A hot cup of coffee can be a saviour on those days where you wish you had that extra half an hour in bed. However, does the effect of that morning coffee go deeper than just a quick hit of caffeine? What benefits can coffee itself and coffee breaks bring for employees and teams? Let's investigate.
Britain's love of coffee ☕
According to the British Coffee Association, the UK drink approximately 95 million cups of coffee per day. As well as having lots of coffee at home or in the office, many of us visit coffee shops on a weekly or even daily basis. That's a lot of coffee! Totally Delicious report that this is part of the rise of café culture in general, which has provided a sense of community in an increasingly busy world.
Coffee has been great for the UK economy too. The British Coffee Association also estimate that, in 2017, the coffee industry contributed £17.7 billion to the UK economy and created over 210,000 jobs.
The benefits of coffee at work
There is a great Quartz article about coffee that lists some of the ways that it can affect productivity in the workplace. Aside from the obvious benefits, like keeping you awake and alert (as it is a stimulant), there are some more surprising effects that a good cup of joe can have on efficiency:
- Coffee can numb the aches and pains that come with sitting still at a desk all day (though regular breaks and moving about are important!)
- Coffee can help workers concentrate better and make fewer mistakes, especially when working night shifts.
- The social aspect of a coffee break has been found to increase productivity in teams.
- For remote and hybrid workers, working from a coffee shop has been found to improve creativity, according to the Journal of Consumer Research.
There’s even evidence to suggest that coffee prolongs life! The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health analysed data from about half a million Britons and released findings in 2015 that drinking from 1-8 or more cups of coffee per day was linked to a decreased risk of premature death (over the 10-year period of the study).
Interestingly enough, it didn't matter if the coffee was caffeinated or decaf! This suggests there may be other factors at play as to why coffee drinking may lower the risk of premature death.
The disadvantages of coffee...?
The miracle beverage can be a double edged sword when it comes to high pressure situations. Sure, it can help you to focus when working to tight deadlines, but it also enhances stressful situations as blood pressure and adrenaline levels rise dramatically.
After the working day is over, the effects take time to subside, meaning the feeling of stress can last long after you get back home. So when it comes to drinking coffee, moderation is key.
Coffee culture is important for retention
Do you promote coffee breaks in your place of work? Perhaps it’s worth investing in nice quality coffee for the office if you haven’t already; the facts and figures speak for themselves! According to a survey from Nespresso from 2017:
- 90% of employees who regularly drink high quality coffee feel motivate to do their best at work.
- Employees who take at least one coffee break a day feel more positive about their work than those who don’t.
- 81% of those who drink higher quality coffee at work intend to be at their current company in two years’ time.
- 75% of employees agree that having high quality coffee available shows that their employer cares for their wellbeing.
- 87% of employees see small office perks as important to staff retention.
Good quality coffee is just one small example of the perks and benefits you can provide staff to improve your workplace culture and retain talented employees. Overall, having a clear pay structure and a range of useful benefits for staff is helpful for businesses, which can track these using pay and benefits software.
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Written by Camille Brouard
Camille is a Senior Marketing Executive for myhrtoolkit who writes on topics including HR technology, workplace culture, leave management, diversity, and mental health at work.