Work at just about any company or organization – whether you toil in a cube farm, enjoy the view from the corner office, drive a big-rig across the country, or take customers’ money at Target – chances are there’s a break room in your work day and in that break room is coffee. Probably free-for-the-drinking coffee.
Most office workers drink at least one cup of coffee at their desks each day. Other workers take the well-known “coffee break,” where they rest for 10 or 15 minutes in a break room, possibly drinking coffee, and reading their smartphone, texting friends, or even chatting with colleagues.
The Importance of Coffee Breaks
Coffee breaks, in fact, are more than “just a break” from work for employees. They can actually help employees become more productive. A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that call-center workers at Bank of America who talked to and interacted with their co-workers while on break completed customer calls more quickly and also felt less stressed. The bank made sure coffee breaks allowed for more employee interaction and saw productivity gains of about $15 million (per year) within just a few months.
As for the coffee purchased by the employer, it probably buys the coffee in bulk. After all, big price breaks ensue when one purchase a lot of one commodity at once. Chances also are that the coffee isn’t premium coffee, but a serviceable brand of java: nothing awful but nothing too great, either.
Why Better Coffee Matters
Naturally, we believe that the better coffee, the better for all concerned: workers, managers, the CEO. Here’s why:
- Coffee boosts employee morale. GOOD coffee boosts it higher.
Free coffee at work – while a “small” thing – actually helps employees feel appreciated. In fact, the better the coffee, the more they feel appreciated. (When times are tough; a higher end coffee gives employees the impression all is not lost financially for their employer.)
- It can help them stay honest.
It’s easier to lie and cheat when tired. After all, if a worker is fatigued and her boss asks her to do something “iffy” or obviously unethical, she may not have the energy to ask more questions about the assignment, so the worker just goes with the flow. Getting a jolt of java can help perk the employee up, helping her realize when something is fishy.
- They’ll be less likely to head to their favorite coffee place to grab a cup.
Leave the office on break, there’s a chance the employee could be late coming back to work. It also will take him or her longer to “recover” from the break (the employee will need more time to “transition” from break mode to work mode). Loss of usual productive time results.
- They may brag about what a great place to work your company is.
People happy with their coffee tend to talk positively about the place from where they got it. So they’ll talk about how great your company is in other aspects of their employment. (Make someone happy about even a small thing and they’ll look more favorably on several other things about you.) As a result, expect more applicants as more people talk up your great company!
That last one may – or may not – be presented with our tongues firmly planted in our collective cheeks, but you get the point: good coffee makes people happy. Happy people are happy and productive employees. Happy employees also help attract other happy people to your company. A healthy bottom line results and all because you opted to purchase great coffee.