A Shot of Synergy – How Coffee Promotes Collaboration


Joseph walked out of Tuesday’s nine o’clock meeting at midday. He was a robot, crossed with a zombie hybrid. He looked over at Stacy and Marty.

“I’m all for teamwork, but that was honestly a waste of time, in my opinion,” he said.

‘First Tuesday meeting of the year always is.” Stacy replied. “It’s basically just Julia trying to motivate us with how Christmas holidays went.”

Marty piped up. “Well let’s get some real motivation and collaborate on our upcoming idea. I’m a zombie, I need coffee.”

It almost seems as if the days of spending your office break beside the water dispenser are dwindling away. Now, so many of us chat around an office coffee machine or meet up with a client over coffee to discuss a deal.

From instant to capsules, granules to percolated, so many of us incorporate this buzz of liquid gold into our daily routine and lives, especially around the office. But why? Well, I’m here to find out.

It’s a communal drink:

It seems these days, the best way to show that you know someone is to know their regular coffee order.

With coffee so accessible these days, there’s such a variety of choices as well as the possibility of having a local cafe coffee around from where one works.

Whether you meet up with a client to discuss the next step in helping their needs, or with colleagues over lunch to talk about the next steps in a project, coffee has become a common way for us to interact with others.

It is a stimulant to our mind:

Have you ever worked on a project, either autonomously or in a team, and no ideas are coming?

According to study, “found that serving coffee at a meeting stimulates the discussion, keeps it focused, promotes involvement and makes group members feel positively about their own participation as well as the contribution of others.”

Therefore, helping us to activate the brainstorming session with our colleagues, instead of feeling like we’re a zombie that is procrastinating and waiting for inspiration.

It can help bring forth ideas informally:

How many of you have sat through an hour-long meeting that could have been explained in a simple group email?

Discussing the matter over coffee, whether walking to the automatic espresso machine or at a coffee shop can make things more informal and like a quick catch – up, rather than being wound up in a boardroom setting.

This can also bring forth more innovative ideas because people are more likely to be more open about what they think.

It can help make you more approachable:

While no one is going to get along with absolutely everyone in their workplace, getting together over a cup of coffee can make one more approachable and less uptight.

There’s all for saving money when it comes to business, however, according to Geoffrey James, contributor to Inc.com, “any company that nickel and dimes employees for such a petty expense is self – identifying as either ludicrously cheap or worse, about to go bankrupt.”

So, paying out for the odd coffee order, or indeed, making it free, can help one be seen as much more approachable around the office.

It gives you a break:

Taking the routine coffee break with colleagues gives you a break from what may sometimes be a monotonous routine.

Getting together with a colleague for a cup of the roasted bean allows your brain to focus on something other than paperwork, screens or manual work. It also helps you to strengthen your work relationships by finding out about others day.

According to FastCompany, “without coffee breaks, productivity would likely drop and staff morale would fall rapidly.”

For a short period, it allows you to de-stress and relieves the pressures your working environment can have.


Now, whether you like it plain black or chilled with whipped cream, there are some of the ways coffee helps make us more productive and more tolerable around the office. Cheers!