Water makes up over two-thirds of the healthy human body. It lubricates the joints and eyes, aids digestion, flushes out waste and toxins, and keeps the skin healthy.
Some of the early warning signs of dehydration include:
• feeling thirsty and lightheaded
• a dry mouth
• having dark coloured, strong-smelling urine
• passing urine less often than usual
It is well known how dangerous and potentially life threatening severe dehydration can be, but what of the effects of mild dehydration? According to scientists the feeling of thirst that we all experience, is often an indication that our bodies are already becoming dehydrated. In fact a recent study concluded that even mild dehydration can affect our mood and ability to concentrate. Feelings of thirst, fatigue and irritability are subtle warnings from our body that fluid is needed to restore equilibrium and to stop further symptoms such as headaches and dizziness developing.
Adults should aim to drink at least six to eight glasses of water daily to keep us adequately hydrated, more if we are exercising. It is easy in the workplace when deadlines are looming and despite your best efforts your inbox refuses to shrink, to forget to do something as simple as have a drink. We often attribute fatigue, headaches and diminishing concentration in the office to pressure and stress, when actually we should be heading to the water cooler and nourishing our hardworking brains and bodies with that life sustaining substance, water!
So next time you start to feel those tell-tale signs, you know what to do!
In the UK 60% of the population drink just one glass or less of water a day, while only 1 in 250 of us are drinking enough water to function to our full potential.
Every one of us is made up of water, broken down our muscle mass consists of 75% water; our bones; 22%, while our blood is 83% water, and our brain consists of a staggering 90% water. To function properly and remain healthy we need to be hydrated. In return, we will benefit in both our personal and professional life.
Heightened mental alertness
Dehydration is, simply, what happens when the body loses more water than it takes in. By being as little as 2% under hydrated, cognitive ability, memory retention, mathematical skills, visual perception and reasoning, all diminish as an effect. Simply, even the slightest loss of water leads to poor mental alertness and negatively impacts productivity in the work place. So while lack of water leads to a reduction in awareness, problems with focus, and poor short-term memory, as well as other negative symptoms, a properly hydrated body and brain are able to function clearly, quickly, and perform to their full ability.
A more energy-efficient brain
According to a study conducted at King’s College London, as well as causing weakened mental alertness, dehydration also forces the brain to worker harder to achieve the same results. The study tested dehydrated teenagers against their hydrated counterparts, and found that the under hydrated subjects showed heightened activity in the brain’s frontal-parietal region during a problem solving task. Yet, despite that surge of brainpower, there was no improvement in brain performance. The concluding evidence; tasks literally seem harder. The dehydrated brain uses a greater source of energy to accomplish the same tasks.
A less fatigued workforce
As well as a reduced cognitive ability, at the price of an overworking brain, dehydration, even the smallest amount, can cause increased tiredness and fatigue. Lowered mental alertness and heightened fatigue do not bode well for a healthy and productive work day. A 2015 survey of 300 GPs found that one in five GP visits for tiredness often had dehydration as the root cause. While, only four per cent of the doctors surveyed said they believed patients were aware of how much water they should be drinking daily.
A happier workforce
When blood cells lose more water than they gain the result is fatigue, sluggishness, confusion and irritability. Dehydration in more extreme cases can lead to anxiety, tension and even depression. As well as drinking more water, small breaks throughout the workday also aid mood improvement. In fact, a small 15 second break every ten minutes when you’re staring at a screen for hours, can reduce fatigue by 50%. That could fit a slurp of water in at your desk.
While, according to another survey, 59% of people claim more breaks would actually improve their work happiness. That’s a lot of evidence that a break to hydrate throughout the workday could improve employee job satisfaction as well as improve productivity.
Relieved muscles and joints
Along with those mood and energy deficits, poor hydration can cause muscle and joint discomfort. The hydration you receive when you drink the amount of water your body needs helps lubricate and cushion joints. While, in a study of workers suffering forearm, wrist, and hand discomfort, taking a break for five minutes once every hour eliminated the pain. We suggest taking a short break to hydrate at the water machine once an hour to maximise comfort as well as energy and creativity. Although five minutes isn’t a huge amount of time, it should allow you to top up your water levels, give you a chance to rest your eyes, and stand and stretch. The simply action of reaching upwards drives oxygen to the brain and helps you feel more alert. While, a twenty-second break to rest your eyes can relive eye strain symptoms – try shifting your gaze 20 ft. away.
