Latte, cappuccino, espresso, flat white or an Americano. However you like your coffee, there’s a big chance that your workplace is now offering these freshly brewed options as well as, or instead of, a cup of instant.

Coffee has become big business over the last decade or so, with £6.2 billion spent in coffee bars last year and an estimated 16,500 shops now on our high streets.

The concept of socialising over a cup of espresso or cappuccino first travelled from Italy to America in the 1980s and then to the UK during the 90s, with coffee steadily becoming our hot drink of choice. Coffee shops have been adopted by millions as a safe, welcoming place to enjoy a drink, meet friends, relax to music or plug in their laptops to work.

As this coffee bar revolution continues, increasing numbers of employers are seeing the benefits of offering bean to cup coffee to their workforces.

Here are five reasons why this is happening:

  1. Expectations

With our high streets and home coffee machines offering a much higher quality of coffee than 20-30 years ago, our expectations have risen and 48% of us are now said to drink fresh coffee.

Enjoying decent coffee when we’re not at home is the norm. According to Mintel research, two thirds of consumers buy coffee drinks away from home and this figure rises among 16-24 year olds, where three in four buy freshly brewed coffee.

This means that many of us are used to the taste of fresh coffee and will be only too aware if the coffee at work isn’t up to scratch.

  1. Productivity

Around 47% of workers are said to leave the office to purchase coffee from the high street each day. Offering coffee of a high standard to people at work means they are less likely to head to their nearest shopping destination and more likely to spend longer at work.

A good, coffee bar-standard offering gives us more incentive to stay at work, enjoy the workplace and recognise that our wishes and preferences are being met.

  1. Hospitality

Offering customers and other visitors a drink is a long standing tradition for a reason. It signifies hospitality and is an easy way to show guests they are welcomed.

High quality beverages contribute by starting meetings on the right foot and creating a much more pleasant all-round experience.

If employers consider the value of the customer in proportion to the cost of decent coffee making facilities it’s likely they will soon recognise the value of the investment.

  1. Control

Control is important to most of us. Being able to select our favourite coffee mirrors our experiences outside work and gives us the opportunity to create a bespoke brew at work that we would choose in or out of the office.

In addition to the style of coffee, by choosing black or white,  sugar or not and caffeine or not, this means we create a drink we really want, not just something we’ve had to ‘settle’ for because it’s all there is on offer.

  1. Honesty

A study of 171 hospital nurses in 2011 saw half given a non-caffeinated drink and the other half given caffeine after working a long shift. The report in the Journal of Applied Psychology claimed that those who had caffeine were less likely to be pressurised into ‘cutting corners’ at work or in other words, behaving less honestly, than those who had not had caffeine.

A professor at the University of North Carolina says this may be because caffeine can strengthen our self control and willpower when we are tired, which may make us less susceptible to deceptive practices.

For more information on coffee, drink making machines and beverages available from VOW please visit

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