14 May. 18

The Word Around the Water Cooler

Water Coolers: The Social Centerpiece in Offices

If you have step foot into any office before then you are probably familiar with the phrase “the buzz around the water cooler” or “water cooler talk,” which is a casual way of referring to office gossip. It’s been in the movies, cartoons and skits over the decades that the water cooler has been a place for gossip or side office conversations. Some of the conversation was or is casual, something as simple as “Hi” or “How was your evening?” Other conversations were longer, more in-depth, exclusive and “hear-say” about local news, politics, co-workers or about the talk-of-the-town.

Regardless, a simple water cooler was once a social centerpiece in many offices before Gmail G-Chat and Skype became more readily a part of our everyday work day. Now, you don’t necessarily need an “excuse” to get up and go chat with your co-workers about non-work-related topics, you just send a chat message instead. Or, as seen in the movies and TV dramas, to hang around the water cooler to catch up on the gossip and make sure your name isn’t coming up in the conversations. Either way, a water filtration system in the form of a water cooler has become an iconic fixture in the office and certainly still serves an important purpose in the modern office.

Water Cooler How Water Coolers Became a Gathering Place in Offices

A water cooler has become an iconic gathering place within an office. But have you ever stopped and thought about why this is? Throughout the day, employees need to stay hydrated, especially those who are talking on the phone or to each other as part of their job. As such, they get up and grab a drink of water, typically from a water cooler. When they are at a water cooler, there are other employees who have gotten up to stretch or grab a drink as well.

Most of the conversation that took place at first was probably casual conversation. But as employees got to know each other, the conversations became more in depth. Studies have shown that some of the most popular topics to discuss at the water cooler include weather, weekend or evening plans, television shows, sports, news and even work.

The Importance of Workplace Socializing

As an employer, you may be wary about your employees socializing too much. After all, there is a stigma that employees who sit around and chit chat are less productive than employees who are quiet and focus on their job. However, this may not always be the case. Studies have shown that employees who engage in reasonable socializing with their co-workers throughout the course of the day tend to be more productive than those who do not. There are a couple theories as to why this is.

First, if you have ever sat and done something for an extended period of time, you know that you can get burned out quickly. This may cause you to be slower when it comes to completing the task at hand. Those who socialize are able to get away from their desk for a few minutes, clear their mind by engaging in conversation, and then come back to their desks, ready to focus on work again.

The other theory as to why workplace socializing helps productivity is because it helps employees get to know their co-workers. If they have a question related to work, they have an open line of communication with other employees who can answer the question or help them. This helps to boost productivity.

Benefits of a Workplace Water Cooler

Being able to socialize with other employees is just one benefit of a workplace water cooler. There are other benefits associated with a workplace water cooler that has contributed to its iconic image.

Over 75 percent of people said they visit the water cooler one or more times per day at the office to help break up their day, still. Well, because people still need to drink water, so maybe there is less socialization happening around the water cooler but it’s certainly important to have in an office.

Another tip is to consider placing a few chairs or even a table and chairs there so employees know they can sit and relax for a few minutes. Consider enticing employees to take a break in the area by keeping healthy snacks, such as apples, bananas, nuts or granola bars in the area. This allows employees to grab a drink, refuel their body and continue conversations with other employees.

If your employees still haven’t take to the water cooler as a gathering place, give them another reason to converge on the area. Put up a trivia question every day or place a box for comments, question or feedback in the area. The more reasons that employees have to visit the area, the more likely they will be to walk to this area and eventually start conversing with others in the area.

One of the best ways to get water filtration system in offices is to get a water cooler. Not only is this iconic feature of an office continued to be a fixture where employees see each other and have the opportunity to converse, get to know one another, ask work-related questions but also improve on their overall productivity. If you do not already have a cooler in your office, now is the perfect time to contact your local water experts, Quality Water of the Carolinas, and get a quote today!