Whether you like or love it, coffee is an integral part of the office dynamic, and our dependence is only growing. For some, it delivers a hit of inspiration and productivity, and others look to coffee when they need some aid with problem-solving. It’s no surprise that high-powered Western offices have an in-house barista, or you see beautiful coffee machines in Singapore. Many leadership teams don’t stop to assess how coffee can enhance their workflow and the moods of their team so let’s go over these valuable ways caffeine can boost office work and create a more enjoyable place to work for all.
It facilitates collaboration and discussion
Sharing a coffee with those you work with almost has a village feel, remnant of early eras gone by. There is something special about a community gathering to enjoy a refreshment and catching up on events and work that might be dominating a lot of time and effort in the office. If the team you manage or work with is experiencing the same bottlenecks, you can actually relocate the project discussion to a coffee space and let that environment create better collaboration and discussion. The simple act of making or ordering a coffee, sitting down to enjoy it, and then picking up the task with fresh eyes can be incredibly valuable, not to mention very easy to do.
This is why office coffee machines and the cafe format is also a non-threatening space to conduct performance reviews, check-ins and any mediation that might be necessary within your workplace. The physical act of removing teams from their desk and the immediate environment will ensure that these encounters are more worthwhile and a team is more open to hearing and implementing change based on that informal collaboration.
A moment of mindfulness
Some of the time we don’t need an answer or a solution, but just some time to pause and reflect on the problem we find ourselves in. Stress and anxiety are an unfortunate fact of some workplaces, and coffee breaks can be an effective tool that extracts your employees from their screens and gives them the distance to get the perspective they crave and need to move forward. A burnt-out employee is going to cost you money and quality, so ask yourself if this is something you can allow in your business? Companies like Google, Facebook and other Fortune 500s have a heavy focus on mindful practise for their staff, as they have seen first hand the success that comes from a team that is balanced and clear-headed.
You don’t need to change your business too much to accommodate mindfulness either, you can simply start with establishing a break-out space and coffee area that people can steal away and take five. You can also furnish this space with books, music and magazines that will subconsciously signal to them that this space has been designed for them to disconnect without judgement. You can also create helpful processes that support workers when they experience low productivity and problems, so be sure to bring other management heads in on this task.
Morale and culture
Carrying on from mindfulness, you want to be considering the morale and culture of your office workplace. What does the industry know about your company, and is a desirable candidate going to give you and your team a second look? Coffee machines, parking and flexible working is the new currency when it comes to employee contract negotiations, so if you can’t justify an upgrade for your existing team maybe you can if it will secure you that dream CEO or leading EA. Giving your team freedom to make coffees or enjoy regular visits to a cafe is investing in the culture of your office – and you will never regret this gesture.
From productivity to problem-solving, coffee really is a wonder drug and had been proven to have so many positive impacts on an office. If you are writing your budget for the financial year ahead, seriously consider the role caffeine plays in your business success.