It's no secret that coffee is drunk by the majority of the workforce to get them through the day, the main benefit being that it improves mental performance and alertness. However, this alertness only lasts for around 2.5hrs after which there is the inevitable slump, leading to questions such as "how does coffee actually impact upon our productivity?" and "when is the best time to have a cup of coffee?".

Coffee & Productivity

When it comes to productivity with coffee, there are a few ground rules:

  1. Best to have it after you have learnt something new rather than before it as it doesn't improve long term memory only your short term.
  2. Don't rely on it when you're more drained as this can elevate blood pressure and adrenaline levels which can flood your system and make you feel more tired - potentially triggering a panic attack
  3. You can build up a tolerance to it to a point where you may be double or triple your original intake.
  4. Too much after lunch can have a negative impact on your sleep cycle resulting in you feeling more tired when you wake up in the morning. 200mg is the recommended amount to still be able to sleep at a normal time.

Planning your intake for the day can help you to make coffee work for your productivity without disrupting your sleep pattern or resulting in an addiction.

Wake up and taste the coffee?

We love the smell of coffee beans in the morning, that first waft in the morning promising to wake us up ready for work that much earlier. Research has shown that having coffee first thing in the morning can actually be counterproductive. When we wake up, cortisol is gradually released which is what keeps us awake and alert throughout the day. Having a cup of coffee as soon as we wake up can actually be wasted as our bodies need to wake up naturally rather than flooding our body with caffeine. It is therefore recommended to wait until you are at least at your desk before having your fist cuppa Joe.

When then?

So when is the best time to have your coffee? Well, our cortisol reaches it climax and multiple points throughout the day so it is best to avoid coffee at the following times:

  • 08:00 - 09:00
  • 12:00 - 13:00
  • 17:30 - 18:30

What this tells us is that the prime time to feel the benefits of coffee and its impacts on our productivity is between 09:30 - 11:30 during the morning slump hours. If you hit that 3pm slump then anytime between 13:30 - 17:00 as this allows 20 minutes for the cortisol to drop and the caffeine to actually become effective. With afternoon coffee breaks remember to not have too much that it impacts your sleep cycle.

When taken at the right times during the day, coffee and productivity can become the dynamic duo everyone claims them to be. Furthermore, having planned coffee breaks to meet with the rest of the Bucks Biz community and have some time away from your desk can give you that well-deserved break before heading back to work energised and ready to go.

Our new coffee station will be opening soon and we can't wait for you to start using it! Call or email to enquire about our wide variety of facilities!