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Caffeine – the cure to Britain’s productivity problem

According to new research, your business should be encouraging coffee breaks in order to drive a spike in productivity with caffeine-fuelled goodness.
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We’ve discovered that, in order to make sure all hell doesn’t break loose, there are certain rules that should be followed in the workplace when it comes to food and drink.

For a start, you better make sure that your biscuit selection is on point during meetings or risk losing business deals with prospective clients. Shortbread is a winner, but you’ll want to steer clear of pink wafers.

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Elsewhere, you should never consume smelly food during lunch breaks or just make hot drinks for yourself throughout the day, unless, of course, you want to find your actions frowned upon by your judgmental colleagues.

And with hot beverages in mind, new research has revealed the British productivity problem could be solved with a good old-fashioned dose of caffeine.

The data comes from virtual office services firm MessageBase, which claims the post-coffee, pre-lunch period is the most productive time of the day.

Findings found that workers get into the swing of things between 10am and 12pm, when 25 per cent of the day’s work is completed. However, highlighting the post-coffee break period as between 11am-12pm, it was found that particular time window generates the largest chunk of productivity and accounts for 13.5 per cent of the workload.

Read more on the impact of hot drinks:

With the post-lunch period of 2pm-4pm bolted on, the two slots are responsible for half of the day’s tasks being achieved, the study revealed. The biggest slump of the day comes between 5pm-6pm, which was put down to staff preparing to clock off and dart home.

Nicholas Ashford, director of MessageBase, said: “Our findings show that even though many businesses operate over an eight hour working day, there are some surprising peaks, as well as the expected troughs in productivity throughout the day. Peak activity is often condensed into a few key hours, such as 11am-12pm, a single hour in which 13.5 per cent of the daily workload is achieved. It would appear that in the UK, we really do accomplish more after a coffee break.”

And to think business secretary Sajid Javid is planning to spend £100bn on transport infrastructure – just one of many plans to solve the nation’s productivity issue – when he’d be better off supplying coffee beans to companies.

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About Author

Zen Terrelonge

Zen Terrelonge is the deputy editor of Real Business, specialising in media, innovation, technology and the digital sector. A media professional with eight years worth of experience he has worked for both startup and established publications.

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