The benefits of coffee in the workplace are no great secret. We all know that coffee helps us wake up and come alive in the morning, and stay that way throughout the day. But the advantages of coffee in our workplaces go far beyond that, and there is clear evidence that moderate coffee consumption can be a great boost to our focus and attention to detail—some of the most important foundations of creativity.
Caffeine and its benefits in the workplace
Caffeine is a fairly powerful substance, and while most of us have an implicit understanding of how it benefits us at work, the full extent of its effects is often missed. In general, caffeine raises the levels of activity in your brain and nervous system, and it can help to suppress unhelpful and unwanted insight. Moderation, of course, is always an important thing to keep in mind as lower doses of caffeine will offer the desired effects.
Caffeine is beneficial in office environments because it helps staff to boost their levels of mental activity, while at the same time keeping that activity focused on a given task. Ultimately, this in turn will lead to noticeably improved output for a variety of reasons.
Coffee in the workplace
Our brains are complex things, and there are dozens of factors that go into complex processes like creativity.
Firstly, coffee is a great booster of individual mood and indeed overall office morale. One study found that the equivalent of one cup of coffee’s worth of caffeine, administered every four hours, leads to a sustained improvement, of mood. Again, moderation is important, as too much caffeine can have the opposite effect. But this aspect of coffee’s sustained ability to improve mood is the part that is often missed; coffee’s effects last for hours. Energy drinks, for example, will provide a boost for a couple of hours at most, with a much more pronounced crash.
On the other hand, employer-provided coffee is shown to help staff feel their worth is recognised, in turn leading to overall improved morale in the office. This goes to show that coffee in the workplace is hugely beneficial for both teams and individuals.
At a more specific level, coffee improves focus and concentration. It has been shown that in a wide variety of occupations, coffee is highly effective in maintaining and boosting cognitive capabilities. With only moderate coffee intake, staff are able to pay much closer attention to detail, and to focus on tasks over a longer period of time. What’s key here is that the improvement to focus is not fleeting and momentary, but can be sustained over the course of several hours during a typical workday.
Coffee’s positive effects on cognitive function are naturally a big help to problem-solving, too. Being better focused and paying closer attention in itself will lead to improved problem solving, but the above study also found a certain degree of improved executive function in things like judgement and decision-making.
All of these effects combined can ultimately lead to a more creative workforce. Staff will be more alert, focused, and indeed happier, over longer periods of time, whereas tired, unfocused, downtrodden staff cannot be expected to be consistently creative in their approach to their work.
Coffee machines in the office
With all this said, it seems quite clear that making sure your staff are provided with a steady supply of coffee is going to lead to improved productivity and quality of work. Coffee machines for the office are the way to go about doing this.
Before you even consider the physiological benefits of coffee in the workplace, providing a coffee machine for your employees will make them feel more valued, both individually and as a team. When trying to improve productivity and creativity in any workplace, it can be tempting to try and get your staff as alert and focused as possible at any cost. Morale, though, is just as important as any other factor in an employee’s performance and creativity.
Coffee machines are among the simplest pieces of equipment to integrate into an office or other workplaces, and providing high-quality coffee, readily available throughout the day, will keep your team’s creativity flowing throughout the day. This will lead to enhanced productivity and quality of work, making the coffee machine a worthwhile investment.
It should be no surprise that coffee is beneficial to our working lives—most of us drink it ourselves and see the immediate benefits. But when looking carefully at the actual data, we can see that the benefits of coffee are more far-reaching than we would possibly have guessed. With the right amount of coffee, employees are more focused, pay closer attention to detail, and are better able to creatively solve problems—all of which is further boosted by the fact that providing coffee in the first place is great for employee morale.