- Sep 29 2014
Whether employees reach for a cup of joe to get a caffeine boost before a big meeting, or simply to take a breather and unwind with colleagues during a hectic day – 84 percent of workers consider these breaks as either “important” or “indispensable.”
The office environment, often filled with deadlines and demands, can be a stressful place. In addition, the growing frequency of emails removes the need to get up and see people face to face. Coffee breaks give employees the opportunity and environment to break from the sedentary rhythm of office life, socialize with coworkers, improve work relationships and even create “coping communities.” This term, coined by Danish researchers, refers to the socializing between colleagues that allows individuals to share perspectives and ideas, gain new insights and knowledge and deal with stress and emotional pressure.
A recent survey conducted by Nespresso shows that coffee breaks reinforce the feeling of belonging. In fact, 79% of employees consider these breaks as the most efficient way to boost team spirit and ease conflicts; while for 91% of employees it is the ideal moment to build more human and personal exchanges with colleagues.
Roughly one third of today’s office workers regularly eat lunch at their desk while nearly 16 percent claim to rarely take time to eat lunch at all. But while these employees are hard at work, they may be overlooking the essential connection between micro-breaks and overall performance. According to experts, our brains can’t be “on” all the time, periods of rest are required from time to time to recharge. Often, it is during these times when our minds store knowledge, gain new energy and create ideas.
While providing coffee has become relatively standard in the workplace, it is critically important for employers to recognize that the level of expectations regarding the quality of coffee is changing. Ninety percent of employees claimed that the availability of quality coffee shows that a company cares about their wellbeing. These more sophisticated tastes can sometimes go unnoticed by management. The Nespresso survey points out that while 95 percent of managers assumed that the quality of the coffee provided in the workplace was sufficient, only 81 percent of employees actually shared this opinion.
Coffee breaks often get a bad rap. But as studies continue to unveil the benefits – from increased team spirit, to an improved work environment, to a bump in productivity – perhaps companies should not only consider permitting these breaks, they should encourage them.
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