The Neuroscience Of Coffee Culture: Why Breaks Are Good For Business

Grabbing a cup of coffee with a colleague, taking a coffee break, making a coffee run — coffee is a mainstay of the working environment. In fact, about two-thirds of workers (67 percent) always or often drink coffee at work.

This is according to a recent article posted by workforce engagement platform TenSpot on their blog.

The article caught my eye because it isn’t about coffee really. The coffee machine is a big part of workplace culture and engagement. But we could just as well be talking about the watercooler.

Why Taking A Break Matters

According to a study, 40 percent of workers drink coffee to take a break from work. And 26 percent reached for their mug to chat with colleagues.

These aspects of coffee drinking benefit employees and businesses. Taking a brief break from work gives the prefrontal cortex (PFC) a break, too. Your PFC is the part of the brain responsible for logical thinking, willpower, setting goals, and executive functioning. When you use your PFC for long periods without a break, it becomes fatigued just like any other part of your body. The result? You may be more prone to poor decision-making, reduced motivation, stress, and exhaustion.

Taking a few minutes of downtime helps reset and reinvigorate the brain, leading to a more productive work session. For instance, in one study, participants who took 10 minutes of downtime were more likely to come up with innovative insights.

In addition, connecting with colleagues has benefits. Studies suggest that workplace chit chat contributes to employees’ positive emotions, promotes well-being, and fosters good workplace citizenship. It also allows for that all-important debrief about the latest box series we’ve all been watching on Netflix.

If you’re wondering how you can re-create informal connection between colleagues in a hybrid world of work, take a look at this article:

Shauna Moran and Gary Walker: The Key to Successful Hybrid Working is a Remote-First Mindset

You might also be interested in this article:

Bridging the Gap Between Motivation and Wellness

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The full original article appears on the TenSpot blog here.


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