Coffee in the workplace

Aaah coffee, sweet nectar of the Gods. When brewed to perfection, with sugar or without, with cream or not the coffee break is a chance to breathe, nay, to inhale it's heady aroma and take some time out from the day. The humble coffee break is sometimes the only way to get through until the end of the day.

From the very early days of coffee playing a part of the informal ceremony, of news being shared by pioneers around a campfire, to today’s globalization of the magic brew.  With supermarket aisles dedicated to the stuff and coffee houses on every street corner, a decent cup o' joe makes all the difference to your day. 

In our blog so far we have looked at the history of coffee, the agricultural side of things and we did a series about the reasons behind why Americans love coffee so much!

On this series we are moving away from the history of coffee and we're going to look at the etiquette behind drinking coffee in the workplace. We'll look at some of the do's and dont's of sharing our favorite drink at work and provide you with some helpful tips when it comes to sharing with your colleagues!

The Modern office

What is it about office coffee though that makes it such an important part of our day? In every trade, across every sector the coffee break is an integral part of the working day. For many of us when our energy levels take a dip having a caffeine boost is a sure fire pick me up. Whether your coffee break consists of a takeout latte or a cup of jet fuel from the office pot it’s fair to say that the office coffee break is accepted as part and parcel of modern working culture.  So when did the coffee break become the norm?

Industrialization swept through the late 19th century and by the begining of the 20th, industry was beginning to become regulated and unionized with, for example, the introduction of the 8 hour day. There is much debate as to exactly when and where the office coffee break had its origins. Some say it was the Barcolo Manufacturing Company (the company which eventually became Barcalounger ) in 1902 where a 15 minute break was initiated for workers as part of their benefit package. Others say it was the Larkin Company in 1901 who gave free coffee to their workers but not the time to drink it.  Either way it wasn’t until 1952 with a Pan American Coffee Bureau advertisement which advised workers to “give yourself a coffee break – and get what coffee gives to you” that the coffee break culture as we know it today was established.  The coffee break became a way to boost employee morale.  Whatever your findings this great American innovation is now undoubtedly a worldwide institution with a legion of modern workers fuelling up on cups of liquid productivity.

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