Coffee at Work

5 min. read

A great workplace is so much more than good coffee (or tea), but there is a lot to be said for coffee and the role it plays in the workplace

At Amazing Workplace we see a lot of survey data. One item we notice is how frequently employees mention coffee in their survey comments. Whether the comments address the presence of good coffee or the absence of any coffee, employees seem to have strong opinions about it. So, we thought we'd look at three key benefits of workplace of coffee in this article. Just a note: you could apply most of the following to tea or other delicious and stimulating beverages! Some people cannot consume caffeine, and that's a personal decision that may involve a discussion with a person's physician.

Now, let's dive into some insights about that much-loved brew!


Employees enjoy the simple pleasure and mental relaxation that a coffee break provides. They want tasty coffee and they want some time to prepare and drink it. One survey found that 65% of employees expect high-quality coffee available in the workplace. The same survey says 77% of employees see a coffee break as important. This puts workplace coffee breaks just below ability to remote or hybrid work (78%) on in how widely it is viewed as important! So consider making a good coffee break a part of your workplace's support for work/life balance.

A good coffee break has some key characteristics:

  • Coffee is available near where the employee works.
  • Coffee is provided by the workplace for free.
  • Coffee is a good quality and good brewing equipment is in use.
  • Coffee accessories, cream, sweeteners, and flavors are available and include a wide variety of employees favorites.
  • Teas and a rapid source of hot water are also available.
  • As an alternative, some workplaces skip the above by ordering out for coffee and tea periodically, with one point of contact taking orders and arranging delivery.

Of course, not all workplaces are working in an office or worksite together. For remote employees, consider what the workplace can do to carry on the spirit of the coffee break at home. At a minimum, leaders can set an expectation that workers will take time away from their desks for that beverage break. To be a little extra, consider sending coffee gift boxes, simple coffee devices (like a French press or Moka Pot), or coffee shop gift cards to employees.


It's no secret, coffee makes most of the workers who enjoy it more productive. Caffeinated coffee is a stimulant, which means it speeds up the messages travelling between the brain and the body. It's established that coffee increases energy and alertness for a while after we drink it. Studies show that it increases ability to focus, performance in reasoning tests, and speeds reaction time. Workplace research shows coffee enhances productivity because it cuts productivity losses from tiredness and because it increases focus and reaction time.

Certainly coffee is not for everyone, but even a pleasant, caffeine-free drink may have plenty of positive effects. For example, chamomile tea is a favorite for people looking for a stress-relieving and relaxing brew, and its own positive effects are well-supported.

The balance benefits from enjoying a break apply to coffee and tea alike, and employees focus and perform better when they have better work/life balance. The same is true of employees who feel a stronger sense of connection with their co-workers, which is our final subject.


Coffee, in many cultures including the United States, is part of our language of connection. The break room, coffee nook, or employee café is often the main place where employees meet up to talk, laugh, and just spend time around each other. A little-known benefit of coffee is it makes it easier for people to develop a connection when they first meet. This is because of a phenomenon called the "liking gap." The liking gap is the fact that when we meet new people, we tend to think they like us less than they actually do. This makes us hesitant about forming a connection with new people. An effect of coffee is that it closes the liking gap. People drinking coffee together are more likely to think that the other person likes them. Each person drinking coffee is also more likely to be an active participant in conversation. Coffee breaks really can help create conditions for new workplace friendship!

We're always forming new insights and doing research into what makes workplaces great. Reach out to us at if you'd like to connect with us. We'd love to have you join us in our quest to make every workplace amazing!