What is bottle-less water?

Water cooler chat is the backbone of a socially healthy workplace, but contrary to its name, it doesn’t rely on the presence of a “cooler” at all. Rather, the ‘water cooler chat’ phenomenon is a socially stimulating environment that stops continuous workflow with a slight change in environment, to prolong productivity throughout the workday. It’s also a place where you can break away from individual thoughts and merge ideas, work-related or not. You don’t need a water cooler, or an office, to create this kind of environment, but regardless, the name has stuck and now represents a space where employees can switch gears. 

With the increased percentage of employees working remotely, especially those who primarily work in office spaces, water cooler chat experiences are dwindling. They are difficult to replicate within hybrid/remote work environments, yet the human need still exists, even if employees don’t always realize it. In this article, we take a look at why water cooler chat is vital to the workplace and how to make sure sourcing water for your breakroom is both cost-efficient and sustainable.  

Traditional water coolers – what’s the problem?  

At this point, you might be thinking, “isn’t it a law to provide available drinking water to employees?” While there are regulatory standards for employee breaks and breakroom supplies, that doesn’t mean you can’t optimize the costs required to fulfill them.  

Most offices adopted a water cooler system using bottled jugs, often delivered on a recurring schedule and requiring physical installation each time. No matter the kind of work, the costs it takes to keep your team hydrated add up quickly, especially in fields where the headcount is high, and physical labor is required.  

Bottle-less alternatives to water coolers. 

To reduce breakroom supplies expenditures, many businesses are switching to bottle-less water coolers, offering a physical location for water cooler chats without the hassle or cost of dealing with five-gallon jugs. Bottle-less water coolers are both an economical, and a sustainable solution requiring a one-time installation where the cooler is connected to the building’s existing municipal water supply. Not only do they work in tandem with your existing water system, but some offer advanced filtration abilities such as reverse osmosis and activated carbon.  

Reduced expenses. 

The most notable benefit that comes with the implementation of these systems is reduced longterm costs. On average, one single five-gallon jug of water costs about $15 per month when you factor in shipping and delivery. Normally, you won’t just need one per month, that number could fluctuate drastically. It’s not uncommon for a business to spend upwards of $200 a month just on bottled water.  

With bottle-less systems, you’re not only paying less for the water itself, but you’re eliminating the delivery service fees that come with traditional water jugs. Although bottle-less water is directly connected to your building’s water and electricity lines, you will certainly not be paying more for it. Municipal water line prices vary but are usually within a range of $0.00025 – $0.0005 per litre, and rates are always public, so you can prepare for invoices ahead of time.  

Improved workplace culture. 

Another benefit to this system is the conservation of places where employees can take a break and chat, improving workplace culture. By making filtered water accessible, you’re encouraging a more productive and supportive environment. This is especially emphasized when employees don’t have to test their biceps changing coolers out.  

Reduced carbon footprint. 

Lastly, a bottle-less system will undoubtedly reduce your carbon footprint. Every year, jugs fill up landfills if they aren’t properly reused. They are made of material that does not decompose quickly, and although they are better than cases of individual plastic bottles of water, their usage will directly lead to increased waste. It’s not often that the most sustainable solution will also save you money, but when it comes to your breakroom supplies, bottle-less water integration addresses both sides.  

In conclusion… 

In the interest of curating a productive workplace environment, perfecting the basics is a great place to start. Reassessing your current office water solutions will help uncover hidden areas that generate unnecessary costs and carbon.