People make a lot of promises about quick fixes to improve productivity in your workplace. While most of those are more hype than help, there’s a remarkably simple trick that might actually work: Drink more water.
Water is one of the most basic things humans need. In addition to a host of health benefits – like improving skin and kidney function – drinking water prevents dehydration, which can cause fatigue. By staying hydrated throughout the day, you and your employees can maintain energy and focus – and improve performance.
Here are three easy ways to incorporate more hydration into your workday.
Have a water date
Chats around the water cooler used to be so common in workplaces that the term is shorthand for a time when employees take a break to gossip or discuss last night’s TV shows. These days, the idea seems almost as outdated. Employees are now more likely to head to a coffee shop for some caffeine or discuss the latest spoilers on interoffice chat. To encourage your office to drink more water, bring back the water cooler conversation. Start by making sure you have a water cooler, fountain or other way of accessing clean water. Then, instead of going for coffee with a friend, make a date to meet at the water cooler to fill your water bottle. Making the break something to look forward to will get your team more hydrated in no time.
Make the swap
Swap at least one beverage a day for plain water. If you drink sugary soft drinks, replacing them with water will reduce the number of calories you take in and reduce your consumption of sugar, too much of which can lead to obesity and diabetes. Sugary drinks, as well as caffeinated ones like diet soda and coffee, give you a quick burst of energy but usually result in a crash soon after. Water won’t lead to a crash – and because it prevents dehydration, it might give you the energy boost you’re after.
Challenge your team
A little competition among team members can be a great thing. A water-drinking competition will promote both team-building and health. Rather than seeing who can drink the most water, it might be best to see who can hit a specified goal (2 liters a day is a challenging but reasonable goal for most) because, while rare, it is possible to drink too much water. You could even kick off the competition by giving out some cool water bottles. And be sure to have a healthy prize for the winner!
How will you promote drinking water in your office? Share your ideas in the comments.
President and CEO
World Affairs Council-Washington, DC
In 1953, Winston Churchill said: “All the great empires of the future will be empires of the mind.” Over the years, eminent scholars and educators have echoed Churchill’s sentiments: If you don’t know history, you are condemned by ignorance to repeat, rather than learn from, the lessons of the past. The World Affairs Council-Washington, DC (WAC-DC) advocates a liberal arts education approach to help prepare teachers and students to be ‘global citizens’ in our diverse, multi-cultural and interconnected world.
International leaders in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education movement also believe that educators and students in the 21st century must acquire knowledge of world history, geography, social studies, civics, arts, humanities, psychology, philosophy and communications to be successful in work and life, particularly in the international arena.
The WAC-DC is an institution ‘Where Learning Happens’ and it defines global education as: The ability to understand the interconnectedness of people and systems, to express cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity, to empathize with others, to maintain an open-mind, to see different perspectives, to apply knowledge of global dynamics, to practice effective problem solving skills and to communicate and work efficiently in diverse environments.
Our customized programs are focused on empowering educators, students and citizens through a ‘Knowledge Transfer’ process that is based on ten core ‘Global Education’ competencies, that can easily be infused into any existing high school or college curricula: Critical Thinking; Making Connections; Leadership Skills; Cross-Cultural Awareness; Problem-Solving Skills/Decision Making Skills; Communication Skills; Understanding Others Perspectives; Investigate the World; Understanding of Major Global Issues; and Media Literacy.
The Council is concluding the evaluation phase of a MasterCard Foundation-sponsored 2015/16 Global Education Teachers – International Exchange Program (GET-IEP) between high school teachers and students in the Washington, DC metro area and their counterparts in South Africa. What we’ve found is that only 13% of students surveyed in the US and South Africa said that they are currently getting the global education insights and knowledge they felt they needed to better understand their own nation, the global community, and how people and societies can work effectively together to develop understanding of, and mutual respect for worldwide differences. It’s through GET-IEP and other global education programs that we provide opportunities for learning and growth outside the classroom.
As future generations continue to innovate in the fields of science and technology, we must also empower them with a well-rounded understanding of our global history. Our world is increasingly globalized and more interconnected than ever before, so it is vital that our students learn about the world that surrounds them. A global education enables students to better identify problems, solutions and the vehicles for change; constructing modern ‘empires of the mind’.
Our students are inheriting a world that presents challenges, but it is also a world filled with immense opportunity. The WAC-DC is committed to providing those same kinds of opportunities for learning, through global education programs for teachers and students worldwide.
Tony Culley-Foster is the President and CEO of the World Affairs Council-Washington, DC. He is profiled in Who’s Who in the World; a visiting Professor in Communications at the University of Ulster; Board member of the Illinois Institute of Technology – Stuart School of Business; and is a recipient of HRH – The Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award; and numerous American and international commendations for voluntary service, international education, social responsibility and contribution to peace in Northern Ireland.
SVP, Corporate Responsibility &
Global Chief Diversity Officer
Dr. Rohini Anand, Sodexo’s Global Chief Diversity Officer, has spent her career promoting diversity and inclusion. She’s been leading the charge at Sodexo for the past thirteen years. In honor of the United Nation’s World Day for Cultural Diversity, we spoke with Dr. Anand about the challenges of promoting diversity at a company that works in 80 countries around the world. (more…)
CEO, K-12 Schools
Sodexo North America
We know how important it is for kids to eat healthy. Parents and educators strive to ensure children have access to healthy options at home and at school — but what about in their communities?
Sodexo has partnered with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to make sure we have healthy choices in all the food service facilities we oversee, including community venues where families spend their leisure time, such as aquariums, museums and zoos. (more…)
VP, Public Relations
Sodexo North America
Health isn’t something that begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. The benefits of healthy living don’t come to an end when an employee leaves work. So why should wellness programs stop at the office door?
Effective wellness programs must engage employees in every aspect of their lives. To help employees stay on the path to good health, they have to reach beyond workplace walls to help employees stay well at home and in the community.
That’s why public-private partnerships are crucial when it comes to wellness programs. When employers partner with community groups, they can work together to touch all aspects of an employee’s lifestyle, from eating a healthy breakfast to reducing stress throughout the workday to getting enough sleep at night.
Senior Vice President,
Sodexo North America
I’m excited to announce that Sodexo Insights has relaunched as a new, innovative content hub sharing our experience in designing environments built to improve performance and enhance quality of life for the 15 million people that Sodexo serves in North America.
As we unroll the new SodexoInsights.com, I’d like to highlight several new features. (more…)
Culinary, Sodexo North America
Everyone seems to be trying to live a healthier lifestyle. From increasing physical activity, to practicing meditation, to consuming more mindful and sustainable foods – people are seeking information and making positive lifestyle changes to improve their health and well-being, as well as the environment. If you happen to have a millennial or a member of Generation Z in your life, then the odds are this need for information and quest to “do the right thing” may resonate even more strongly with you…there is certainly no hesitation -at least in my house- in their expressed opinions on the topic. One easy, effective way to reach a healthier lifestyle is to adopt a plant-based diet; or perhaps you might even say a “plant forward” mindset. In the last year or so (in truth-mostly as a result of the aforementioned teenagers and young adults in my house), we have been on a mealtime journey to do just that. In that spirit, here is some information that might just give you something to think about. (more…)