Coffee is the most popular drink at the workplace, by far, with 38 percent of workers saying they “couldn’t live without it.” But coffee is much more than an addictive drink that we Americans know and love. Coffee can improve productivity at work in several different ways.
- Coffee improves alertness.
Caffeine stops adenosine production and actually blocks adenosine receptors in the brain. Adenosine is a chemical produced by our bodies throughout the day, preparing us for sleep, and much of it remains in our systems in the morning after we wake up. This is why we feel sluggish for the first few hours of our day. Caffeine can stop adenosine in its tracks, waking us up in the morning and preventing a four o’clock slump.
- Coffee strengthens our brains.
Oils in the coffee bean itself are anti-inflammatory, acting as antioxidants in the brain. These anti-inflammatory agents are called kahweol and cafestol, and their properties can help protect DNA and protect the brain from free radicals. A protected brain is a productive one: preventing inflammatory stress keeps us in tip-top shape throughout our working lives.
- Coffee increases creativity.
Stimulating the brain with caffeine can help to blow out the figurative cobwebs, allowing for creative thought and freewheeling workplace conversations that can give birth to the next big idea.
- Coffee increases sociability.
Research suggests that the simple act of holding a cup of coffee makes you seem more approachable and friendly. Additionally, the office coffee pot serves as a kind of social nexus, allowing for increased social interactions with colleagues and better workplace bonds. This allows for better relationships and more productive teams.
- Coffee increases learning speed and short-term memory.
A study done on college students showed that they were able to learn faster after having a cup of coffee. This can enable faster turnaround times in the workplace, as the learning curve will last for a much shorter amount of time.
Another study showed that caffeine improved short term memory, with the subject given caffeine able to recall more words that were quickly shown to them than the control group. This improved working memory can help when workers are asked to multitask and quickly recall information.
Coffee, then, can be considered the miracle elixir of the workplace. Now that you know all the benefits, you’ll be able to put coffee to work for you!