Headaches are a common symptom of hydration and a reason many employees take days off work. A dehydrated brain with low levels of water in the brain tissue causes shrinkage and the brain begins to pull away from the skull. As a result, pain receptors surrounding the brain are triggered, resulting in a headache. A lack of water also causes your blood volume to drop which, as a result lowers the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. As well as improving general health and preventing headaches, staying hydrated can even prevent more serious illnesses such as colon cancer. Less sick days are better for the business as well as the employees’ health, workload and stress levels.
Like most people, you are probably sedentary for most of your working hours. To help prevent stiff and sore muscles, take a break at least once an hour. Go for a short walk and grab yourself a refreshing cup of coffee, for example.
Is your office looking tired or are you searching for ways to shake up your workplace? From creating a visual impact to injecting a touch of inspiration, showing your office some TLC can reignite your team’s passion for productivity.
In today’s post, we’re shining the spotlight on some top tweeters that are guaranteed to get you excited about optimising your office space. Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you:
When it comes to creativity,Brit + Co have got you covered. With self-confessed ‘tech-nerd’ Brit Morin at its helm, this website is a treasure trove of inspiration – aiming to spark creativity among the masses.
If you’re looking for the ultimate influencer,Dezeen offers up a whole host of ideas. A staple of the architectural sphere, the online magazine is packed with design tips for those looking to shake up their office space.
Decoist is brimming with design ideas to help you overhaul your office interior. Taking inspiration from all around the world, this web magazine will set you on the path to creating a workspace you love.
Known for their extensive colour palette (and the huge shaggy dog), Dulux are a household name when it comes to decorating. Follow their twitter account for the latest tips and tricks from those in the know. ‘Let’s colour’!
From unique interior styling to bespoke home offices, Houzz is dedicated to helping its followers inject a touch of creativity into their design. Follow the creative professionals for any number of influential hints and tips.
Bringing their audience some of the most creative and unique office designs from around the world, Office Snapshots are passionate about the workplace. Follow these guys on twitter for all the visual inspiration you could ever need!
7. Paid to Exist
The most important piece of training equipment: your mind.
The 9-5 can sometimes be a slog, but at Paid to Exist – they’re firm believers in injecting some freedom into your working life. With the ‘merging of work and play’, Paid to Exist offers inspiring insights into a career without limits.
Motivation is top of the priority list for the guys over at Successories. Encouraging employers to put the focus back on their team, the website aims to help those in the professional sphere ramp up their recognition radar for increased productivity.
A respected and reliable resource in the world of HR, The HR Director covers everything from newsworthy updates to regular blog content from those in the industry – intent on helping businesses on their way to a profitable future.
10. Appreciation at Work
Instead of concerning yourself with the behavior of others, focus on what you can do to make sure you’re doing your job as well as you can. — Dr. Paul White (@drpaulwhite) September 4, 2015
Appreciation at Work strives to put employees back on the professional map by acknowledging their achievements. Packed with training advice and assessment incentives, the website keeps workforces inspired, motivated and on track to success.
The Staples brand is instantly recognisable as the kingpin of stationery suppliers – offering everything from paperclips to printers. So whether you’re on the hunt for the perfect office desk or fancy pitching up a workspace in your home, Staples are on hand to help.
Searching for office supplies as well as handy hints? Office Depot has everything you need to get your working life in order. Whether it’s a practical desk tidy or a reliable laptop, head over to their website to see what they can offer.
Whatever your industry, OfficeTeam is armed with an array of business solutions guaranteed to get you and your staff off to a flying start. Bringing with them years of industry expertise, OfficeTeam will help you and your staff set your standards high.
The Ian Smith group is all about providing a quality, hassle-free service to get you your stationery essentials as efficiently as possible. With 46 years of industry experience under their belts, these are the go-to guys for your office must-haves.
The office doesn’t have to be dull – and you can perk up the smallest of spaces with a touch of TLC. Head over to Velcro to find any number of ways to perk up your workspace by adding a splash of personality.
