Water Friendly Workplaces

Introducing Water Friendly Workplaces

The North East Healthy Drinks Alliance is encouraging workplaces across Banyule, Darebin and Nillumbik to become Water Friendly.

Workplaces have a unique opportunity to create a culture in their workplace that supports staff to make healthier choices.

Why should our workplace become Water Friendly?

There are lots of benefits for staff and employers when it comes to supporting healthy drinks choices in the workplace, including:

  • improved mental alertness, energy and overall staff productivity – because healthy and hydrated employees are productive employees;
  • environmental benefits and cost savings of tap water over single-use plastic;
  • increased profits from healthier drink sales (or at least cost-neutral) at workplace kiosks. This can be achieved through placement and promotional tactics that encourage healthier drink options. Click here for some case studies.

How to become a Water Friendly workplace:

There is no ‘one-size fits all’ approach to being a Water Friendly Workplace. However, there are many useful strategies that can be tailored to the culture and goals of an organisation.

Scroll down to see tips and resources to support your workplace to become Water Friendly.

In this section:
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Water Friendly workplace ideas

Healthy Culture

  • Gain support from your workplace leadership, board, and broader staff base to commit to being a ‘Water Friendly’ workplace.
  • Create a healthy drinks policy that is communicated regularly. Here’s a best practice template.
  • Promote water as the preferred drink choice. Display posters in your workplace e.g. Time to rethink sugary drink.
  • Do not allow sponsorship, advertising or marketing of sugary drinks on your premises, at events or in other workplace activities.
  • Organisational branded water bottles can make a nice staff gift or there are options for selling water bottles as a fundraiser.
  • Ask your leaders to model healthy drink behaviours. e.g. ask the CEO to be participate in the H3O Challenge.

Healthy physical environment

  • Reduce the availability of sugary drinks – and ensure water is readily available – to create a healthier environment for staff.
  • Review  your catering options. Do you provide sugary soft drinks at functions or meetings?
  • Ensure you provide tap water or a water cooler that employees can easily access.
  • Review workplace kiosk menus and try to reduce sugary drinks such as soft drinks, fruit drinks or sports drinks. You can use the Traffic Light system to ensure there are less sweet (‘red’) drinks sold at your workplace and sugar-free (‘green’) drinks are promoted.
  • Ensure healthy drink options are available and promoted on premises and at events, e.g. vending machines, canteens, fundraising and catering.
  • Audit any vending machines on your premises. If you don’t opt to remove the machine, you can get it stocked with more water or unsweetened drink options. Download the Healthy Drinks Vending Machine Guidelines.
  • Permit and encourage employees to drink water at any time, and have water available at meetings.

Health and wellbeing opportunities for staff

  • Do you want to help staff and colleagues reduce their sugary drink consumption? Download the Rethink Sugary Drinks e-kit for workplaces.
  • Your workplace may like to implement a challenge e.g. see if staff can drink only water for one month (see VicHealth’s H3O Challenge).
  • Spread the word about the health effects of regular sugary drink consumption: use this PowerPoint presentation to raise awareness to staff.
  • Consult with your staff about Water Friendly ideas and solutions, and engage staff in policies that impact them.

Healthy community connections

North East Healthy Communities acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional custodians of the land we work on. We pay our respects to their Elders both past and present and acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first people of this nation.