Coffee in the workplace
Coffee is a commonly consumed beverage in the workplace and it has become an integral part of workplace culture. At work, as well as in other social arenas, the phrase “let’s have a cup of coffee” has come to mean “let’s have a conversation”9.
Furthermore, coffee breaks offer a moment of ‘downtime’ which helps to bring colleagues together and provides a crucial coping mechanism for dealing with the stresses of the workplace. One study of public workers in Denmark undergoing a large-scale merger found that the workers stress was relieved by forming “communities of coping” during coffee breaks with co-workers10. These communities allowed for social interaction with fellow employees, allowing them to share both professional opinions and personal frustrations with their work.
Another study found that when workers meet informally over a cup a coffee, it can help to encourage creativity. It creates a social scene where conversations can take place without organisational structures, allowing employees to socialize in more personal ways than they are allowed in their role as professionals11.
In addition to the social benefits, coffee breaks may also improve productivity in the workplace.
One study found empirical evidence to support the idea that coffee breaks have the potential to increase productivity levels within an organization. The researchers found that sharing a coffee break created a positive social group climate within the workforce, which was found to be associated with a general increase in productivity12.
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