The importance of coffee
09/22/2014 - 20:59

A couple of years ago my acupuncturist advised me to quit drinking coffee as there was nothing good about it. I took the advice, lost a few kilos and felt pretty good about myself.

Then came the holiday to France with the must-have café-au-laits. They tasted so good I couldn’t resist continuing with the habit of slow Sunday morning coffees back home. Eventually, I decided it was okay to drink even the pretty mediocre office coffee if I really felt like having it. And soon I felt like having it every day.

So I am a coffee drinker again, but I have learned since that there is nothing wrong in it. First of all, I have been told it is super healthy. Apparently, there are some studies showing that it decreases the risk of dying of various common diseases - diabetes, heart disease, infections and injuries to name a few.

However, in my opinion the greatest benefit of coffee drinking is social.

In the office, I bump into various different colleagues at the coffee machine daily. It is not one or two emails or even meeting invitations we have avoided sending by getting things talked over at the coffee machine – totally unplanned.

I recently read about a director who went as far as to use coffee as a management tool. He noticed that people only mixed with those using the same coffee machine. He replaced the numerous coffee machines with a couple of larger cafeterias. The result being, that people started to talk to a much wider group of people across functions.

And it is not just the coffee machines and cafeterias that make a difference. It is all the meeting points scattered around the office where people tend to gather with their coffee mugs. Last week, I was sipping my coffee at a standing height table when our CEO joined me. In a few minutes we had made a pleasant, social connection as well as discussed a couple of work matters. Without this unplanned encounter, we would have never discussed and developed the ideas together. I would have sent him (or someone else more likely) an email which he would have replied and that would have been it – a much less developed idea.

To summarise, I would claim that coffee creates wellbeing at work. It makes us healthier, more alert and more social. And as a nice bonus, it quite often tastes pretty good as well.

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