The Morning Coffee Rituals of UK Office Workers.

With all the hustle and bustle of the modern office worker’s commute and early morning activities, one ritual stands proud as an energising act: grabbing a fresh cup of coffee. Some like to hit the caffeine as soon as possible after waking, giving a much-needed energy boost before starting the commute on a cold, wet Winter’s day, whereas some like to savour the moment for when they’ve arrived in the office.

Whatever the ritual, coffee plays an important role in waking the nation, and getting UK office workers on their way to a productive, energised day. In this article, we’ll look at the different sources of morning caffeine, and how the office coffee machine sits at the heart of most morning rituals for the UK’s millions of office workers.

The Morning Commute: A Gateway to Caffeination

For many UK office workers, the morning routine begins with the daily pilgrimage – the commute. Whether it’s a brisk walk, cycle, or train ride, this journey is a key part of the daily routine for many, and comes with its own unique set of challenges, especially on dull, dark mornings and particularly on one of the seemingly never-ending days of driver strikes and transport network outages.

Statistics from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate that in 2019, almost 60% of the UK’s workforce commuted to work, with an average travel time of 39 minutes.

This figure will have been dramatically shifted following the COVID-19 pandemic, with many more workers now being either remote or hybrid based, but the vast majority of workers are still visiting the office at least twice a week.

This morning routine, often accompanied by a travel mug of coffee, offers a crucial transition period between home life and the office. Even if you aren’t quite ready for your first cup of coffee when you step out the front door, the sight of smartly dressed commuters with travel mugs is something you can’t avoid.

The Arrival Ritual

For many, the office arrival ritual is the most important part of the day. A good day can become a great day, and a terrible morning can be saved with a visit to the office coffee machine. But the exact order, the timings and the process that each worker goes through when they first arrive in the office is extremely personal and unique to every person.

Most workers share one thing in common, though. Upon arrival in the office, nearly every office worker will head to their desk and drop their bag and coat, take a few minutes to say hello to their colleagues and quickly get their thoughts in order. The moments that immediately follow this are where the office coffee machine can see the most foot fall for the entire of the day – before switching the laptop on, checking emails or getting into an early morning meeting, caffeine must be consumed.

From the first coffee through the rest of the morning and into the afternoon, rituals can vary a lot. Some office workers will enjoy a single coffee first thing in the morning and not visit the office coffee machine for the rest of the day, whereas others will consume a coffee every hour until the midday mark, when they no longer need the energising effects of caffeine.

The exact details of an individual’s office coffee ritual is known only to themselves, but you can quickly start to establish patterns by popping your head up from your desk whenever someone goes to the coffee machine – it can be genuinely fascinating to see the different rituals and habits at work over the course of a work day.

The Right Coffee at the Right Time

Regardless of the exact timings and activities that form an office worker’s morning ritual, so much of the ritual is built around the exact coffee brew that is needed at each point. Some workers go hard from the first cup, opting for a single or double shot of espresso, whereas others like to ease themselves into the caffeine with a Latter or Cappuccino, ramping up throughout the morning.

There are also those who head to the coffee machine for social reasons, taking the opportunity to catch up with colleagues over a coffee, though the drink itself is of lower importance than energising social interaction. Below, we look at some of the different profiles of coffee drinkers and how they rely on coffee in different ways to start the day off:

  1. The Espresso Aficionado: Some prefer a quick espresso shot to kickstart their day. It’s all about the bold and intense flavour for these coffee lovers, and getting a serious caffeine shot in the arm before they start in earnest.
  2. The Latte Lover: Others savour a creamy latte with a sweet syrup or a sprinkle of brown sugar. It’s as much about enjoying the warming, comforting drink as it is about getting caffeine into the body. This worker will often enjoy several Lattes throughout the morning.
  3. The Black Coffee Fan: Simplicity is key for these workers. Maybe milk sits too heavily, they have a lactose intolerance or they just don’t mess about when it comes to caffeine. Straightforward black coffee means the core taste of the bean comes through strong, but in a more diluted cup than the Espresso Aficionado would enjoy.
  4. The Social Sipper: These coffee drinkers will make their mind up on the fly, picking whatever takes their fancy at the office coffee machine. It’s more about timing for these employees, making sure they’re taking regular breaks or catching the right person, at the right time.
  5. The Multitasker: For those with busy mornings, getting something out of the coffee machine quickly is key – yes, it should be good quality but honestly, there’s not much time to waste. They’re on the way to a meeting and need a coffee in the next 30 seconds.

Catering for All Tastes in the Office

Morning coffee rituals are very important for those in office-based roles, so making sure that you can offer something high quality and with lots of variety, is crucial for keeping staff satisfied and productive.

We’ve all tried to break habits or change them, and it’s hard work. Offering a flexible office coffee solution that will cater for all needs, is a much easier route to take than leaving people out of sync and frustrated when they get to the office.

If you’re looking for your next office coffee machine, or want to offer a greater variety of drinks to your team, look no further. We’ve got more than 25 years of experience creating the perfect coffee machine solution for offices all over the UK.

To speak to us about how we can help you fulfil your workers’ needs, why not reach out to our friendly sales team. You’ll find them on 01865 341011, or by submitting an enquiry to us. We’d love to hear from you!