The Productivity Box: Finding the Link Between Coffee and Work Efficiency

If your morning routine is never complete without your daily cup of coffee, then you are not alone, not even close. Around the world, it’s a $100 billion industry. A whopping 500 million cups of this caffeinated beverage are consumed each year, according to globalEDGE.   

Why Coffee Improves My Productivity at Work

While coffee beans are grown almost entirely in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America the demand for this export tends to be highest in both Europe and North America. In fact, the Western love affair goes beyond a quick inhale of java-fueled energy on the office commute.

Drinking coffee as a pastime is entrenched in both social and workplace cultures. 64 percent of Americans are unable to resist one or more cups daily, according to Gallup. Coffee is a staple in boardrooms, cubicles, employee lounges, and co-working spaces. And if youre at all like me, you could vow that it keeps you focused, energized and productive.

The good news is that this doesnt happen just in our head. A scientific link between coffee and being more productive at work does exist. And in this first article of my series, I’m going out of the productivity box to prove it 🙂

The globalized culture and economics of coffee

Let’s begin by looking at numbers. Coffee is so intrinsic to mass consumption all over the world that an entire culture has been developed around it. An estimated 42 percent of people would do without reading the newspaper or checking their smartphones, and 46 percent would abstain from TV or internet for a week before they would forego coffee, according to a recent poll. Not to mention:

  • 20 percent would pick coffee over lunch
  • 12 percent would rather drink coffee than sleep in later
  • 62 percent would stop functioning without it — I, Robot 😉

So its no surprise that coffee is a profitable business with an estimated revenue of $362,601 million in 2020 and a projected annual growth rate of 10.6 percent by 2025. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecasts that 176.1 million bags of coffee will be produced between 2020 and 2021.

Brazil, Colombia, India, Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala are all expected to have record-high yields in this time frame, while the EU and U.S. remain the two largest importers. Clearly, Americans and Europeans do not plan to quit this habit anytime soon.

The physical and mental health benefits of coffee

We all know that coffee is a superfood. But did you know that moderate consumption can also prevent various diseases as well? Moderate being the keyword in there…

According to the American Cancer Society cited by Inc.com, it can decrease the risk of:

  • type 2 diabetes by 30 percent
  • Parkinsons disease by 30 percent
  • cancer by 20 percent
  • heart disease by 5 percent

This is the result of the beans robust, nutrient-dense profile of flavonoids, lignans, polyphenols, and other antioxidants that are known to boost immune function. These bioactive compounds work together to reduce the effects of inflammation, insulin resistance, and oxidative stress on the body. Consequently, this keeps you healthier in the long-term according to a study in the journal Circulation.

Coffee has also been found to increase visual processing, retention accuracy and response time, alertness and concentration on tasks, and overall mood state, according to Nutrients. In line with that study, the natural caffeine also reduces mental fatigue by accelerating the brains neurotransmitters such as adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin. This helps you feel more energized, which extends the amount of time you are able to focus. And better focus contributes to enhanced productivity. Q.E.D.

The social connection in the workplace

Whether you nurse it in your favorite mug or thermos at home, order it from a counter or drive-through on the commute to work, or drink it out of a styrofoam cup in the break room, coffee is likely an integral part of your work routine. Because its such a ubiquitous part of work-life, this daily coffee habit can also reinforce social connections with your colleagues.

Even if you are on a remote team or work in a different location than some of your coworkers, its an easy conversation topic to bond over. For example, someone inevitably says on your early morning call: Ask me that again an hour from nowI havent had my coffee yet! And then emojis start flying in your communication app 😉 Furthermore, virtual morning coffee breaks have also become an outlet for remote teams to reconnect and interact with each other during COVID-19, suggests Jennifer Liu, a business and hiring trends reporter at CNBC.

Actually, things are pretty clear. Beyond work, teams also need to nurture their human bond in order for processes to function smoothly. And keeping people engaged to the company’s life is crucial regardless of their location and ongoing pandemics. Don’t let that dreadful expression social distancing fool you. It was a very, very unfortunate choice of words in an already tormented world. Better think of it as physical dinstancing, and keep your team as socially close as possible. If coffee can also be a part of the solution to achieve that, even better!

The missing link

I’m sure Im speaking for many of us when thinking that no workday feels complete without coffee. And if it’s not coffee, then maybe it’s tea.

If this is a familiar part of your work routine too, then it could be helping you stay both productive and connected. And knowing how coffee influences your health and productivity specifically is key to enjoying its benefits.

Keep safe and stay productive 😎

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