This Water Cooler’s Role in Workplace Wellness

While workplace wellness may not be news around the office water cooler, this water cooler is certainly causing some talk.

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Bevi is a modern water cooler that has saved the use of more than four million plastic bottles since its launch in 2012. What originally stemmed from founders Sean Grundy, Eliza Becton and Frank Lee’s environmentally-focused motivation to eliminate the infamous and wasteful plastic bottle, quickly saw an organic shift in target audience from environmentalist gym goer to resource-centric tech companies. So far, offices including Apple, TripAdvisor and the Bozzuto Group, have installed the modern water cooler as a resourceful way to replace bottled beverages, while saving a company’s time and money in providing workplace benefits.

“Among tech companies, it’s common to see food and beverage budgets of $250 a month per [employee],” says Bevi’s CEO, Sean Grundy, highlighting that Bevi takes up less than $5 of this expense. “We’re taking perks, that used to only be available for companies that have these huge budgets, for companies with smaller budgets to create better company cultures.”

The importance of company culture was first majorly acknowledged and adopted by technology companies; notorious for their demanding work weeks, thus overcompensating in work perks. It is something that was recognized by career-ranking sites such as Glassdoor and Thrillist, coming out with frequent articles and annual lists, like the “Top 20 Employee benefits & Perks for 2017” and “13 Companies with the best most insane food perks you definitely don’t get.”

Yet, as more companies committed to improving company culture, more employers across the field saw the demand for this developed culture from potential employees; therefore, they becoming obligated to keep up with the trend.

“I never would have thought of General Electric as an ideal target company for us but they are showing a commitment to providing the same perks and company culture that Apple and Twitter have been offering for a while,” says Grundy on Bevi’s recent extension to General Electric’s offices.

“Offices are far more thoughtful today and people are more individual,” adds Eliza Becton as Bevi’s Head of Product. “Appealing to a wider variety of preferences and creating a collaborative, creative workplace calls for increased individualization and customization.”

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Along with witnessing the increase and expansion for workplace benefits across new industries, the founders have discovered a pattern in various companies’ desire to improve their office offerings.

“Typically [companies] come to us in an effort to attract and retain recent college graduates, who value a healthy and positive work environment more than previous generations,” notes Grundy. “Some big financial services have come to us concerned that their workplace is not attractive to millennials.”

For companies installing a Bevi, they not only add to the desirable, healthy work environment for a future employee; however, they also benefit by saving money, time and resources in the long run.

This is a direct result of the cooler’s installation and maintenance process, as the only thing an office needs to accommodate a Bevi machine is a water line and a regular power outlet — drawing as much energy as a standard coffee maker — leaving the rest up to the Bevi team. This includes the installation, plumbing, stock checks and refills.

“With Bevi, it’s an all-in-one machine so you don’t have to worry about providing ten different types of drinks,” says Becton on the regular filtered water, sparkling water and flavored drink options that the company has access to once installing the machine.

They are options that have inspired employees to get so passionate about their offices installing a Bevi that Head of Marketing, Frank Lee, shares, “One employee staged a soda protest in order to gain approval by the finance department to get a Bevi. Over several weeks, she continually built pyramids of empty cans next to the door of the CFO’s office.”

With this growing recognition, Bevi continues to extend into new divisions, reaching back to their roots at health clubs, with major clients like Equinox, and in hospitality, with the W Boston being the first hotel to have updated to this savvy water offering.

The organic and steady growth reveal how although the original, environmentally-conscious aspect of the brand may not have been at the forefront of Bevi’s branding, it was always there as a direct, and positive, side effect to diminishing waste across a substantial space.

Thus far, Bevi has not just played an important role in workplace wellness, but has created somewhat of an environmental and social precedence for workplace standards.

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Freelance journalist + editor with a focus on travel, wine, food, culture & health

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