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How can connections in the workplace help your staff and your business?

Once again, a workplace study has found that the majority (83%) of HR officers are facing significant talent retention problems and the latest research revealed that the main reason for staff turnover was stress and burnout[1].

To help employers address these issues, BRITA VIVREAU has teamed up with award-winning psychologist and workplace wellbeing expert, Gethin Nadin, as part of its Refill Your Cup campaign.

BRITA VIVREAU conducted research to find out what employers can do to support their staff’s wellbeing and improve retention.

This revealed 75% of office workers would be more likely to stay in their job if they’ve built connections with their colleagues. With the help of Gethin’s expertise, this article outlines three top tips for employers to help facilitate positive relationships in the office.

  1. Organise daily breaks for small groups of staff

In Sweden, Fika is considered a daily ritual that encourages people to take a break with their colleagues over a coffee and a pastry. It is considered a vital part of working life. And they are on to something.

Research has shown that even just one conversation a day with a teammate can make a difference to employee happiness levels[2], and that taking breaks provides an opportunity for employees to interact with people outside of their day-to-day team and build emotional connections with colleagues.

Rather than time-wasting, BRITA VIVREAU’s research found that talking to colleagues and taking coffee breaks can reduce stress and improve productivity for office workers – ultimately, helping your team work more effectively in the long run.

  1. Design your office in a way that encourages conversations and healthy habits

The way an office is designed and equipped can have a massive effect on staff and businesses. Take plants for example; a study in 2022[3] found that 70% of people say plants improve the atmosphere at home and in the office. Productivity, stress, health and wellbeing and creativity were all benefited by having greenery in the office.

Carefully positioning water points around the office is another great way of designing your space to support wellbeing, this time by encouraging your staff to get up and stretch their legs around the office.

Installing a water dispenser can help to create a well-designed breakout area that encourages staff to take a break, chat to their colleagues and stay hydrated, all of which Gethin has found improves wellbeing.

  1. Create an office culture where staff can open up to one another

Mental health is now the biggest cause of long-term sickness in the workforce[4]. However, Gethin strongly believes that improving wellbeing in the workplace is ‘far more about the micro things’ than the ‘big ticket’ initiatives that take a long time to implement.

As an employer, taking the time to have a cup of tea with a staff member and offering them the opportunity to open up to you about how they’re feeling could make the difference for that employee and their mental health. This simple strategy will also set a good example of the positive, open, and conversational workplace culture – something which employees of today value highly.

Office amenities are a great place to start if you’re looking to create a workplace culture that encourages connections and conversations, so check out our range of premium mains-fed water dispensers to see which one is right for your office.


[1] People Management, February 2023

[2] University of Kansas, 2023

[3] IFA, Oct 2022

[4] PWC, 2023

About Sarah OBeirne

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