.
  5. Lead by Example: Finally, organisational leaders should set an example by prioritising their hydration needs. When employees see their leaders valuing and prioritising water intake, they are more likely to follow suit. Leaders can also consider implementing workplace wellness programs that focus on hydration and overall well-being.

Staying hydrated at work is essential for maintaining productivity, focus, and overall well-being. By promoting the value of drinking water and implementing these simple yet effective tips, organisations can create a workplace culture that prioritises employee health.

Joanne Swann, Content Manager, WorkWellPro
Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.