Loaded with facts and figures, hints and tips, the Glass Door blog is all about supporting employers and employees in their quest for the perfect career. If you’re looking for a helping hand up the job ladder, be sure to follow Glass Door on twitter.
Office* Show covers some hot topics as well as tricks of the trade. With their blog regularly featuring guest contributors and industry professionals, employers and employees alike can keep up to date with the goings on of the working world.
Chartered Managers Institute (CMI) keep success in their sights as they seek to assist employers with the growth of their team. Their blog is packed with thought-provoking questions intent on stimulating the minds of those thirsty for knowledge.
HR Zone are firm believers that knowledge is power – and through their informative blog, they bring their wealth of experience to one platform. Check out the blog for advice on how to improve your business’ HR needs.
Productivity in the workplace is the first step towards success – and at Regus UK, targeting the core of a business’ is key. From insightful webinars to individual case studies, Regus UK will help you on the path to simpler business solutions.
When it comes to what they do, Great Place to Work’s name speaks for itself. Helping businesses be better, the website is all about advising and supporting professionals in their industry – helping them squeeze every last drop of productivity from their working lives.
Providing a platform from which professionals can connect, Go to Meeting allows users to hold, attend and record meetings. Head over to their website to find out how group meetings could benefit your brand and propel you towards a more productive future.
Without the right tools to guide you, self-motivation can be an uphill battle – but with a little help from Motivation Grid, you and your team can thrive. Follow them on twitter for success stories, life hacks and snippets of motivational inspiration.
25. Start up Grind
“Entrepreneurship is the secret weapon behind improving the world” – Scott Cook @Intuit#tiptuesday
From team building to networking solutions, Startup Grind offers those in the professional sector information and advice on how to find funding, meet with other businesses and create valuable, long-lasting connections – check them out!
Armed with the experience of these unique influencers, get set to see your team’s productivity levels soar – and for your dose of daily inspiration, don’t forget to check out @eden_springs twitter account!
Lunchtime is the time of the working day that most people look forward to. Research commissioned by Lurpak to launch its new “go freestyle” campaign, however, reveals that 32% of UK office workers eat the same thing for lunch every day and have done so for more than four years!
This statistic is astonishing, as there are so many great lunch options out there. So what are Brits eating, day in day out?
Staying motivated in the workplace is no easy task. As the ritualistic routine of the 9-5 takes over, keeping motivated can be a challenge – and recognising the hard work of your employees can often take a back seat.
We’ve previously brought you some tips on how to reward your staff – and today, we’re recommending 5 apps that will help you recognise the efforts of your employees and show your appreciation.
1. Give a WOW – Android, iOS – Free
Give a WOW provides employers a platform from which they can recognise the achievements of their team and acknowledge any outstanding performances. The easy-to-use app encourages employer-to-employee engagement on a regular basis, allowing managers to take a timely approach to showing their appreciation.
2. Kudos Points – Android, iOS – Free
By providing employees with specialist employee recognition software, the Kudos Points app allows managers to breed a culture of support and encouragement across departments. From manager-to-employee recognition to peer-to-peer support, the app encourages an integrated support system designed to benefit the whole team.
3. iAppreciate – Android, iOS, Blackberry – Free
If sparking creativity and nurturing your employees is at the top of your priority list, the iAppreciate app will fit right in with your business. Whether it’s broadcasting their success on social media or providing them with a personal keepsake, recognising the hard work of your staff will show that they’re a valued member of the team and help to propel them forward in their career.
4. TINYpulse – Android, iOS – Free
The day to day office life can sometimes be a grind, but the TINYpulse app allows employers to inject some welcome relief into the work day. Communication is key in any successful business – and through the TINYpulse app, employees have an opportunity to fill in anonymous surveys and raise any issues or concerns they have.
5. Achievers – Android, iOS – Free
Whatever their position in the company or their level of expertise, every employee deserves to be acknowledged for their achievements. Dedicated to helping you provide your staff with rewards they actually want, the app allows your team to choose from dining experiences, pamper days and a whole host of other treats as part of their reward schemes. With Achievers, an ever-changing selection of rewards means there really is something for everyone in your team.
