Streaking, a pastime that hit its stride in the 1970s, and has enjoyed occasional fame in the years since, is the stuff of rebellion, attention seeking, or just plain boredom. But it might also represent the lengths some might go to in order to ensure access to a coffee break on the job.
In a recent survey conducted by Staples, it was found that some office workers may take their reliance on coffee to the extreme. Nearly one-third of those surveyed this past summer said they would rather streak naked through the main street of their town than give up coffee for a year. While it’s unclear which of these 30%ers might actually follow through on this “threat”, their willingness to consider it demonstrates how highly regarded that first, second, and, maybe, third cup is to employee satisfaction.
Released in advance of National Coffee Day, celebrated on September 29, the Staples survey also asked respondents what perks they’d give up in order to ensure their daily caffeine boost. It went beyond their clothes…
More than half of those polled also indicated they would give up sweets over coffee, indefinitely. Coffee even rivals the reliance on technology, as a quarter of employees said they would go without their smartphone for eternity if that meant they could keep coffee. Not even annual vacation time is safe — 24% would relinquish their yearly time off in favor of access to coffee.
The survey revealed that, on average, employees consume two cups of coffee each day. It makes sense, then, that according to the Staples Business Advantage Workplace Index, three quarters of those polled wished that their employers provided free coffee and snacks. “Drinking coffee is engrained in the daily routine of the U.S. workforce — 59% drink at least two cups daily – and many consider it essential for them to do their work at a high level,” said Kerry Anne Carter, vice president, Staples Business Advantage. “Taking the initiative to provide free coffee options and a welcoming breakroom can go a long way toward keeping employees happy and productive.”
According to the coffee survey, 35% of employees need at least one cup to feel productive or alert during the day; otherwise, it’s not pretty. When employees were asked which tasks they can’t handle before their first cup of the day, top answers included thinking, talking to anyone and commuting to work.
(The Staples survey referenced above was conducted using SurveyMonkey.com, from July 21-August 4, 2016.)
Hi Nigel, Yes, I can see what you mean about coffee as currency. When someone in our office is going out for coffee and asks me if I’d like one, they’ve definitely curried favor with me!
I’m writing this from Sydney Australia, and I know we have a warmer climate, so streaking has more potential here,
but, another observation, is that coffee seems to be becoming a bit of currency, for minor favors.
“Can you do this on your way out and I’ll but you a coffee this afternoon”
I also note we seem to have a very choosy and possibly demanding population for coffee. I say this because I can see that people will Que and wait for a coffee at a particular vendor rather than go 10 more paces to the place next door. Its actually quite funny. (until we try the coffee vendor next door then we like, yeah, ok) but we see this quite a lot, in plenty of different locations.
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