Boosting productivity at work: The role of coffee in employee performance

Raise your hand if your work day doesn’t start until you’ve had a cup of coffee!

Amicum Team Coffee break

In many regards, the modern workplace is powered by caffeinated beverages, and coffee beans reign supreme. From helping offset the effects of a bad night’s sleep to pepping us out of the mid-afternoon slump, many of us can’t even picture a workday without our favourite mug of Joe. Today we’re going to take a peek into the wider world of coffee and cognitive performance and why coffee has become everyone’s biggest workplace helpmate.

The science of caffeine in the workplace

Let’s slip on our white coats for a moment and take a look at how caffeine impacts how we think and feel. Whether you’re relying on filter coffee in your cafeteria, or your morning can’t start without fresh ground coffee beans to enjoy, many of the positive impacts of coffee come from its caffeine content.

Caffeine is a natural stimulant, helping improve alertness, focus, and concentration. It’s easy to see how this can be beneficial for tasks that require sustained attention and mental effort, such as problem-solving, analysing data, or creative thinking- all critical workplace skills. 

This is exactly why so many of us use caffeine to power through midday slumps and refocus on our work. This surge of energy and focus can help with short-term increases in productivity, which can be especially helpful during times when we need to meet deadlines or tackle a heavy workload. 

But that’s not all caffeine has to offer. Caffeine has been shown to improve physical performance by increasing adrenaline levels and mobilising fatty acids from fat tissues, providing a source of quick energy even when we haven’t eaten. This can be particularly advantageous for employees who engage in physically demanding tasks, but it is also why so many of us enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning to ‘get going’. Especially if you don’t eat much in the mornings.

So coffee consumption is often associated with improved mood and reduced feelings of tiredness. It helps power up the mind and body, getting us started on a groggy morning, or picking us up at the end of a long day. 

The communal coffee pot

Coffee is still not done shaping your workplace experience, however! They give us the perfect excuse to step away from the screens and beeping gadgets and recenter ourselves. There are many ways to add a mindful moment to your work day, but with a defined end, a tasty treat, and plenty to focus on, a great cup of coffee is a winner among them. That goes double if you’re grinding your own coffee beans- the perfect contemplative moment in a busy day.

But while there may be benefits to going solo with your coffee break, it’s also a great bonding moment. Coffee breaks encourage social interaction and collaboration among employees. They give us a focal point to bond over. Your chats during your coffee breaks can lead to idea sharing and a sense of camaraderie among team members. It’s also a great way to brainstorm. 

This little bit of camaraderie and mutual bonding contributes to a more positive work environment and interactions among colleagues. Who knows- if you’re an avid coffee fan, you may even find another soul who loves their high-quality coffee beans and the pros and cons of coffee machines!


Best in moderation

So coffee and a powered-up workday go hand-in-hand. And there’s nothing wrong with enjoying all the great benefits coffee brings to the table. Do remember, however, that all things are best in moderation! Because of the adrenaline boost, if you rely on coffee to keep yourself going for too long, you can actually increase the stress on your body and mind and lead to feelings of restlessness or anxiety. 

If you rely too heavily on caffeine to function, you may also experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and irritability if you don’t have it. Additionally, the effects of caffeine will not last your entire workday. You may experience a crash in energy levels once the initial effects wear off if they’re not careful. This is why it is important to keep your sleep quality high and your body powered up with healthy foods as well as your favourite brew.

Plus, there’s a reason some folks use coffee to help them get more regular in the bathroom. As caffeine is a slight irritant, too much caffeine can upset your stomach, leaving you with acid reflux or tummy troubles- the last thing you want at work.

As with all the best things in life (and the workplace), it’s best to take a sensible approach to your daily caffeine consumption. That way, you’ll reap all the benefits of enjoying a fantastic cup of coffee at work, without the negatives. For this reason, it’s worth investing in the coffee you drink, too. Not only do high-quality coffee beans bring you fresher flavour and peak caffeine content, they can be gentler on the stomach and offer a better, more refreshing taste experience. Additionally, with greater variety in the coffee beans available, you can experiment with roasts and varietals to find one that gives you the pick-me-up you’re looking for without irritation or negative side effects.

Whatever you choose, however, from coffee beans to filter coffee, there’s a reason that coffee and your workday have become an iconic pair. Feel free to enjoy your favourites guilt-free in the workplace, knowing that coffee has your back even when your workplace doesn’t.

This article was written by Coffee Friend, an international omnichannel retailer for coffee and coffee machines.

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