Regular coffee breaks keep office efficiency levels up say researchers

A crafty cup of coffee drunk steadily at a work station can increase memory and concentration levels according to a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

Researchers looked over 13 studies on shift workers from different places around the world to come to the conclusion that sipping coffee was akin to taking a power nap.Instances of drowsiness and lethargy are common among office workers and the caffeine injection from a regular ‘cup of Joe’ works to restore alertness and wake up the mind.

Some of the participants in the research were given caffeine – one of the constituents of coffee – and others were given a placebo. Then the groups were asked to perform a series of tasks which involved using their concentration and memory.

It was found that the group who had taken caffeine scored higher in the tests than those who had not – errors were reduced, levels of attention were higher and  efficiency was up.

Katharine Ker, researcher at LSHTM, said: “The results of the trials suggest that compared to no intervention, caffeine can reduce the number of errors and improve cognitive performance in shift workers”.

So the office coffee break is more than just a five minute drink of a hot beverage during a stressful working day. It’s also a tool to increase alertness and improve productivity.