What’s the buzz on office coffee?

fe- Thu., Apr. 14, 2011
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- Contributed Photo

It’s no secret: Americans love coffee. Every day it seems a new coffee shop opens around the corner, and it’s nearly impossible to walk a block without passing someone with a cup in hand. Despite the rising cost of specialty coffee drinks in these difficult economic times, Americans continue reaching for that cherished cup of joe.

Coffee drinking at work

The positive effects of coffee drinking are felt by hardworking Americans across the nation, leading to increased workplace productivity and happiness.

According to a 2011 survey on American office workers and their coffee habits conducted by Alterra Coffee Roasters:

• 65 percent of workers drink coffee while at work.

• The average worker consumes three cups of coffee per day.

• 38 percent of workers say they wouldn’t make it through a typical workday without coffee.

• 30 percent drink coffee in the workplace because it helps them focus and increase productivity.

Coffee culture

Coffee not only benefits employees, but also office culture. The coffee pot has displaced the water cooler as the primary location to interact with co-workers, according to the survey. Two in five office coffee drinkers say they have had interesting or helpful talks with colleagues or bosses while near the coffee maker.

While this pastime increases bonding, survey results suggest traditional coffee pots can also cause resentment and irritation amongst co-workers. One in four workers say there is someone at the office who never prepares fresh coffee when needed, while 21 percent said they dislike dealing with people who make a mess when handling the office brew.

Investing in coffee?

As coffee drinking grows in popularity, it is also rising in cost. Specialty-coffee sales are increasing 20 percent per year with the average cost of an espresso-based drink now at $2.45, according to the 2011 Coffee Business Statistics Report. The report also showed 18 percent of American coffee drinkers consume at least one gourmet coffee beverage per day, a significant expense.

In fact, more than three in five Alterra-survey respondents say they routinely buy coffee outside of the office, spending an average of $14 per week. Many say they’ve abandoned the office in search of a good cup because they didn’t enjoy drinking the coffee provided at work, and 16 percent of these workers admit doing so caused them to miss important calls or meetings at the office.

Investing in fresh, good-tasting coffee at the office obviously pays off for employers in the long run – saving employees cash while keeping them closer to tasks at hand. This small investment produces large returns, boosting employee productivity and satisfaction.

Fun coffee stats:

• What if you could have a celebrity barista come to your office? Nearly one in five office workers voted to have America’s sweetheart, Sandra Bullock, play barista in their office. There was a three-way tie for second place, with Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston and George Clooney all ranking as highly desired office coffee servers.

• More than seven in 10 office workers who drink coffee down the most cups of joe on Monday.

• More than one in five office workers admit the quality of their work would suffer if they didn’t have coffee.

• Contestants on the new season of “Celebrity Apprentice” better keep a stash of coffee in their briefcases. Celebrity bosses like Donald Trump, Mr. Burns from “The Simpsons” and Sue Sylvester from “Glee” are all perceived by Americans to be especially grumpy without their daily cup of coffee.

Courtesy of ARA Content


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