Coffee stations have come a long way from the days of a simple coffee maker in the break room. Today’s coffee stations offer a wide array of features and perks for employees to enjoy. From specialty drinks to snacks and more, coffee stations help boost morale, productivity, and collaboration in the workplace.
The Evolution of Office Coffee Stations
In the past, office coffee usually consisted of a standard drip coffee machine and maybe some powdered creamer and sugar packets. It was a barebones setup focused on fueling employees with caffeine.
Now, many companies are investing in full-blown coffee bars and cafes right in the office. Some of the factors driving this change include:
- Shifting Workplace Culture – With startups and tech companies leading the way, there’s an emphasis on fun, engaging workspaces. Coffee bars fit right in with ping pong tables and lounge areas.
- Employee Recruitment Perk – Coffee stations are an attractive perk used to recruit and retain talent. Employees today expect more than just free coffee.
- Collaboration Driver – Well-equipped coffee bars give employees a welcome break to enjoy a quality cup of coffee, chat with coworkers, and collaborate.
- On-Site Convenience – On-site coffee stations mean employees don’t have to leave the office to get their caffeine fix. It saves time and keeps people energized and focused.
- Customization Options – From fancy espresso makers to specialty teas, coffee stations let people customize their beverages to their preferences.
Specialty Drinks Galore
Today’s office coffee stations go far beyond regular coffee. It’s common to find espresso machines, cold brew taps, specialty tea options, hot chocolate, and more.
Some coffee bars even have full menus with lattes, mochas, macchiatos, and other specialty coffee drinks employees can order. Professional baristas may even be on staff to whip up customized beverages.
Beyond fancy drinks, coffee stations have expanded their offerings to include:
- Italian sodas
- Smoothies and fruit juices
- Energy drinks like Red Bull
- Iced tea or iced coffee
- Milk alternatives like almond and oat milk
Having these expanded options keeps employees happy and gives them a boost of energy from their drink of choice.
Quality Snacks Abound
Another perk of today’s coffee bars is the inclusion of tempting snacks and treats. Employees can grab a snack to accompany their morning coffee or an afternoon pick-me-up.
Popular snack choices include:
- Fresh pastries, muffins, croissants
- Bagels with cream cheese
- Yogurt parfaits or fruit cups
- Granola bars, energy bars, trail mix
- Chips, pretzels, popcorn
- Cookies, brownies, other desserts
Some coffee stations even offer more substantial grab-and-go items like sandwiches, salads, and sushi.
The variety and quality of the snacks offered is another attractive perk of modern office coffee bars.
Creative Coffee Bar Designs
Many companies invest in creative, upscale designs for their coffee bars. They are much more than a table with a coffee machine.
Some cool design features include:
- Bar seating and tables to create a cafe vibe
- Comfy lounge chairs and sofas for informal meetings
- Spacious prep areas for baristas to work
- Chalkboard menus listing drink options
- Local artwork or accent walls for visual interest
- Natural light and warm lighting fixtures
Thoughtfully designed coffee bars are inviting spaces employees look forward to visiting throughout the day.
Community Building Power
One of the best perks of a great coffee bar is its ability to bring employees together. Coffee stations become hubs of community and connection within an office.
Rather than being chained to their desks, employees come together over coffee breaks to:
- Catch up with colleagues
- Meet and connect with other departments
- Have impromptu brainstorming sessions
- Re-energize through informal socializing
Managers also have an informal space to check in with their team members. A well-located coffee bar helps build company community and culture.
While taking a coffee break may feel like straying from work, short breaks have been shown to improve productivity, focus, and creativity.
The perks of an office coffee bar related to performance include:
- Employees return to their tasks feeling recharged.
- Caffeine provides an energy boost to power through complex projects.
- Getting up to get coffee resets focus and motivation.
- Brief chats spark new ideas to apply to work.
- Snack food keeps energy levels stable.
Rather than being a distraction, a coffee bar gives employees the tools they need to perform at their best.
Key Considerations When Adding a Coffee Station
If you’re convinced an office coffee bar could be beneficial, here are some tips as you get started:
- Survey employees to determine their interests and “must-haves”.
- Pick a central location with easy access for all departments.
- Have coffee and snacks available throughout the day.
- Keep it clean and stocked with all essentials.
- Train an employee barista if offering specialty drinks.
- Set a budget and solicit branding partnerships to offset costs.
- Add comfortable seating to encourage community building.
Investing in the right coffee station pays dividends through improved employee satisfaction, collaboration, and productivity. It makes coming to work in the morning that much better.
Today’s coffee bars have come a long way. They now offer incredible variety, quality, convenience, and perks for employees. More than just coffee, they help bring teams together, foster morale, energize focus, and just make the workday more enjoyable overall. Any company serious about its culture should consider adding this popular workplace perk.
Frequently Asked Questions About Today’s Coffee Stations
- What are some popular specialty drinks offered at coffee bars? Some popular specialty drinks offered at today’s coffee bars include lattes, mochas, macchiatos, cappuccinos, cold brew coffee, Italian sodas, fruit smoothies, and chai tea lattes. The options vary by location but can include trendy and customized coffee and non-coffee beverages.
- What food is typically available at office coffee stations? Common food options include fresh pastries, bagels, yogurt parfaits, granola bars, chips, cookies, brownies, sandwiches, salads, sushi, and other grab-and-go snacks. Many coffee bars offer a mix of quick snacks and light meal options.
- How do coffee bars promote collaboration and community building? Coffee bars give employees a welcoming space to chat, connect, and collaborate. Rather than being isolated at desks, people come together informally over coffee to share ideas. This fosters relationships, morale, teamwork, and sparks creativity.
- How can a company determine what coffee station perks employees want? Conducting a brief employee survey is a great way to collect input on their must-have offerings and amenities. Consider popularity of drinks, snacks, seating arrangements, and other features employees would enjoy.
- Why invest in high-quality coffee versus basic coffee makers? Premium coffee improves the overall experience and promotes use of the space. Employees appreciate access to espresso, lattes, cold brew, specialty teas, and other options. High-end equipment also signals to employees that their comfort and convenience is valued.
- How much time should employees ideally spend at the coffee bar? The ideal time is 10-15 minutes for coffee breaks as recommended by workplace experts. Short breaks help people recharge and return to work focused, but extended breaks can be counterproductive. Managers should set expectations and guidelines accordingly.
A well-equipped coffee station offers tremendous advantages, transforming an ordinary break into an inviting experience. Today’s coffee bars feature incredible variety in drinks, snacks, amenities, and thoughtful design that delights employees. More than just a caffeine fix, these coffee stations boost morale, collaboration, productivity, recruitment, and company culture. For businesses looking to retain top talent and inspire their teams, investing in coffee bar perks is one strategy worth brewing over.