Coffee can often seem to be the lifeblood of many workplaces, and everyone now has their favourite type and a very specific order. However, it hasn’t always been the case, and the desire for a skinny soya latte at your desk is a relatively new phenomenon. So, with National Coffee Day taking place on 1st October, it got us thinking how have coffee habits changed at work?
Once upon a time, a few instant granules and a boiled kettle was the best most of us could hope for when it came to a cup of coffee at work. If you were lucky, you might get a machine in the corner that would produce a cup for you that resembled dishwater in both taste and appearance in exchange for a few pennies. These days, more than 74% employees drink coffee, making it something that is important to most of your workforce.
Every high street in the UK now boasts a major coffee chain such as Costa or Starbucks, which means that the average coffee drinker is spoilt for choice. We are all now coffee connoisseurs and look for a choice between a latte, cappuccino and a flat white at work as well as on the move. Different lifestyles and considerations towards health have also changed how we view the coffee we drink and what we want in our cups, and many now expect workplaces to think about this too.
The impact of COVID
You wouldn’t necessarily think that the COVID-19 pandemic would have an impact on coffee drinking at work, but in truth, it had spoilt many of us. By working from home, we have had access to all of our fabulous coffee machines in our own kitchens, and that 11am break now comes from coffee pods and bean to cup machines that has got us used to having high quality coffee on hand whenever we want it. This has meant that some workplaces now seem disappointing in what they offer, and employees are wondering why coffee machines cannot now be implemented or upgraded.
A social coffee
We think of coffee as a way to get us going in a morning or to get us through the afternoon lull, but it also has another use. The point at which we make our chosen cup is the perfect chance to interact with others. Having spent so long with physical boundaries between us, these moments are now very important to people, and the chance for some brief socialisation at work has been shown to improve morale, relationships and productivity. Stepping away from a workstation for just a few moments can help to alleviate stress and make workers more ready to take on their tasks in a happy and focused way.
Coffee is huge business both in and out of work and providing something which feels a little bit special can have a massive effect on how your employees feel about their workplace and how they perform within it.