Looking for an Office Water Cooler?

office waterThis is a guest post from one of our friends at Quench. If you are looking for an office cooler, going bottle-less is the way to go. That’s what we have here at thinkspace – a great bottle-less cooler. But, we would definitely say that the very best way to go if you are a small company is to join a shared space where you can collaborate with other entrepreneurs and share expenses on services such as these. :]

Water is an essential part of our lives, and your business must provide clean, safe drinking water for your employees. But what type of solution is best for your needs? Here are a few questions you should ask:

1. What are your options?

There are two main types of water coolers:
– Bottled water coolers – water in 5-gallon jugs delivered via truck.
– Bottleless water coolers – water is purified from your building’s water source

2. Which water cooler style works best for your office?

Consider the requirements for a bottled water cooler:

– Room for storage.
– Strength available to change 42 pound bottles.
– Time to spend reviewing variable rate water invoices for accuracy.
– A dedicated resource to monitor inventory and reorder as needed.
– A resource to clean your water cooler every 3 months with the recommended bleach.

Now consider requirements for bottleless:
– A water source somewhere in your building.
– An electrical outlet within 6 feet of the planned location.

3. How much do you need? 

Capacity is determined by the ability of the cooler to chill an adequate volume of water, so you’ll need to have an estimate of the demand in your office (i.e. number of employees).For a bottleless cooler, knowing the volume of users will be all you need to determine the correct size cooler.  For bottled water cooler, you’ll need to pick the size of the cooler and determine how many 5-gallon jugs to stock to avoid running out.

4. Signing a contract?

Selecting a contract type should involve a bit of consideration.  You might be uncertain about your water choice or have doubts about how well it will suit your business. In that case, choose a month-to-month option. Scared of even that commitment? Select a trial. Either way, be sure to consider the variety of options each vendors allows.

5. What will this cost?

Any business expense merits careful consideration.  Are you able to project your annual costs? This is very challenging with bottled water, as demand varies throughout the year.
Plain and simple, bottleless water coolers are less expensive. Without overhead for delivery vehicles, truck drivers, and bottle manufacturing, bottleless coolers can cut costs. Bottleless water generally offers a flat monthly rate, making budgeting considerably easier.

When selecting a bottleless company, check for maintenance of filter change fees.  Some bottleless water providers break up their costs to make monthly rates appear lower than they are.  In these cases, maintenance fees can range up to $100, which effectively increases your monthly rate by up to $10 per month.  Ask for an annualized monthly rate.

6. What kind of company do you want to work with?  

The water service industry has many players- big, small, national, local.

Sometimes you may receive a lower rate from local firms.  However, the tradeoff may be in reliability of service and quality of product – leader to poor water taste and unanswered service calls. Since there is no requirement for testing bottled water quality (filtered water draws from municipal sources which have EPA-mandated testing standards), you’re taking an extra risk with a bottled water provider, particularly a smaller local business.

You may pay a higher rate with a larger firm, but as with most things you generally get what you pay for:  better equipment, higher water standards, more sophisticated and reliable customer service organizations. Beware of brand-name firms that seem “national” but are actually local “mom-and-pop” franchisees paying to use the national brand name.

Regardless of size, water services are dependent on the quality of the local team.  Check to make sure the company employs trained service technicians.  And check for an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau – a very good sign of broad quality service.

In the end, bottled water coolers often no longer make sense. They’re more expensive, leave a large carbon footprint, and are no more  pure than filtered tap water. Yet, many organizations are still use bottled water coolers because they are not aware of the alternative.  Using bottleless water coolers provides your employees clean, safe water and can significantly improve your firm’s bottom line. As the largest bottleless water service in North America, Quench serves more than 25,000 businesses – including more than one-third of the Fortune 100. Switching your company to bottleless water cooler service – a step already taken by so many businesses with more and more making the switch each day – will improve your firm’s bottom line via direct and indirect costs, will show your co-workers that the company takes their health seriously, and will have a positive impact on the environment.

But, again, if you dont want to bug with this, you could work out of thinkspace and we will take care of all this for you! :]

16 replies
  1. PAD
    PAD says:

    Good article

    I run a small serviced office Downunder
    And have bought 2 top of the line cools with
    Boiling ability for 2k and my annual water bill
    Via water bottles is 4k. :)

  2. Sue Dill
    Sue Dill says:

    I have learned already that drinking bottled water is not good for the health too. It was said that it can cause cancer. But then, I’d go for the second option though.

    • Alyssa Magnotti
      Alyssa Magnotti says:

      Thanks for the comment, Sue! There seem to be a lot of reasons to go bottleless: possibly more healthy, definitely cheaper and better for our planet. Love it! Thanks for pointing out this additional benefit. Do you guys have a cooler in your office?

      • Rutland
        Rutland says:

        Uhmm, yea.. I think I’ll give it a try, after all, it’s not that hard to bring fresh water from our public source here, of course cheaper and I’ll find it out if healthy too. I started drinking bottled water few yrs ago and I am thinking to go back to fresh water now..

  3. Sarah Cox
    Sarah Cox says:

    So the timing of this post is pretty funny to me. I run Cospace, a coworking facility in Austin, TX. When I took over operations, one of the first things I did was install an under-sink water filter, like this http://www.lowes.com/pd_152246-43353-WHED205_0__?productId=3130911&Ntt=under+sink+filtration&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dunder%2Bsink%2Bfiltration&facetInfo= but with one filter. I had one at my old office and it was great – just add ice to your cup and change the filter every 3-6 months. It meant no more lugging water bottles back and forth, and the water stand we had wasn’t cooling it anyway, it was just taking up counter space.  I was very pleased with this change.

    Until Saturday. The hose came out of the filter and FLOODED my space. I’m still in the process of replacing ceiling tiles downstairs (dust in my hair as I type). Honestly, there wasn’t nearly the amount of damage there could have been, but what a pain!

    So now I’m debating a bottleless system or another filter – theoretically the under sink ones are cheap and work. Except when they don’t and cover my space in a half-inch of water.

    • Alyssa Magnotti
      Alyssa Magnotti says:

      This post is definitely timely for you! Im so sorry to hear about your difficulties with your filter. It definitely sounded like a good idea but after hearing what you are experiencing, it sounds like a bottleless solution might be best. I would definitely look into calling Quench or another similar company to at least get a quote. They really aren’t too expensive, especially when you consider what you are getting. :]

      I went out and looked at your guys’ site and CoSpace looks awesome! How long have you guys been around? 

      • Sarah Cox
        Sarah Cox says:

        We’ve been in business since February 2010. It’s a lot of fun – we have such great people. I just talked to Quench – you’re right, it’s pretty inexpensive!

  4. Calvin
    Calvin says:

    I have just known information about bottled water coolers
    have a negative impact on our health but in my opinion, the cause lies in the
    water refills. If water refill unhygienic will cause problems in our health. Thank you for the information that you give.

  5. Jacob
    Jacob says:

    I go for the bottleless water coolers. More eco friendly, and also good for our health. I also don’t have broken water bottle problem like my friends have.

  6. Water Coolers Mansfield
    Water Coolers Mansfield says:

    Water is an essential part of our lives, and your business must provide clean, safe drinking water for your employees.

  7. Jeremy Law
    Jeremy Law says:

    Water cooler is indeed important in every office. Most employees are forced to buy drinking water instead. Nice guidelines by the way. This should be strongly followed.

  8. Planet Water Solutions
    Planet Water Solutions says:

    Are you worrying about your health? Healthy body is maintained by purity and certainly purity of water is one of the major source to provide you healthy body. call at (877) 443-5068 for more details regarding pure water availability.


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