Coffee has become the new, tasty break we long for when we’re at work. The coffee connects both new and old colleagues in a healthy and inspiring community. Sharing a coffee, the employees find likeminded colleagues who might possess ideas benefitting the company, but who might work in a different division or team.
Founder and owner of Coffee by Storm, Fritz Storm shares insights of a new trend in Danish work places: “The Danes love coffee but they also very much love the community that is an integral part of a great coffee experience. In several large and medium sized companies – which constitutes Coffee by Storm’s clientele – coffee breaks play a key role in the company’s work culture. The small, spontaneous meetings that are not reliant on the hierarchy of the organization, along with the social aspect of these breaks, and the support among colleagues found here are a result of a healthy coffee culture in a work place.”
If there was a championship for drinking coffee today, Denmark would take a third place. A new population study conducted by Epinion shows that Danes are the third most coffee drinking nation on the planet. Only our Nordic neighbors in Sweden and Finland surpass our four and a half cups of coffee a day. Safe to say, Danes are a coffee loving nation. However, Danes have also become rather picky – we want good coffee.
Demands good coffee at work
“These days, employees in Danish corporations expect a constant access to coffee. However, a constant access to coffee isn’t enough.” Fritz Storm says. “The employees also want a nice coffee experience to share with their colleagues. They demand high quality coffee, and for them to be able to choose whatever type of coffee they would like. Many of the corporations we deal with ask for guidance in regards to design a great coffee experience for their employees; this is anything from the actual design of the coffee/lounge area to the really good coffee and the nice machines. They want it all to match to ensure the best possible coffee experience.”
Coffee promotes new ideas and a sense of community
Coffee breaks have become a uniting force by promoting – and maintaining – a sense of community amongst employees; a work place community with a shared launch pad, a shared language and a joint frame of reference. This is highly valuable to any work place. Some companies have even conducted internal studies showing that new ideas for business strategies and products tend to flourish more in informal settings, where talented employees talk to one another without being restricted by an organization’s hierarchy.
The coffee break is no longer time being wasted – not even according to CEO’s. A long list of larger Danish companies has made café/lounge areas to encourage their employees to have coffee breaks. They make sure the furniture is nice and comfortable and the coffee is high quality.
“You could say that companies have discovered that these breaks are highly beneficial to their work place. The employees simply become better employees and the organization benefits immensely. The coffee break is a type of recovery between big and small presentations in the professional life of the employees. Training to complete and Iron Man, for instance, you need to schedule in regular breaks into your training program in order to benefit from your training. Big presentations and high performance require high quality breaks,” Fritz Storm shares.
Picture 1: Fritz Storm from Coffee by Storm shares advice on how to use the machines.
Picture 2: Several larger Danish companies have even made a café/lounge area a priority. This is to encourage their employees to have these coffee breaks.
By Klaus Hansen, Published in “Food & Drink”, January 2017