Navigating the post-pandemic return to work is one of the biggest challenges currently faced by businesses globally. With COVID-19 still presenting a big health risk to society, it's imperative that good personal hygiene remains a top priority within the workplace. Businesses must ensure that a regular cleaning routine is implemented and that good hygiene is enforced, both for the safety and health of their employees and for anyone visiting the site.
Here at Zip Water, we recognise the importance of prioritising both infection control and sustainability. Below, we take a look at the importance of workplace hygiene for employers, employees and visitors, as well as how our new 5th generation of HydroTap works to mitigate health risks in communal areas. This includes the new HydroTap Classic Plus with SteriTouch® antimicrobial technology and the HydroTap Touch Free Wave.
The importance of hygiene in the workplace
Workplace environments are some of the easiest locations for the spread of bacteria and viruses due to many common touchpoints within communal areas, for example, staff kitchens, bathrooms and reception. With minor illnesses such as the common cold being the main reason for sick leave and COVID-19 presenting a major hygiene challenge from 2020 onwards, it's necessary that employers provide a strong workplace hygiene policy. Enhanced hygiene standards ensure that both staff and visitors remain healthy and safe while working in and visiting the premises by minimising exposure to any potential health hazards.
An estimated 141.4 million working days were lost due to sickness or injury in the UK in 2018 - equivalent to 4.4 days per worker. This means that sick leave is not only a major contributor to the reduction of staff happiness and productivity, but also becomes a high cost for companies.
Businesses play a critical part in ensuring a risk-free environment by setting out clear workplace hygiene guidelines and facilitating them with the aid of smart technology solutions. This works to promote a healthier and subsequently happier workforce but also provide a great first impression and peace of mind to any visitors.
Our new hygiene-focused HydroTaps
With COVID-19 presenting health and hygiene challenges in returning to the working environment, here at Zip Water we are responding to the need for hygiene-focused solutions for the workplace. With COVID-19 accounting for 14% of all sickness absences since April 2020 and simultaneously a survey showing 58% of office workers are missing the in-person working experience, this means that workplaces require solutions that will ensure a safe return and a healthy working environment.
One of the most prominent office touchpoints is the communal kitchen. With coffee and tea breaks prevalent throughout the working day, this area becomes a high risk. When an individual is in the early onset of an illness or is unknowingly ill, they are more likely to pass on bacteria and viruses to other staff and visitors. COVID-19 can survive on non-porous surfaces like stainless steel, plastic and glass for up to 72 hours. The common cold can also survive on surfaces for a few days but mostly remains contagious for the first 24 hours. This means that products that are frequently touched by employees become a risk factor for ill-health.
The latest 5th generation of HydroTap - which provides instant filtered boiling, chilled and sparkling drinking water - ensures that the ever-increasing need for smart technology for a hygienic workplace is fulfilled. The new HydroTap Classic Plus ensures enhanced workplace hygiene with SteriTouch® antimicrobial technology in both key elements of the water path and the touchpad itself, killing 99.9% of bacteria. The HydroTap Touch Free Wave reduces workplace touchpoints further by making use of clever infrared sensors that detect hand movement within 1.5-5cm of the tap to initiate water flow, providing 100% touch-free operation.
What is SteriTouch® technology?
SteriTouch® is the leading UK brand in antimicrobial technology with experience developing antimicrobial additives for most materials and manufacturing processes, from plastics to silicone and rubber. SteriTouch® additives are incorporated into the designated materials to combat the growth of bacteria, mould and fungi. Additionally, a material treated with SteriTouch® technology helps protect against the spread of viruses such as COVID-19 and the common cold.
Because the SteriTouch® additive is evenly dispersed throughout a material, its antimicrobial function lasts for the lifetime of the product. Its performance is also unaffected by cleaning chemicals such as bleach and alcohols in disinfectants, meaning that products in the kitchen such as the Zip HydroTap remain unaltered after regular cleaning.
How do touch-free HydroTaps work?
With increased focus around health and hygiene in the workplace, the new fifth-generation Zip HydroTap Touch Free Wave works to reduce contact points in the workplace by providing employees 100% touch-free access to filtered drinking water.
The HydroTap Touch Free Wave uses smart infrared sensors that detect hand movement within 1.5-5cm of the tap. The LED light will illuminate when in range, letting you know that water flow will be triggered. Once the hand is moved away from the sensor range, the water flow will immediately stop. To dispense chilled water, the right sensor must be activated. To dispense sparkling water, the top sensor must be activated. Additional safety measures are in place for the activation of boiling water, where both the left and back safety lock sensors must be activated simultaneously. The Zip HydroTap Touch Free Wave will not dispense any water if it is touched or grabbed by the user.
Is SteriTouch or Touch-Free the best option for your workplace?
The fifth generation of the Zip HydroTap combines superior quality with outstanding convenience, working to fulfil workplace hygiene requirements while also contributing to business sustainability goals by promoting bottle refilling and reducing the use of single-use plastics. The HydroTap puts wellbeing first by supporting workplace hygiene practices and keeping each employee hydrated and healthy.
Both the HydroTap Classic Plus and the HydroTap Touch Free Wave feature 0.2 micron MicroPurity filtration™ technology which works to improve taste and remove contaminants as small as 0.2 micron. This includes dirt, lead, microplastics, 99.9% of microbial cysts, 97% of chlorine, heavy metals, odour, bacteria and sediment. This reduces the reliance on single-use plastic water bottles and ensures employee hydration with pure-tasting drinking water. The innovative air-cooled system removes the need for water in the cooling process, reducing water wastage and making it a great choice for company sustainability credentials. Sustainability is further prioritised with energy efficiency technology such as the lux sensor and 'sleep' function that saves energy when the tap is not in use.
The new HydroTap Classic Plus delivers the convenience of instant boiling, chilled and sparkling water at the touch of a button, but keeps key areas clean thanks to the SteriTouch® silicone touchpad that eliminates 99.9% of bacteria. The HydroTap Classic Plus offers added hygiene if button operation is a requirement, while simultaneously providing instant hydration and convenience in any workplace kitchen.
The Zip HydroTap Touch Free Wave provides touch-free dispensing of boiling, chilled and sparkling drinking water, going further to minimise exposure to viral contaminants, keeping work areas clean.
*SteriTouch® is a registered trademark of Radical Materials Ltd