work break office

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NEW YORK — The average person spends nearly 50 hours a year purchasing beverages at the café during the workday. A survey of 2,000 on-site employees finds that it takes workers about 16 minutes to leave their desk, buy a drink and return. However, with three such trips a week, employees end up losing an entire work week of productivity per year.

Despite that, having a favorite beverage in hand can help kick-start one’s day. To get their workday going, people usually get organized (60%), sip their favorite beverage (59%), and check their emails (55%). While a hot cup of coffee (66%) is the most popular first drink of the day, participants also prefer cold drinks such as iced coffee (47%), water (45%), and flavored water (30%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of multi-beverage system maker Flavia, the survey also found there may be a link between drink preference and productivity. Seventy-seven percent of coffee drinkers need two or more cups of coffee to feel productive on a workday, with nearly a quarter (24%) noting Mondays are the day of the week they need the most coffee. Six in 10 (60%) turn to a hot cup of coffee to improve their mood at work, as well.

coffee break
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Sometimes, though, it takes getting creative with one’s beverage to freshen things up. Nearly two-thirds (64%) “always” or “often” vary the type of drink they consume as the hours go by. Aside from hot coffee (77%), people also drink water (70%), iced coffee (64%), tea (62%), juice (55%), and flavored water (51%) while they work, among other beverages.

“Over a third (37%) of those surveyed would like the ability to brew hot and cold beverages and more than a quarter (26%) want to be able to brew different kinds of beverages at work,” says Camille Vareille, VP, Head of Marketing Americas, Lavazza Group, in a statement.

Money spent on beverages also adds up quickly. While at the cafe, the average American buys about 2.5 drinks, totaling about $16 per visit. With more than three visits to the café per week, that amounts to over $2,800 a year.

“The survey revealed that nearly 87 percent of respondents were going into the office between two to three days a week. Over eight in 10 employees said having free beverages as a workplace perk would make them feel valued, and offering free beverages was the most requested perk to encourage employees to work from an office. Investing in an array of beverages on-site can not only save employees time and money but also help with bringing them back into the office,” Vareille adds.

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Here’s how the coffee break math breaks down:

16.4 minutes per cafe visit x 3.42 visits to the cafe per week = 56.088 minutes a week
52 weeks in a year = 2,916.576 minutes or 48.61 hours a year

$6.27 spent per beverage at a cafe on an average visit x 2.56 beverages per visit = $16.0512 per visit
3.42 trips a week = $54.89 spent per week x 52 weeks = $2,854.55 a year

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,050 U.S. adults who work on-site or in an office was commissioned by Flavia between March 29 and April 4, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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