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New Study finds Coffee, Tea and Chocolate may be way of Coping with Boredom in the Workplace

By Peter Brooks

At Office Beverages and almost certainly at any other office in the country we realise that a trip to the breakout area or kitchen to make a cup of coffee or tea is an important ritual in our daily office lives. Many of us seem almost superstitious in the timing of our morning and afternoon coffee breaks. I myself seem to have gotten into the habit of the 11 o clock flavia (a time that seems to appeal to so many other employees it seems). Elevenses are just one example of ritualistic coffee drinking during work time and without doubt serve to break up the working day and offer a welcome break from that spreadsheet you’ve been staring at all morning, as well as helping to improve concentration levels.

But are there other reasons we yearn for our mug of coffee or cup of tea during the working day, perhaps even accompanied by a cheeky chocolate bar? A recent study by the University of Lancashire has found that there are other reasons we some of us may consume more tea, coffee and chocolate than we normally would during the working day and that’s through boredom. Dr Sandi Mann found in his survey of 102 office workers that many consumed coffee, tea and chocolate in an effort to stem boredom, often caused by an undemanding work load.

Perhaps there is a healthy balance then between being glued to your desk from nine to five and constantly finding yourself wandering in the direction of the coffee machine, whether you really fancy that cup of coffee or not. Job rotation and multi skilling may be just a couple of ways of dealing with the latter whilst effective time management and rigid scheduling of coffee or tea breaks a surefire way of dealing with the stress inducing behaviour of the former.

At Office Beverages we love our coffee breaks and we love our coffee. I believe though that a delicious beverage should be one of the office days little pleasures, a natural break in the workload that helps to improve concentration. I also believe strongly that keeping hydrated by consuming water throughout the day is important to maintaining a healthy and productive workforce, which is why our sister company Office Beverages are keen advocates of keeping water coolers in the office. Many of us love a coffee or tea during the day. But if it’s your way of alleviating boredom, perhaps a chat to your manager or even a more challenging job may be a more suitable way of coping with your woes.



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