Statistics show that 79% of employees consider coffee breaks as the most effective way to boost productivity and team morale. So, with employee engagement levels slumping, could embracing break room culture help employers give their business a pick me up?
Office culture has changed
These days there’s a new growing trend in lunch breaks; 80% of employees are no longer taking them. Lunch as we know it has changed and employees are opting to stay at their desks or take shorter breaks in order to get work done. Whilst most employees believe that staying at their desks will mean they are using their spare time productively, this isn’t actually the case; engagement at work currently sits at around 34% and it’s dropping. This is because skipping breaks at work results in disengagement, dissatisfaction and inefficiency.
Whilst you can’t force employees to take lunch away from the office, you can encourage them to take structured breaks throughout the day. Encouraging a break-friendly culture allows employees to recharge, reduce stress and increase focus which, in return, can increase productivity and employee satisfaction while improving the quality of work produced.
The importance of coffee breaks
For many of us, coffee and the workplace go hand-in-hand as it provides a welcome wake-up in the morning. However, taking structured breaks throughout the day offers a socially acceptable time-out between tasks. It gives employees the opportunity and environment to break from the sedentary rhythm of office life, socialise with colleagues, improve working relationships, share perspectives and ideas, gain new insights and knowledge and deal with stress and emotional pressure.
A survey conducted by Nespresso shows that coffee breaks reinforce the feeling of belonging. In fact, 79% of employees consider these breaks as the most efficient way to boost team spirit, whilst improving productivity and easing conflicts. For 91% of employees these are ideal moments to build personal exchanges with colleagues.
Ultimately, coffee breaks improve job satisfaction, with 67% of employees stating that it makes them “extremely” or “very” happy. As 86% of full-time workers drink tea and coffee daily, it’s a valuable incentive to provide and a tangible way companies can show their employees they appreciate them and recognize their hard work.
Britain doesn’t break
So if taking breaks has so many benefits, why aren’t we doing it regularly? A recent study which looked at UK office workers discovered that more than 25% of workers don’t take a break other than lunch. There’s a stigma built around breaks that assumes workers are lazy or unproductive if they take them regularly. If employees don’t see their managers or other colleagues taking breaks they assume they also shouldn’t do so. 1 in 5 workers agree, with guilt being the main reason they don’t step away from their workspaces.
Embracing the coffee break culture
The next step for businesses is to break the stigma by embracing and investing in the coffee break culture. We should learn a lesson from the Scandinavian lifestyle trend called ‘fika’. Put simply, fika is a coffee break; to take time out of the work day to eat, drink and relax. It’s often practised in Swedish workplaces and now UK companies are boiling their kettles and following suit. This is because a coffee break in Sweden isn’t just a quick coffee consumed in front of the computer; it’s a time to step away from work, relax and converse with colleagues.
With fika, UK employers can see changes in many aspect of their work culture:
Employee productivity – taking occasional breaks can improve energy, memory and concentration. Having the ability to recharge also helps to reduce the number of errors made by workers, making it a go-to option for improving productivity
Job satisfaction – coffee breaks away from the computer can help improve job satisfaction. A step out of the work environment stimulates creativity and fresh ideas – setting the stage for a more relaxed atmosphere and inviting alternate conversation for a laid back agenda
Impressing prospective – fika is also a way to differentiate your company in the marketplace and impress prospective clients
Here to help
Wake up and smell the coffee! Embracing coffee break culture can help you give your business a well-deserved pick me up and improve the productivity and well-being of your employees. If you want to reap the many business benefits associated with coffee breaks, we are here to help.
At Egan Reid, we offer a full range of beverages, food and kitchenware to match your budget and requirements. Contact one of our specialists today to discuss how we can help you embrace coffee break culture in the workplace.