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This one thing increases employee morale and leads to a more productive workforce—and it’s not culture.

This one thing increases employee morale and leads to a more productive workforce—and it’s not culture.

With many tech companies offering catered lunches, gyms, and other on-site services to their employees, it may seem like the fight to keep good employees happy is one that will take a significant amount of money and resources. However, there’s one perk that will pay off big time—coffee. Offering free, quality coffee to your employees keeps your employees honest, provides a significant brain boost, and increases employee morale.

Coffee promotes honesty.

A Journal of Applied Psychology study found that participants who drank two cups of coffee (caffeinated) per day were less sleep deprived and able to resist unethical suggestions from their bosses. Employees who had coffee and felt more alert were less likely to cheat than those who were also sleep deprived but didn’t have coffee. The root of the problem is, of course, sleep deprivation and a systemic problem of over scheduling. However, coffee may provide one solution to employees who may be too worn down to keep all the rules.

Caffeinated employees perform better.

Employees who have a cup of coffee in the morning or afternoon are less stressed and feel recharged and ready to work. Additionally, having coffee available at work encourages employees to stay on site rather than take 15–30 minutes to grab a cup at Starbucks. But, it also gives everyone a reason to stand up from their desks and take a minute to have a drink. Having coffee available may also make good business sense for your customers, depending on your industry. If you have visitors in your lobby or waiting room, offering them coffee is a good way to show appreciation and courtesy as they wait for their appointments.

Coffee is a tangible benefit.

There’s a reason many employees value good office perks. It makes them feel appreciated while they are on the job. Coffee is something almost every office budget can afford, and it does provide a significant reward. Beyond that, having a quick coffee break with staff can lead to better communication and morale. In Sweden, coffee is a lifestyle. Fika is the time when the Swedish people gather together—even coworkers—to drink coffee, sit, and enjoy each other’s company. This is reason enough to integrate it into your office culture.

Even if your budget or space don’t allow for big-time perks such as a gym, you should be giving your employees something on the job. Everyone likes something for free, and coffee provides many benefits beyond that. As one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, coffee gives your employees a creativity and productivity boost and also just might encourage them to be better friends. Don’t skimp when it comes to employee morale.

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