July 13, 2015

Rethinking Coffee and Collaboration at Work

Need to find a way to improve collaboration in your office? Look no further than you office coffee machine!

The phrase "let's grab a cup of coffee" means more at work than just an invitation to chat. It's synonymous with brainstorming and collaboration.

Coffee is a connector regardless of age, level or role in any organization. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll commissioned by Mars Drinks uncovered that more 18-34 year olds view coffee or coffee breaks as a way to energize and build a sense of collaboration among co-workers and supervisors than their older peers¹.

In a recent interview to discuss how Mars Drinks' coffee house culture is helping to foster innovation in the companies' West Chester, PA campus, Global President Xavier Unkovic explains, "Everything in our day to day life (at Mars Drinks) is about creating a better world for people at work. For example, asking a coworker to join you for a cup of coffee invites interaction, problem solving and face to face collaboration. These moments enable people to find information and make decisions in their job."

Often employers put coffee machines in their offices as a necessity, but may not consider if the beverages they are offering are really meeting the needs of their people at work. The coffee machine is the modern water cooler, bringing people together and facilitating points of connection in the workplace. Offering a variety of beverages that people truly enjoy means their employer cares about their satisfaction in the workplace and increases the likelihood that people will use this as a tool to collaborate with others. In contrast, offering poor quality coffee can be a deterrent to collaboration and productivity in the workplace if people have to leave the building to find a brew they enjoy.

Want another tip to enhance collaboration in your office? Rethink where your coffee machine is located. Simple things like moving the coffee machine to the center of the office will encourage people to take more frequent breaks to refresh, and increase interactions throughout the day. From these interactions come ideas and inspiration that enhances co-workers' ability to be productive and work well together.

Decision makers and leaders must continuously rethink ways to improve workplace collaboration, engagement, well-being and productivity. Something as simple as a cup of coffee is part of that equation.

¹Reuters/Ipsos Poll sponsored by Mars Drinks. April 2015.

Listen to the full podcast interview: 'Fostering Innovation: Mars Drinks' Coffee House Culture'

Tags: Taste and Choice Workplace Vitality