The Argument for Free Coffee in the Workplace is Strong
Having good coffee available at work results in happier, more productive workers. The science is in and work-supplied coffee has been justified by its many benefits to the workplace.
It’s the socially acceptable performance-enhancing drug that keeps the world turning. Just the sweet, sweet smell of that heavenly aroma has been shown to reduce tension; no wonder it outperforms every traded commodity except crude oil. Here in Australia our appetite for coffee is on the increase, although we currently only rank 42nd in the world for consumption.
Coffee is the superhero beverage that has been proven to do everything from burning fat to lowering your risk of death, and shouldn’t be regarded as a job perk but should sit alongside technology and internet-access as fundamental to business success. These magic beans are the easy and economical way any business can achieve its responsibility to both take care of staff wellbeing and support productivity for increased workplace performance.
Pain ReliefDrinking the rich dark brew that makes it possible to function each day has lots of health benefits. A Norwegian study demonstrated that drinking coffee before working at a computer could have a powerful pain-relieving effect. If you get aches and pains in your neck, shoulders, arms or wrists from sitting at a desk tapping away at a computer, simply start your work day in the office kitchen. By supplying staff with quality coffee, your workplace is actually providing an ergonomic solution.
Fatigue FighterMost of us can’t face the day without that first cup of coffee, but mornings aren’t the only time we need a pick-me-up. With the pressures of work we can often be sleep-deprived or just hit a wall during the day. Thankfully the caffeine in your much-loved brew blocks the neurotransmitters that make you sleepy. By enjoying a cuppa at morning and afternoon tea time you will overcome the biorhythms that naturally slow down your brain activity around 10am and 2pm, giving you the boost you need to get on with your work. Having coffee available in your workplace will provide a quick and easy to solution.
Ethical BehaviourHand-in-hand with its fatigue fighting powers, coffee can also fuel an increase in ethical behaviour in the workplace. In a 2014 study, tired people participated in a test of their honesty. Those who were given a caffeine hit before the test were far more likely to stick to their ethical principles. The researchers concluded that workplaces should fork out for coffee to keep staff on the straight and narrow.
Productivity BoostCaffeine is a stimulant that accelerates messages between the brain and body. Drinking caffeinated coffee helps your mind to focus and work in a more efficient and smarter way. It improves your complex functions like reaction time, attention span, vigilance and reasoning. It also inhibits the reabsorption of the happiness hormones, dopamine and serotonin, making you feel happier. With its energy and mood boosting powers, you become more productive and can power through your workload. If your coffee is close by in the office kitchen, you’re even more productive as no time is wasted in heading to the nearest café.
Ideas FactoryProductivity is also improved when employees take coffee breaks together. The time-honoured tradition of stopping work for a cuppa has been counter-intuitively proven to cause an overall improvement in productivity and strengthen social groups when employees were given breaks at the same time. Given the increasing value placed on collaboration and creativity in the workplace, a dedicated space with good coffee will clearly help your business performance.
Bonus BenefitsConsuming coffee will reduce your chances of Type 2 Diabetes, skin cancer, liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s, suicide, Parkinson’s Disease, and a host of other health issues. Coffee is one of the healthiest beverages, surpassing fruit and vegetables for its antioxidant content, and is recommended by health experts for its benefits. It seems the sweet spot is somewhere around 3 cups per day for maximum health, so having ready access to coffee at work will help you to reach this target.
Workplaces that supply a break room with good quality coffee and that allow staff the freedom to have coffee breaks are demonstrating that they value their staff and embracing practices that lead to greater business success. Coffee at work should be a right, not a privilege.