Work without jitter juice? Not an option! A smart workspace really isn’t just about devices, software, nice colleagues and stimulating tasks. For most people, a pick-me-up, whether coffee or tea, is just as important for an enjoyable working day. And I’m not just saying that based on my own personal experience and preferences: Manpower’s “Working Motivation 2016” survey investigated which factors motivate German employees in their jobs. The black hot elixir was one of the top 10 motivational criteria. As a result of the study, 40% of employees consider the quality of the coffee available to them to be a motivational factor in the workplace. Thank goodness the coffee in our office is good!
Smart machines and caffeine armbands
Networked coffee machines that can be controlled by an app already exist. In the future, these vital caffeine dispensers will probably get even smarter. I’m certainly looking forward to the day when the machine already knows how I take my coffee and prepares it for me automatically. Although the question remains: will I confuse it when I fancy an espresso every now and again, instead of my usual white coffee?
For me personally, it’s rather less likely that I will wear a “joule caffeine bracelet” around my wrist. But I can appreciate that this solution might be attractive for some people. This wearable armband contains a transdermal caffeine plaster. It transfers caffeine into the body in a similar way to a nicotine patch. The inventor has already collected 80,000 US dollars to realize his idea. But as I said, I prefer the traditional cup, and everything that goes with it: the sound, the smell, the sense of anticipation…
Coffee is pleasure and communication
An espresso, mocha or latté is the perfect start to the working day. It boosts energy and mood, and has a positive effect on our thinking power, reaction times and the ability to remember things. I have also found that an espresso can cure a mild stress headache.
But for me, the social aspect of this ‘elixir of life’, is much more important. A java and chatting simply belong together. That’s why the coffee kitchen in our office is not just a central location for informal exchanges between colleagues. Of course, you frequently hear comments like, “Ah, I’m glad I bumped into you here,” and a new task is born. But people also always ask each other how they are, and – very importantly – if you ever suspect the boss has gone missing, he’s bound to turn up at the coffee machine at some point. Also interesting to note is that scientists from Seoul National University have discovered that coffee aromas reduce feelings of stress and tiredness. So, coffee actually helps people to relax, even if it gets really hectic in the office.
Café noises drive creativity
Sometimes it isn’t even every necessary to drink a coffee to benefit from a positive effect. The cognitive impression can be enough. Researchers at the University of Chicago have discovered that background noises boost creativity. Therefore “Coffitivity” has created a concept out of this. The website and app play coffee house noises in an endless loop. They aim to generate an atmosphere that increases concentration. It’s certainly a novel alternative to whale song and the sounds of the ocean.
Coffee is imply indispensable
Whether at home or in the office, coffee is irreplaceable. Even astronauts don’t want to miss the taste and the feeling it generates. That’s why the Italian space agency and Lavazza are working together to develop an espresso machine for space. So that the crew always has access to brain juice!
It’s an attitude …
Coffee is where philosophies and attitudes to life meet. It can be discussed endlessly. Because ultimately, everyone has their own personal relationship with the drink. The espresso drinker has a different attitude to the cappuccino lover, or someone who prefers a latté. That’s why it’s not enough for a company to set up a filter machine and forget about it. A study from Karmasin Motivational Research, sponsored by cafe + co about the language of brew, concluded that an ideal coffee culture within an organization requires the fulfillment of 9 criteria:
- Everyone must have access to the coffee that he or she individually prefers/or wants in a particular situation
- A good choice of coffee types, milk, sugar, etc.
- Good machines
- Restaurant standard
- Fast, reliable delivery
- The coffee must always be fresh
- An unlimited supply
- Always the best quality
- The accessories must be right: crockery, water, biscuits, etc.
It would be interesting to investigate which “coffee types” are most common within particular departments. And even more what the personal preferences say about the people in question. Who are the complete coffee nerds and what do they drink? Do all successful managers only drink espresso? I would also find it very interesting to know how far people would go for a good hot cup. I used to work on the edge of a medium-sized town and was prepared to walk a pretty long way. And eventually I found myself bringing hot drinks back to the office for the entire team – the things we do for caffeine!