In a recent survey, the LaSalle Network found that more than 50% of respondents expected to have employees working on-site again by the fall, and the vast majority of employers said they’d use a phased approach.
In total, 77% of those surveyed said they anticipated that by next year, their company would be operating under a hybrid model. They believe that some portion of employees will continue to work from their homes, at least part of the time, with others operating out of the office.
In order for employers to encourage workers to return to the office, they have to manage a variety of logistics and human resources concerns. They also have to ensure that their office is a welcoming environment for returning employees.
Having great-tasting water available on demand is a baseline expectation that needs to be part of the planning process. According to Culligan’s recent Global World Water Day Survey, conducted by Toluna, 59% of North Americans say water coolers are one of their main sources of drinking water away from home. But that doesn’t mean employees will accept just any option. The survey also found that 66% of respondents said they were more concerned about the safety of drinking water outside their homes as a result of COVID-19, so it’s crucial you find a water supplier you can trust.
High-quality bottled water delivery remains one of the top options for providing the kind of productive work environment that your colleagues and employees deserve. Whether you’re in the process of reopening – and restarting your water delivery – or you’re an office manager who’s interested in learning about the benefits of this service, here’s what you need to know.
Compared to single-use plastic bottles, there’s no contest: As long as shared water coolers are properly cleaned and the appropriate protocols are followed for spacing and disinfection, bottled water delivery is the better option for offices and workplaces. Water delivery offers a great-tasting alternative to tap water without the added waste and inconvenience of relying too heavily on single-use, disposable bottles.
Where Bottled Water Delivery Shines
There are four key factors where water delivery makes its value apparent:
Ready for the convenience of bottled water, delivered directly to your workplace? Find out how to restart your service or set it up for the first time.
Launching Bottled Water Delivery at Your Office
Working with a local supplier, you can set up bottled water delivery for your place of work. You’ll decide on how much you need, what your delivery schedule looks like and what kind of equipment will be required. You can also review water sourcing and filtration options – including spring water, varieties that include beneficial minerals, and water that has been treated with reverse osmosis. Bottlers that belong to either the International Bottled Water Association or the Canadian Bottled Water Association (which includes local Culligan dealers) must adhere to standards that are even more stringent than those required by the Food and Drug Administration.
Hitting the Restart Button on Your Bottled Water Delivery Service
If you need to restart service, you’ll likely have to give your cooler a good cleaning. Consult your manual and work with your provider to ensure that the device is operating at optimal capacity. Suppliers can help you decide if your cooler needs to be flushed or undergo any maintenance.
Pay Attention to How Your Water Usage Changes
If you’re restarting your bottled water delivery service after having put it on pause for a while, you’ll want to make sure to accurately assess how much water you need. How many people will be in the office each day? Will that number grow over time? Conveniently, with a water delivery service, you can update your delivery schedule and as needed. While your employees settle into new routines, you’ll likely want to be prepared to review your delivery frequency every few months.
As workers return to the office, restarting bottled water delivery means you have the opportunity to upgrade your equipment to meet the needs of an evolving workplace. If you’re signing up for bottled water delivery for the first time, you’ll also need to decide what type of cooler is right for you.
Hot and Cold Water Dispensers
Look for dispensers that allow you to distribute water on demand according to various temperature controls. Hot and cold dispensers allow employees to instantly acquire water for hot tea or a cool, refreshing drink. Ideally, your dispenser will also have energy-saving features and user-friendly maintenance options. Bottom-loading solutions make it easier to change out the water jugs on your own.
Bottled water delivery isn’t the only option if you want great water at the push of a button. A bottleless water cooler could be a great solution for your workplace. Most of these options also offer temperature control features, and they can be installed and maintained by skilled professionals. You’ll have great-tasting water available at all times, no matter how the in-office population might ebb or flow.
The large-scale transformations that were required to fight the coronavirus pandemic will likely not disappear overnight. As with most aspects of daily life, bottled water delivery in the workplace may require some modifications and additional safeguards in the days ahead. Keep your employees’ safety and well-being in mind as you provide them with access to great-tasting, filtered water.
Hygiene and Safety Precautions for Your Office Bottled Water
Old policies might need some updating once people start returning to the office, even if staggered in-person attendance, spacing and other techniques are used. It’s important to pay careful attention to guidelines from federal public health authorities in your country – as well as advice from agencies in your local municipality and your state or province – to make sure that you’re taking proactive steps to keep your employees safe.
One helpful measure is to increase the frequency with which you clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces, including handles and buttons on water coolers
You may also decide to continue to forgo shared glassware or other containers at the drinking water station. Instead, you can encourage people to bring their own reusable bottles from home, provided they do not come into contact with water dispensers. Compostable and biodegradable disposable cups are an eco-friendly alternative to waxed paper.
Make sure to clearly post your workplace regulations in the break room and avoid crowding around the cooler through the use of social distancing guidelines and visual markers.
Keep Disinfectant Wipes, Soap and Hand Sanitizer Well Stocked
With disinfectant wipes conveniently placed near water coolers – along with clear instructions for how and when to use them – you can help employees share this office resource more considerately. Ideally, the water cooler will also be in an area where people can wash up with soap and water after refilling their containers. If that’s not an option, placing some hand sanitizer nearby can help employees clean up quickly before and after touching shared surfaces at the water cooler. You may also find touch-free water coolers that provide an additional layer of safety.
Beyond these guidelines, be sure to ask employees if there are any other adjustments that would make them feel more comfortable enjoying the great-tasting water that’s provided in the office.
Stay tuned for the latest guidelines from public health authorities in your area. As you begin to invite workers back to the office, be ready for them on the first day. That means having the right equipment in place, restarting bottled water delivery service and establishing clear guidelines for promoting workplace health and safety.
Workplaces may look a little different in the coming months and years, but one thing will always remain true: Healthy hydration is crucial for employees’ well-being. Learn more about our bottled water delivery service today.