Why Coffee is Good for Productivity
Most people start their day with a cup of coffee. They may have another one a couple of hours later when they arrive at work followed by another later in the day. Some people limit their coffee intake to 2/3 cups a day, while others will consume it all day. Coffee in the office has become part of our everyday working routine, but why? What are its effects, and is it good for productivity?
Why do we Drink Coffee?
If you consider your coffee drinking habits, one could argue that we don’t drink it for the taste but that it has become part of our daily routine because of how it makes us feel. It is mainly consumed to give a kick start to the day or as a pick up from a midday slump.
It is hardly surprising that our relationship with coffee has increased coffee shops, more coffee products and a greater interest in this commodity. It’s highly likely that any of the local coffee shops that you walk into before Covid, were full of remote workers working their way through their latest assignments.
It is also not surprising to see an office coffee machine or at least some sort of coffee pot on the go ready for workers to enjoy a coffee or three during their working day. Coffee in the office has become expected as part of the job!
Coffee contains caffeine – that’s what we are secretly seeking. Some do enjoy the flavour of coffee but it’s the caffeine hit that people are looking for.
Interesting fact - there’s approximately 6mg of caffeine in one roasted coffee bean.
How does Caffeine work?
Caffeine has long been used by shift workers such as nurses to stay awake during a night shift. If you have ever consumed a cup of coffee and then tried to sleep, you will have found it very difficult. But how does it work? Caffeine prevents your brain from absorbing a chemical called adenosine. This chemical triggers the flags in your brain that let you know you’re tired.
Dr David DiSalvo of Forbes sums it up perfectly “Adenosine is produced by neurons throughout the day as they fire, and as more of it is produced, the more your nervous system ratchets down. Once your adenosine levels reach a certain point, your nervous system puts you to sleep. The intake of caffeine effectively blocks adenosine intake by entering the A1 receptor but not activating it”
What DiSalvo is actually saying is it isn’t the caffeine that is stimulating your system – “it’s just blocking the doors while the real party animals in the brain do what they love”.
Is Coffee Good for Office Productivity?
Coffee has proven to improve cognitive function and memory therefore coffee can be associated with improved performance and this isn’t just a short-term effect. Research has actually shown that over time, the impact of drinking coffee on our cognitive function and memory has a long-lasting effect.
Generally, it’s considered one of the best ways to start the day giving you that instant caffeine hit to make you alert and ready to take on the challenges of the day. Having the first cup a few hours after waking up is recommended. By providing good coffee in the office for your team, when they walk of a morning, you are more than likely increasing the potential productivity of the work force.
A good cup of coffee can set you up for a good day. Woken up feeling a little worse for wear? Have a coffee, and you are good to go. Had one too many glasses of vino last night? Have a coffee.
Health Benefits of Coffee
There are studies that show drinking coffee every day reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. One could argue that those who don’t drink coffee or laden it with sugar, replace it with a sweeter, less healthy option. Studies have also found that it lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. Add that to improved memory, cognitive function and there are a lot of positives for making it a regular daily drink. 1 -2 cups of black coffee a day is said to be the suggested amount.
Of course, the opposite effect is when you have drunk too much coffee – you can become restless, and jittery and develop the shakes but we all know our own bodies and when we have had too much. Drinking coffee within 8 hours of wanting to sleep is not recommended either. It’s not unusual to hear the phrase “morning coffee and afternoon tea”.
For those that don’t like coffee, there is an alternative solution – herbal tea is a fantastic refreshment.
Positive Impact of Coffee in the Office
The bottom line is, like anything, coffee is good in moderation. For those who want to improve their team’s productivity, office coffee is a good thing. For the 8 or 9 hours a day that your team are working, they are more alert and retain information better and come to the office more charged.