No doubt, there is a lot of research on coffee and its effects on the body. Some of it sings the praises of coffee, while some of it doesn’t. On the good side, we have heard that coffee reduces mortality risk, may ward off basal cell carcinoma, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. We’ve also been privy to research that suggests coffee drinkers (when compared to non-coffee drinkers) are less likely to have Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and have fewer cases of heart rhythm problems or strokes.
Now all that is well and good, but I drink coffee regularly, so I’m covered on all these health benefits. But, recent research by Strong Vend, London’s Bean to Cup Coffee Vending Specialists, got me thinking about how coffee consumption may affect my productivity. This summer, Strong Vend undertook some research to measure how coffee affects the productivity of digital agency, Cyber-Duck, during a normal working week.
I am not unlike the rest of you coffee drinkers out there. Coffee is the beverage of choice to welcome me to a new day. When I need a little get-up-and go, I often turn to coffee – unless it’s late in the day. I do, however, turn to coffee in the late hours when I need to meet a work deadline (much like I did in college as I worked on a paper or studied for an exam).
In fact, coffee and its stimulating effect are part of its history. First discovered in the highlands of Ethiopia, legend has it that Kaldi, a goatherd, observed his goats being particularly hyperactive. Kaldi realized that this frolicking occurred after they ate the berries off of a certain tree. Intrigued, he tried it and enjoyed the same ‘rush’ the animals had, and eventually shared some with the monks in the area. The monks experimented a bit with the preparation, and eventually began to use it on a regular basis to keep them alert during evening prayer.
So, if the goats, Kaldi and the monks were able to experience greater energy, clarity and even productivity, then there must be something to this beverage and its affect on productivity.
That’s what StrongVend recently set out to test. StrongVend took on research that was meant to discover how productivity, mood, performance, anxiety and concentration levels of the Cyber-Duck team differed through a working week drinking coffee and a week without. Daily surveys were sent out to all participants of the research asking them to detail their performance levels and also disclosing any changes in their behavior.
Here is what they found:
In the end, StrongVend concluded that drinking coffee helped boost productivity and motivation of the Cyber-Duck workforce by 19%.
During the research period a number of observations were also made and it became evident that the typical workplace relies on the fuel of coffee to maintain performance.
The results demonstrate that drinking coffee does affect the work rate and that regular consumption of coffee increases the motivation, mood and overall productivity in the office.
Further, internal research found that an increasing number of participants were drinking tea or energy drinks as substitutes for their coffee, to obtain a dose of caffeine. (implying that coffee drinking employees depend on beverage and its substitutes to maintain productivity.)
OK, so coffee boosts my productivity, but as reported on NeuroscienceDC, when you drink it plays into how effective it is. This report looks at the circadian rhythm of cortisol production and finds that 8 a.m. might not be the best time to drink your coffee — if you want it to provide maximum benefits. The scientists that “in the morning then, your coffee will probably be the most effective if you enjoy it between 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM, when your cortisol levels are dropping before the next spike.”
I’m sold on the idea that coffee can boost my productivity, but I just can’t wait until 9:30 a.m. to have my first cup of coffee!
Below is the full image, or you can visit it online here.