Virtually all large companies have one perk in common: free coffee.  But, is this providing actual value to the company, or are they just looking for tax write-offs?  Lets find out, once and for all: does coffee increase workplace productivity?

Arguments against offering coffee in the office

Some executives argue that the time away from the desk itself is bad.  After all, standing up and walking to the kitchen and grabbing a coffee is less time working.  If you just count the numbers, then working 40 hours would be more productive than 39 hours due to coffee breaks.

But does that logic actually hold?

The Telegraph reported that although there is less time spent working, the remaining hours are more efficient.

Does coffee increase workplace productivity? mug love job

Other executives argue that any unnecessary expense is bad.  If you can cut the expense and put it towards the business, the business will be stronger due to higher reinvestment.

What do others say?

Many employees see coffee as a necessity.  If the employees are feeling a lack of energy, they may even leave the office to go to the nearest coffee store.  Surely that is far less efficient than walking to the kitchen area.  Recent market research shows that 86% of office workers consume coffee regularly.

Business Insider ranks coffee in the office as the one perk employers must splurge on.

does coffee increase workplace productivity infographic shows yes

Coffee consumption in the office offers benefits beyond mental acuity and alertness.  Studies show that short coffee breaks help initiate relationships in the workplace.

At first glance, that may sound like a bad thing.  However, having positive relationships to the office is linked to higher job satisfaction, as well as reduced employee turnover.

A London based coffee company ran a test meant to test the benefits of coffee in the workplace over the course of one week.  Although the test was not up to definitive scientific rigor, it was interesting. Check out some of the benefits to everything ranging from moods to productivity:

Does coffee increase workplace productivity? infographic London

Find out for yourself

So, what is the best way to know once and for all does coffee increase workplace productivity?

To try it yourself.

Whenever I personally skimp on caffeine, I notice a difference.  And, what about for those of you that do not have coffee available when you work?  Either order your own subscription, or have someone from your office email for a quote to keep your office’s shelves stocked.