Any way you slice it, Americans love coffee of all flavors and varieties. It’s estimated that the average American consumer drinks 1.64 cups of coffee a day. As if that wasn’t enough, the retail value of the coffee market in the United States clocks in at almost $50 billion and speciality coffee comprises about 55% value share.
Everywhere you look, people are drinking coffee. They’re drinking it in local coffee shops. They’re drinking as they’re walking down the street on the way to work. They’re drinking it during business meetings and seminars. They’re drinking it at day, at night, in between running kids around to activities and for a boost during the day.
Chances are you’re drinking coffee at your office, perhaps even right now. Every day in offices all across the U.S., you can see employees getting up, pouring coffee, adding cream and sugar, stirring them in with straws, snapping on lids and taking coffee back to their desks. In many cases, coffee is free in the average office.
Believe it or not, there are many advantages and disadvantages to sipping a cup of Joe at work. Without further ado, here are the advantages and disadvantages:
- Improves health: Every year it seems like there’s a new study linking coffee to improved health. The bottom line is that there are many ways that coffee can improve your health. It can lower your risk of a stroke; it can lower your risk of certain cancers such as liver cancer; it lowers your risk of diabetes and it can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Above all, when you’re at work, coffee is going to make you more productive and (should) decrease the amount of time you might miss at work due to illness.
- Brain power: Coffee does plenty for you physically, but it can also give you a jumpstart mentally. Drinking coffee can lower cognitive decline and lower your risk of things like Parkinson’s disease.
- It makes you alert: Everyone who snaps off coffee lids and sips coffee on a regular business knows it gives them a jolt to make them more alert. If you feel like you’re tired or your brain is feeling fuzzy, a hot cup of coffee can go a long way. It should be noted that caffeine doesn’t wake you up. It blocks the body’s adenosine receptors in order to fool your brain into thinking you’re not tired. Nonetheless, caffeine does give your brain a needed boost when necessary.
- You’re more creative: Any time you can be at your creative peak at work, that’s a great thing. Coffee can not only fuel that creativity, but it can also fuel help form social bonds. Meeting someone for coffee can be a great away to break down any social and professional barriers and let natural conversation happen to allow for more creativity and collaboration.
- Enhanced learning: Not only can coffee fuel creativity and alertness, it can also make you comprehend things better. It improves short-term memory and increases a person’s ability to problem-solve.
- Messes with sleep: If you’re a diehard coffee drinker, you may think its the best thing in the world to have coffee cups, lids, straws, cream, sugar and all the accoutrements for coffee at your fingertips in the office.
But the caffeine in it can negatively affect your sleeping habits. It takes caffeine about 24 hours to flush itself from your system. So in layman’s terms: if you drink coffee at noon at the office, it’s still going to be at about 50% strength by the time you go to bed. Over time, this can result in a vicious cycle of poor sleep and sleep deprivation can have more than a few negative affects, including decreased job performance.
- It creates dependency: You may think nothing of stopping at a coffee shop a few times a day, taking your coffee, popping off the lids and chugging away. But regularly coffee drinking can create dependency and ingesting more than the recommended amount of caffeine can wreak havoc on a person’s body.
There are many advantages to drinking coffee at work to increase your job performance. Just take care not to form too much of a dependency on it.