How to be more productive at work without a java jolt

by Evil HR Lady on October 7, 2014

There’s a Starbucks on almost every corner. If you happen to need coffee before you get to the next corner, there’s always Dunkin’ Donuts, or McDonalds, or the Keurig in your kitchen or the ubiquitous coffee pot in your workplace. American business gets done because of coffee.

Or maybe it’s actually killing your productivity. That’s the theory posited by Dr. Travis Bradberry, co-founder of emotional intelligence testing and training company TalentSmart, in a recent post on LinkedIn. Coffee has been shown, in the past to give a boost to mood and makes you feel more alert. But, Dr. Bradberry warns, new research shows that that “boost” is merely in response to your caffeine withdrawal. He writes:

To find out why Coffee is satan’s beverage and what you can do about it, click here: How to be more productive at work without a java jolt

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Truman October 7, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Those of us who don’t consume caffeine often wonder why we have to wait until our co-workers’ drug kicks in before they’re ready to join us in doing real work at the office. If you need coffee, fine — drink it before you come to work. But don’t drag yourself in late because you “had” to stop at Starbucks, or wander around the office for an hour complaining, “I just can’t get started until I have my coffee!” Not only are those people addicted to caffeine, their addiction is hindering work production, not helping it. No wonder it’s the coffee drinkers who usually end up staying late (and drinking more coffee) — their coffee consumption drives their performance, and they are wasting hours every day just pouring and drinking another cup of the stuff. Worst of all, it’s socially acceptable. Non-coffee drinkers who don’t need stimulants to work are considered the “weird” ones.

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Evil HR Lady October 7, 2014 at 4:34 pm

As a non coffee drinker, I totally agree! And the excuses,”Sorry I’m being a jerk, I haven’t had my coffee!”

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Charles October 8, 2014 at 12:17 pm

This, yes, this – have your coffee BEFORE you come to work.

Several years ago I had one such co-worker who would shout at people: “Don’t talk to me yet, I haven’t had my morning coffee.”

Although I never did, I so wanted to shout back: “Then have your coffee before coming to the office where you are expected to interact with others in a civilized manner.” But, that would have lowered me to her drug-addiction level.

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TruedatMan October 7, 2014 at 6:13 pm

I’m both a caffeine teetotaler and a nicotine teetotaler so I’m awake/working at my desk at 8AM and don’t get any smoke breaks.

I’m being punished for having a healthy lifestyle.

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Jen October 7, 2014 at 8:38 pm

I am a coffee drinker. I feel I must defend fellow coffee drinkers. I drink one cup (sometimes two) every day. I arrive to work on time daily. I am friendly to my coworkers (even when I’m in a bad mood). I do not spend hours pouring and drinking my coffee. I come to work with my coffee (made from home) and sip it while doing work.
I think instead of blaming coffee, if there are performance issues with being late, not getting work done or being rude, those need to be addressed. Let’s not blame the coffee. The real issue is the employee.

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Evil HR Lady October 8, 2014 at 7:11 am

Lighten up a bit. Most coffee drinkers are perfectly wonderful people. Usually, though, coffee drinkers lecture me on how I’m missing out. It’s nice to have the shoe on the other foot.

And have you never heard of a coffee drinker proclaiming that you shouldn’t speak to her/him until they’ve had coffee?

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Jen October 8, 2014 at 5:37 pm

I don’t feel my comment was heavy handed. I was addressing the fact that not all people who drink coffee are horrible people to work with in the mornings. Yes, I have heard those who proclaim to not speak to them until they have their coffee. I just don’t take it personally. If something is very important, then I will address it at that point, otherwise, most things can wait.

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Irene October 8, 2014 at 12:18 am

Nice work, EvilHRLady….here in Seattle, most of our economy is fueled by Satan’s beverage. You may be responsible for single-handedly stopping production in this city. Evil indeed. I…just…can’t…go…on….

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Evil HR Lady October 8, 2014 at 7:08 am

Bwa-ha-ha, they don’t call me evil for nothing! ๐Ÿ™‚

I doubt this one study will influence more than 2 coffee drinkers. I think your economy is safe.

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TruedatMan October 8, 2014 at 8:59 pm

The first time I went to Seattle I was shocked. How could every intersection have 4 coffee stores at it, one on each corner? Walk a block and same thing. Change directions and same thing. Walk half a block and there might be one or two between the corners. Then I waited for the sun to come out…and waited…and waited..and it never did.

And then, then I understood.

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LTMG October 8, 2014 at 7:07 am

Thanks, @Irene. I’m a 6 cups of coffee and e-mail for breakfast person. Though I live well south of Seattle, I’m doing my bit for the Seattle economy. For those who may be interested, I can go for days with no coffee and not show the slightest of withdrawal symptoms.

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Evil HR Lady October 8, 2014 at 7:11 am

This is what I like about you: always concerned for others. ๐Ÿ™‚

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LTMG October 8, 2014 at 7:15 am

I live very near the Napa Valley region. The local vintners and craft brewers are drumming their fingers on their tasting bars waiting in vain for me to support their economy. As my mother used to say, at least I can talk openly about my vice!

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Evil HR Lady October 8, 2014 at 7:36 am

What a lovely area!

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Bob October 9, 2014 at 2:08 am

I find a quick walk in the sun can give me enough energy for several hours.

Problem with stimulants (ie. coffee, sugar, etc) is that they don’t last long, and while they make you more alert, they don’t necessarily make your mind clearer.

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Brandon Turner October 10, 2014 at 5:54 am

I enjoy the taste (and the smell) of a nice pumpkin spice coffee this time of year! That being the case, I do think there is something to be said about relying on any substance as a source of performance enhancement. All things in moderation I say!

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Grace October 11, 2014 at 9:30 pm

I’m not a coffee drinker myself but I don’t believe coffee kills productivity. My family are all coffee drinkers and it seems to help them function more effectively than without their fix. My dad always jokes that he feels “off” when he hasn’t had his cup of coffee.

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Anonymous October 27, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Coffee is legal but cocaine is not. Go figure.

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