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Serial coffee offenders a productivity problem

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HC Online | 21 Jul 2011, 12:00 AM Agree 0
Take away coffee addicts can be worse for office productivity than smokers. With some workers taking six breaks a day to get their hit of caffeine, businesses are losing several hours of paid work every day.
  • Jane Oliver, HRM, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islan | 01 Aug 2011, 11:14 AM Agree 0
    I think we have more important things to worry about than coffee and cigarette breaks with respect to productivity. Fitness for work, shared purpose and goals, enjoying our work, celebrating diverse thinking & culture, encouraging teamwork and good competition, building compassion in the workplace, looking after ourselves... These are the things that need our attention so much more than focusing on what doesn't work. A 20 minute walk a day, on top of normal breaks is recommended by many OHS specialists, including The Energy Project - mental health, physical health, spiritual health and emotional health. We all have addiction, let's focus on what we do well and where we want to grow. I'm a 1-cup a day person myself and gave up smoking and took up industry-based exercise programs instead. Some need a lot of support to do this.
  • Liz Stone | 02 Aug 2011, 06:20 PM Agree 0
    I do worry that reports such as the Sunday Mail imply that productivity is equal to the amount of time somebody sits at their desk. If we instituted no coffee breaks, we would find that we lose all the productivity benefits that come from treating staff like responsible adults instead of naughty children. The benefits includes the less visible work they do at home on the weekend, the missed lunch breaks, staying behind at night to finish an important task. In my workplace the 'coffee buyers' are often those who are about to put in a very long day, hours longer than their paid hours.
  • Rod Sherwin, Tap4Health | 12 Aug 2011, 07:31 AM Agree 0
    Having a break is actually a simple creative thinking technique. Edward DeBono called it a "creative pause". When we tak a break from trying to solve a tough problem often we get an insight or breakthrough that wouldn't have come otherwise. A few coffee or smoke breaks a day is good for this. What they do for your health is a different issue though.
  • Sharon Dwyer | 16 Aug 2011, 10:42 AM Agree 0
    If you combined the results from surveys on the amount of unpaid overtime Australian workers do with this survey on coffee breaks it looks like it is part of the rich tapestry of give and take between employers and employees to maintain a healthy psychological contract. This has far more effect on productivity than sticking rigidly to some productive v unproductive time model.
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