Making sure your employees are enthusiastic about their jobs is key to keeping them motivated – and with a little appreciation, you will see productivity levels soar. From appreciation gift tags to bringing in cakes on Fridays, there are any number of ways to reward your team.
If apps aren’t your thing, there are ways to reward your staff outside of smartphone tech. By investing in one of Eden Springs’ eco-friendly office coffee machines, you can show your appreciation and give your team access to a welcome boost throughout the working day.
Turn your average glass of water into a revitalising treat by adding a squeeze of orange. This will also provide your body with an excellent source of Vitamin C. You could try adding some crushed fresh mint leaves instead.
Drinking water keeps your mind clear and focused on the task at hand. Apps such as Daily Water helps you track the amount of fluid you drink and reminds you to drink water at the right time.
4. Get yourself a water bottle
Use a pen to mark time goals for yourself on the bottle. For example, by 10am you will aim to drink a quarter of the bottle. This is a good way of working out how many litres of water you are drinking on a daily basis.
5. Eat your water
Do you find it difficult to drink your daily water recommendation? Then how about eating foods that will aid hydration, such as cucumber and lettuce?
Earlier this year, the BBC put our working lives under the microscope – or rather, how long we spend not working when we should be. The article revealed that British workers spend a staggering 18 months of their lives commuting to and from work, an activity which can feel like a bit of a black hole for our valuable time.
With so much emphasis placed by many employers on the ‘busy’ side of business, some UK workers are prioritising looking busy over actually tackling their workload – meaning that seemingly startling stats may actually be the product of a productivity drought.
Today we’re taking a look at the most common ways we’re wasting time at work and giving you the tools you need to tackle this office epidemic.
In Britain, the average employee spends 36 days a year responding to work emails – which works out as almost 10% of their working life – and on top of that, London workers are receiving nearly 9000 emails each year.
Try it: allow your team some time each morning to address time-sensitive emails and resolve any pressing issues before they dive into their workload. Building this chunk of time into the working day will relieve some of the stress associated with work emails – although many urgent requests will still need to be actioned as and when they drop through.
Love your lunch break
Non-work related internet browsing is one of the biggest time-wasters in UK offices. From checking social media accounts to making personal Google searches and even shopping online, British workers are blurring the line between being on and off the clock.
Try it: respect the divide between office hours and personal time by encouraging your team to take the full lunch break they’re entitled to. By emphasising the importance of their lunch breaks, you can help your employees refresh and refuel for the remainder of the day while promoting a more diligent attitude to the way they spend working hours.
Minimise meeting attendance
Extended or arbitrary meetings are the plague of employees across the UK. With 25% of British workers revealing that unnecessary internal meetings are their biggest pet peeve, office conferences are costing many businesses hundreds and even thousands of hours every year.
Try it: reduce the time lost through extended office meetings by inviting as few members of staff as possible. Department heads can make thorough notes of the key points discussed and feed back to their teams afterwards so that all employees are up-to-date without needing to be physically present at the meeting.
Balance home & office
In the aforementioned BBC article, it was revealed that 80% of employers regularly contact their staff outside of office hours – further obscuring the divide between their employees’ work and home lives.
Try it: resist the urge to contact your team outside of office hours, promoting a healthier balance between work and home life. The less often work-related issues invade their personal time, the less likely they’ll be to let personal issues eat into office hours.
Hydrate your team
Dehydration has been linked to higher stress levels, a decrease in brain power and a general plummet in productivity – making fresh water the key to keeping your employees alert and immersed in their work.
Try it: install a water cooler in your office to make sure your team gets their daily dose of H2O. We’d suggest having the cooler as close to your office as possible – that way, you can clamp down on extended cooler chat while encouraging an open door policy, should your staff need any advice or support.
Every manager’s most valuable asset is their team – and by guaranteeing that your employees’ minds are focused, their time is effectively utilised and their workloads are manageable, you can wage war on wasted time starting today.
It’s that time of year when the weather is heating up and being stuck in an office all day requires some cool-down time. We have come up with some flavoursome ways to help perk up the workplace and stay hydrated in the summer heat.