You would be hard pressed to walk into any office and not find people with half-filled coffee cups at their desk, or pouring a fresh cup in the break room. But what do their bosses think of these breaks? Assuming they’re taken at a reasonable time and last only a few minutes, do they think you’re slacking off when there’s work to be done? Or are they totally fine with it? Should they be fine with?
Through our conversations with clients we compiled a list of why corporate leaders are happy to see their employees head off towards the Coffee World for a few, well chosen, minutes.
- They know what Facebook is.
Your boss has a life outside of work. They have kids in University and want to check their Facebook pages for any pictures of beer. They want to call their better half and ask about dinner plans. They want to go on twitter and write 140 characters about Taylor Swift. Basically, they want a minute to do something personal; now go to the break room so you won’t see and they can set a good example.
- They want one.
Chances are, if you want a coffee your boss wants one too. What’s better than sending you, the newby, to get a double shot iced Americano with one raw sugar when you’re going for your afternoon green tea? It’s delegation my friend (and maybe just a little bit of testing your ego).
- They want you to work.
Remember when I said they know what Facebook is? They also know what it looks like on your computer screen. They know you haven’t been working for the past 20 minutes and would rather you just get up and go get a coffee so you can come back and actually get work done, refreshed and percolating for the next task. (Sorry, we couldn’t help it)
- They Want You To Go Away.
This sounds a bit harsh, but I promise it’s not. Your boss sometimes has too much on their plate to get back to you about that one not urgent question and it freaks them out when you wait around for them to get their ducks in a row. They’d much rather you go grab a coffee so they can get themselves organized, answer your question when you get back, and everyone can get on with their day.
- They want to go home at a decent hour.
Thought seeing you at your desk constantly from 8-6 would impress the boss? Sorry, but they probably only notice in passing, if that. Meanwhile, productivity – they will notice. When you don’t stop for a break, you’re probably working slower. Many studies have proven that working straight through the day means you’re less productive and less efficient. That means your boss has to wait around at the end of the day for whatever project you’re working on, when all they (and you, I’m sure) want to do is go home to Netflix and a glass of wine. Take those few minutes to stop and get even a decaf coffee or sparkling water so you can recharge and work more efficiently.
- They might hurt you.
You know those meetings, the ones that go on. And on. And on. You’re probably making great points about why the office Christmas Party should be at the Drake Hotel and not Spin on King street. But this meeting has gone on too long, is off topic, and everyone is fried, tired, and frustrated. Your boss is ready to pick up a chair and hurl it at your head, so stop and take a few minutes for everyone to cool down over a cup o’joe and actually listen to each other. Everyone take a deep breath.
- You might hurt them.
Your boss has high expectations of you, and you may or may not be able to live up to them. But you definitely won’t if your eye is twitching, you’re yelling at the plant on your desk, and wearing two different shoes. Slow down, drink a cup of liquid stamina (aka Coffee), regroup and de-stress for few minutes. Don’t be the one who tries to throw their boss out the window because they asked you to hand them a pen.
- Someone else might be smarter.
That moment when you can’t open a jar and you hand it to someone else… and they open it with what appears to be the power of their mind? That also applies to work. Let’s say, for example, you overthink a blog post about coffee breaks to the point where you don’t even know what coffee is anymore. But then you go to pour a glass of water and your co-worker tells you the answer to your question like a genie granting three wishes. You talk about problems on a break and sometimes the answer is right in front of you, sipping a lovely cup of tea.
- They Aren’t A Monster.
Despite movies like Horrible Bosses, your boss is a human being and understands you aren’t a machine (hopefully). So if you have a good work culture, chances are your boss doesn’t want you to be miserable and hungover at your desk. They want to work at a place where people can get coffee (and an Advil) when they want one. A great little Perk for all. (Sorry again)