Survey: 3 in 10 workers ‘too busy’ to get cup of coffee on the job

EVESHAM, England — While a majority of European workers enjoy drinking coffee throughout day, a significant segment say they are simply “too busy” to do so, a new survey finds.

A study commissioned by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) asked 8,214 Europeans across six countries their reasons for — or against — drinking a hot cup of joe at work.

Cup of coffee beans
While most people enjoy a dose of hot coffee while at work, a new survey finds about 3 in 10 are simply “too busy” to slip away to pour a cup.

Of the 68 percent of respondents who said that they always or often drank coffee throughout the day, interestingly 56 percent indicated that taste was the primary consideration for their habit.

Meanwhile, another 40 percent said that the preparation time involved in making the beverage allowed them time to pause and relax. The boost of caffeine was the third most popular reason for pouring a cup — 29 percent said they drank coffee to feel more alert, while another 29 percent did so to feel less tired.

Surprisingly, the same number of people who yearn for the caffeine jolt say they don’t drink coffee at work — because they’re too busy. Twenty-nine percent of participants just don’t have time to leave their chairs. Similarly, another 11 percent indicated that they never took short breaks at work to consume anything, two statistics combined that the pollsters found concerning.

“The fact that that nearly a third of those surveyed cannot find time for a short break could indicate that they have little job control, placing them under stress,” says Dr James Chandler, policy analyst at the Work Foundation, in a press release.

Coffee, perhaps unsurprisingly, was the beverage most closely associated with productivity gains on the job, although a higher proportion of employees said that short breaks were most effective for increasing work outcomes.

A majority of European workers take at least one to two short breaks a day, the researchers found.

Five of the six countries examined — Finland being the exclusion — saw workers drink the largest amount of joe between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., which reflected a trend of consumption predominantly occurring in the morning, before trailing off later in the day.

Many workers also enjoyed a cup on their daily commute, crediting its ability to keep them alert and awake.

Indeed, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has previously established the link between drinking coffee and improved alertness and attention.

Experts made a few observations on the poll’s findings, including that for those who neglect to take a coffee break, their productivity may paradoxically suffer.

In addition, taking the time to prepare java daily could help prevent chronic health issues, such as the development of Type 2 diabetes, they note.

The survey was conducted in mid-May by YouGov among European citizens aged 18 and older.

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