People come together over a cup of coffee, tea, beer and wine and food. It is what humans do. We like to break bread together. It is a social exercise where we recharge batteries, touch base with friends and colleagues and exchange ideas. In a work environment taking a break is critical and the potential for social interaction is huge, which is why workplace designers and catering organisations become so excited about the idea of coffee. Other beverages are available, but coffee seems to steal all the limelight.
Indeed, the coffee shop theme is one of the popular ‘looks’ for co-working spaces. Someone, it might have been Mark Eltringham, said that no one in these spaces cares about the colour of the walls - hence why distressed brickwork is ubiquitous - because what they want most of all is a decent quality drink of choice and uninterrupted connectivity.
The idea of a ‘chat’ over a coffee is now almost ubiquitous. But we need somewhere to share those ideas over a brew - somewhere comfortable, collaborative and simple. So, creating an environment that fosters creativity and engages everyone has to be a target to aim for and it must include a refresh space to reflect, maybe somewhere to withdraw from the working environment and a social space as well. The bottom line must be somewhere to sit and have a conversation over a coffee.
That coffee conversation cannot be underestimated. Burtt-Jones & Brewer is probably just one of thousands of organisations or great ideas that began over a coffee. Ten years ago to be precise. The refresh space revives us, the drink and time out serves our human physiological and mental needs, but the chance to share ideas and thoughts is sometimes even more important.
It can be something of a ritual and a therapeutic process. Even a shared decision about espresso, double shot, latte or what bean you might prefer can play its part. After all, we are all better after a coffee and a snack. We make better decisions, we are happier and (whisper it) we might be more productive too.
This is a theme we want to explore more at Burtt-Jones & Brewer, however, we will approach it from a slightly unusual angle. We are going to have a series of coffee conversations with colleagues, partners, advisors, researchers and consultants with views on what shapes the workplace. Just like you might do over a coffee, we will recharge batteries, discuss ideas, reflect on workplace issues such as brand, engagement and wellbeing and ask what coffee they want too. Watch this space and order a coffee to sip while you read!