Coffee: the must-have office perk

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If there is one perk that employees really appreciate it’s free, or even subsidized, coffee. The fact that many workers spend $1,000 or more a year on coffee suggests that the motivation to drink coffee must be very strong. Providing employees with access to coffee in the office — either free or for a modest price — is an easy and inexpensive way to make them feel valued and appreciated. A survey by Green Mountain Coffee found that 37 percent of employees would prefer free or subsidized coffee over an annual office party.

Coffee is a simple pleasure that many people depend on, and which improves productivity. A survey of U.S. workers and their coffee habits conducted by Alterra Coffee Roasters found that:

  • 65 percent of workers drink coffee at work.
  • The average worker consumes three cups of coffee per day.
  • 38 percent of workers say they wouldn’t make it through a typical workday without coffee.
  • 30 percent say they drink coffee at work because it helps them focus and increases their productivity.
  • More than one in five office workers say that the quality of their work would suffer if they didn’t have coffee.
  • Two in five office coffee drinkers say they have had interesting or helpful talks with colleagues or bosses while near the coffee maker.

Coffee doesn’t just help keep employees happy and alert, but also reduces the number of mistakes and work-related injuries. Good coffee in a convivial environment is a small luxury that gets people stimulated, and can be viewed as a blend of work and play — an opportunity to ‘talk shop’ while developing camaraderie.

Having a welcoming bistro-like area in the office also greatly enhances the opportunity for chance encounters. Taking coffee breaks with colleagues is an easy way to facilitate collaboration and teamwork. Investing in fresh, good-tasting coffee at the office also pays off for employers who want to keep employees closer to tasks at hand.

Reserve your copy today of JLL’s new book, “SMART, Green + Productive Workplace: A desk companion for corporate real estate professionals” to learn more about the productivity benefits of coffee and other office perks in the workplace. 

Simone Skopek is an Operations Manager in Energy Sustainability Services at JLL. Simone has been pioneering programs at the firm that address sustainability and productivity in the workplace, as well as building resiliency and emergency management. She was one of the original creators of the Green Globes certification program and BOMA Best. Past careers include Critical Infrastructure Analyst with the government of Canada’s Public Safety department. She was also a high school physics, chemistry and biology teacher, and sailed around the world for seven years in a 30-foot sailboat.


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