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Friday, March 1, 2013

Casual Friday: Coffee At Work


Java.  Joe.  Black Gold.  Battery Acid.  Wake-up Juice.  Whatever you call coffee, odds are pretty good that you have some in your workplace.  Welcome to my next installment of "Casual Friday," my lighter look at something in Human Resources, Management, or Business.  Today I want to talk about coffee at work.  Please take a moment at the end of my post to comment on any of your experiences with coffee in your own workplaces.

Good Morning Sunshine

Have you ever felt like you had to drag your sorry self to work and you were just in need of something to get you moving?  Well, if you work somewhere in the United States, you probably have coffee in your workplace for just that purpose.  Offices all over this great land offer this free as a great perk for working at a particular company.  Some people are not as lucky, and have to get their coffee by chipping into a pool or using coin-operated vending.  Some people have cheap cafeteria coffee.  Some people have a joyous Starbucks built into their office complex.  There are many ways to get your coffee and many benefits to having coffee at work.

Historically Speaking

Let’s talk a little bit about the history of coffee.  According to Ethiopian legend, a 9th century goat herder named Kaldi had discovered that when his goats ate some berries off of a plant.  Suddenly, his herd became spirited and would not fall asleep.  After informing the local monastery of this, the monks there made a unique drink from the berries.  Kaldi drank of this mixture, and became alert and productive.  Coffee was born.

Coffee was brought to old New Amsterdam in the mid-1600s where it languished beneath the prestige of tea until King George established his tax on tea in 1773.  Following the Boston Tea Party revolt, young Americans refused to drink British tea and chose the other caffeinated brew instead.  The popularity of coffee grew over the next centuries as people around the world found it to be a tasty way to get productive!

Happiness is a Warm Cup of Coffee

There are a number of caffeinated thoughts that companies have when designing their coffee-based benefits.  First, they consider the productive boost given to their workforce when they drink coffee.  41% of workers report being more productive when they have a cup of coffee during the day.  Next, employers will usually consider the morale boost that offering coffee gives.  In a survey 37% of employees preferred free, daily, fresh ground coffee or tea to having a company holiday party.

I have been fortunate and have had free coffee available at most of the companies that I have worked for.  One of the places even had one of those Keurig cup machines.  I loved the “Dark Magic” blend.  I am sure my productivity was given a boost.  What have been your experiences?

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes. Do not take what I am writing as advice. Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions. The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

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