The importance of coffee in the workplace

Getting a caffeine boost to fuel productivity is an important part of most people’s workday. Giving them the energy needed to finish that presentation deck, make it through back-to-back meetings or burn the midnight oil. We all understand the perks of caffeine…however, I’m more interested in the coffee itself or more specifically how it’s prepared.

Other than the obvious caffeine benefit, this nectar of the gods has other great applications too, from bringing people together to improving productivity.

Communal Coffee – The Cafetiere

The humble cafetiere was introduced to the world in 1929 and has been a staple of many UK homes since the 60s. Also known as the French Press, it comes in a variety of sizes from a single cup up to 12 cups – in my opinion, the bigger the better.

In our office the cafetiere has become a homing beacon for weary colleagues looking for their next fix, but has the added the benefit of providing a meeting place to bond as a team. A desk is nominated as the meeting place, the milk jug is filled and the percolating begins. The 5 minutes it takes for the coffee to brew gives all involved the chance to step away from their desk, decompress and catch up with colleagues.

Whether the chat is work focused or takes the place of the ‘water-cooler’, it’s a valuable use of time to foster interpersonal relationships within the workplace.

Crafting Coffee – The Areopress

I love making coffee! Whether it be with my stovetop espresso maker, cappuccino machine or more recently my Aeropress. As the old anti-piracy ads used to say, ‘It’s the experience that counts’. For me I derive as much enjoyment from the making of the coffee as I do from the drinking of it.

Taking time away from your desk to focus on something non-work related is important. In fact, research by Positivity Institute founder and psychologist Dr Suzy Green suggests that productivity increases when people take what she calls “micro-breaks”.

The Areopress is a marvelous contraption that allows you to create a filter coffee for one that enhances the flavour via an equal excursion of pressure. It can take around 5 minutes to make the perfect cup and this is vital for unwinding, gathering your thoughts or giving your mind the break it needs.

Change of Scene Coffee – The sit in coffee

Leaving the office to go get a coffee may be the last thing you think your boss would want you to do! Research carried out by Regus suggests that remote working helps change the mindset of an employee. Therese Ravell of Impact HR Consulting suggests that “Being outside an office environment changes the way you engage a problem…it encourages creative thinking and innovation”.

Depending on the task at hand you may find your output is massively improved if you down-tools and head to your local coffee house and let the barista work their magic.

I’m not suggesting that you reserve a permanent spot at the local café, but a well-timed brainstorming session or creative meeting that is taken out of your usual work environment could garner better results. What boss wouldn’t want to see better results in exchange for a coffee?

Quick Coffee – Instant Coffee

In my opinion instant coffee is the enemy. Before you call me a hipster or a snob this is not down to the cheaper price tag, the taste (I’ve had some good instants coffees) or the inability to slow drip it through organically sourced paper. As I’m sure you will have gathered, for me instant coffee destroys the artistry of coffee making, the enjoyment that should be found in this luscious liquid and eradicates the added benefits.

People say you should never drink alone and I think that should include coffee. Instant coffee encourages consumers to focus on the caffeine kick and get the job done as quickly as possible. If your coffee takes less than a minute to prepare then you haven’t experienced the added benefits it brings, including community, a break from work or improved productivity.

If you work in an office that provides instant rather than ground coffee – campaign for it. Aldi do a £1.79 bag that is well reviewed and research repeatedly reaffirms that breaks actually boost employee productivity.

 

Hopefully you enjoyed this blog post over a nice cup of coffee and if you didn’t…go on, what are you waiting for?

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