Workplace Water Coolers and the Stories They Tell!
We all know a chatty Cathy, a nervous Nellie, or a timid Tom. How often do we bring them together in the workplace, and what happens when we do? While your experiences may have looked or felt like an SNL skit, several studies have shown that brief periods of social interaction in the workplace (also called water cooler conversations) have several benefits. Here are a few:
Water Cooler Conversations and Goldilocks
Despite the familiar awkwardness of bringing together colleagues in one area (like animals to a feeding trough), colleagues who join together at the water cooler, do so for just the right amount of time. Like the old fairy tale, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, workplace personalities, like Nervous Nellie, Timid Tom, and Chatty Cathy, are not able to linger too long, nor can they simply pass each other in the hall, with too brief a grunt or nod. Water Cooler Conversations promote face-to-face interaction, without sacrificing productivity.
Keeping the Flow at the Cooler
Water cooler conversations help to avoid interruption of other important matters, thereby maintaining a good flow and rhythm in the workplace. As opposed to meeting outside for a smoke, (a more common, and unhealthy trend from years past according to the NIH), water cooler conversations prompt colleagues to interact in a shared space, without having to speak over bathroom stalls. After all, what’s more awkward than bathroom talk? In addition, and perhaps more importantly, water cooler conversations enable colleagues to actually enjoy their lunch break, without having to speak through a mouthful of food.
Cooler Conversations Spark Creativity
According to Forbes, water cooler conversations are important to spark creativity, thereby enabling individuals to bring their ´ah-ha´ moments to their teammates, for improved brainstorming opportunities. Different from planned meetings, which don’t always catch us at the right moment, and which can feel too structured for free-flowing ideas, water cooler conversations encourage more thought-provoking run-ins with colleagues.
Finding your Zen
Even if you find yourself alone at the water cooler at times, there is nothing quite like a conversation with oneself…an inner conversation, that is. Stepping away from the desk presents individuals an opportunity to find inner peace and refreshment, if not only replenishment of water. As you refill the water bottle of your choice, you can find your Zen, listening to the sounds of flowing water. Indeed, according to several studies performed by Harvard Medical, practicing mindfulness in the workplace, for just minutes a day can improve your health, and your focus.
Health Incentives of Bottleless Workplace Water Coolers
If the message is not as crystal clear as drinking water, water cooler conversations are beneficial to individuals and the entire workplace community; however, some important factors need consideration. For instance, what water coolers are best for your workplace? Beyond initiating water cooler conversations and maintaining good hydration (read more about the hydration payoffs), consider the importance of reduced plastic pollution for environmentally conscientious minds. If a bottleless workplace water cooler is installed in your office space today, (wherever that might be), how many plastic bottles will be saved as a result? If this is not enough, bottleless water cooler solutions eliminate the need for 5-gal plastic jugs. No more lugging or storing those heavy jugs around! Click here to learn about the easy installation process, simply or call (844) 776-0588 to kickstart your water cooler conversations today. Clearly. Pure. Water.