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Business owners and hiring managers strive to get the highest yield from their workforce. Employees, meanwhile, want to excel in their position while maintaining work satisfaction and personal wellbeing. The common denominator here is simple: productivity is driven by happiness. A happy employee is more productive, and a productive employee helps their business grow. It's a recycling loop that can increase company profits, raise employee retention, and lead to less burnout.  

The easiest way for companies to increase productivity and workplace satisfaction is simple: add free healthy beverages to the breakroom.  

To be enjoyed during work hours, free beverages for employees work on a multitude of levels; from prompting employee to feel supported by their company, to acting as a decision-making perk for prospective talent, all while hydrating employees to function at their highest, healthiest level.  

Employers, ask yourself:  

  • Does your workforce have access to free hydration options?  

  • Does your corporate culture make it acceptable to leave the desk to hydrate

  • Is there time for breaks?  

  • Reminders to stay hydrated?  

Here are the amazing transformations that can occur after adding bevvies to the breakroom.  

The Dehydrated vs. Hydrated Employee 

As little as 1% loss in hydration can make an employee less productiive. Not only that, studies show mild dehydration less than 1% increases feelings of fatigue, tension, and anxiety. An employees "vigilance" takes a hit, as working memory reduces.  

So what happens when dehydration reaches 2% loss? Another study shows diminution as a result of dehydration negatively effecting levels in physical, visuomotor, psychomotor, and cognitive performance. In the simplest terms, dehydration is linked to lower mental and physical output. Those companies employing an outside sales force or physical laborers should note that with decreased cognitive performance, work-related accidents become more likely to occur.   

Work performance otherwise can get as low as 25-50% when an employee is 3-4% dehydrated. Industrial Safety & Hygiene News calls dehydration "one of the most widespread and least understood hindrances and dangers on the job."  

Functions directly influencing workplace productivity, success, and wellbeing are targeted when the mind and body need liquids. Overall mood takes a spike. Concentration decreases. Headaches occur. And the perceived toughness of tasks becomes harder.  

A misconception among business owners is that employees who spend their time at a desk aren't physically exerting themselves and therefore require less liquids. Surprising for some, the majority of the body's loss in water occurs through the respiratory system, skin, and kidneys. One or any combination of stress, overworking, and a long commute can lead to dehydration. Not just sweat.   

Free healthy beverages should be considered an office expense like pens or sticky notes. The perk should tack on to corporate wellness programs and health benefits. Because once employees begin to hydrate properly, their output and work quality increases.  

... not to mention, feeling happier, more satisfied at work.  

Hydration helps employees stabilize blood sugar levels, avoiding dips in energy. The hydrated employee is less at risk of forming blood clots or developing coronary heart disease. They become less fatigued, avoid dizzy spells and headaches. In essence, the hydrated employee is healthier, contributing to a stronger growing company.   

Preventative hydration reduces the risk of more expensive health problems developing for employees, and thereby decreases the probability of company health insurance payouts. Nobody wants to be in the hospital, not the employee or employer. Healthy hydration options are a no brainer.  

The Disengaged vs. Engaged Employee 

Companies that not only encourage self-care but actively contribute to employee access to healthful choices have successfully engaged their workers. Unfortunately, only 34% of the US workforce feels engaged.  

The small addition of free breakroom beverages is enough to display a company's mindfulness of the hard work their employees contribute. The unnecessary bonus of free beverages is not provided in every office, which makes the company stand out. Feeling their physical and mental health is being backed and respected, employees show up more for their employers.  

Engaging employees can save US companies $483 to $605 billion a year in what would otherwise be lost in low productivity.  

Many companies assume that vacations and days-off reengage employees upon return to the office. Unfortunately, employee burnout is not cured by vacations. Oftentimes an employee returning to work will feel more stressed given the backlog of emails and tasks, therefore sacrifice their health in order to catch up. That catch-up work is likely produced by a dehydrated mind and may be a lower quality as a result.  

Instead of relying on time out of the office to energize and motivate employees, business owners that bring relaxation, refreshment, and care to the job will reap the biggest rewards.  

The Best Beverages to Stock 

Not all beverages should be considered equal. With the end-goal of boosting employee health while supporting productivity, business owners should prioritize drinks that are naturally hydrating, energizing, and relaxing. Start with bottled water, 0-sugar tea, and cold brew or espress-style coffee drinks.