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We might have mentioned once or twice that office coffee is serious business – particularly when office coffee culture comes into play. Your office culture is a great asset when it is well defined and reflective of values people on your teams can relate to; unfortunately, in the busy world many of us work in, office culture can sometimes take a back seat to other work.

The beauty of an office coffee culture is that coffee is omnipresent, always there underpinning our great workplace triumphs and picking us up after our occasional missteps.

If you think your office coffee culture has hit a bit of a slump, never fear – the coffee heroes at Corporate Essentials are here today to help you pick a new path toward success through improved coffee culture with five simple steps anyone can take toward a better tomorrow.

Ask the People What They Want

The easiest thing you can do to engage your colleagues in your coffee culture is to ask them what they want to drink in the morning. It really is that simple. Do a monthly, quarterly or semi-annual survey that asks staff at all levels for their opinion about the products on offer. Be sure to ask:

  • Do you enjoy the office coffee?
  • What product would you add to the break room?
  • Are there beverages you have never even tried?
  • What can we do to improve our office coffee services?

The answers to these questions, paired with more specific information about your particular in-house coffee equipment and products, can paint a clear picture of whether your coffee culture is meeting the demand or falling short of expectations.

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Don’t Get Stale

Keeping it fresh is a huge part of success when it comes to coffee – so it should be no surprise that freshness is also key for your office coffee culture. A definite buzz kill for coffee lovers is brewing up a pot or cup and finding that the beans were stale to start with – this leads to a less-than-satisfying brew an a lot of wasted coffee. Avoid this pitfall by ensuring your office coffee orders are scheduled appropriately for demand so beans are used promptly.

Avoiding a stale coffee culture is a little more difficult. This requires finesse and forethought – but it really does not require work. What you need to do is be sure you are aware of the popular menu options in your break room, but also informed of upcoming specials, seasonal offerings and trends in the world of coffee outside the office.

Knowing that pumpkin-everything season is approaching means you can schedule a special “debut” day when you know the products will be delivered to the office and can lay on some awesome cookies or muffins to really celebrate the season.

It’s also important to know what is out there on the coffee horizon so you can ask your coworker, “Hey, which of these coffee experiences would you like to have for the coming season?”  Everyone likes to be involved in making a decision now and then – it increases their interest in what is going on and makes them more likely to encourage others to get involved in the future.

Check Your Local Listings

Before you had a great office coffee service, your staffers were out on the streets lapping up whatever coffee was close to the building on their breaks. The odds are, they came to love some of the locally roasted offerings in your area – which is a great way to get your business involved in the community as well as fostering a greater coffee culture in the building.

Work with your office coffee service to find local roasters that are willing to do special tastings for your workforce, have seasonal offerings that may be of interest and are beloved by your colleagues and you will be well on the road to a great coffee culture before you can explain a flat white to that guy on second floor who really doesn’t “get” coffee.

Educate the Masses

One of the best things that office coffee brings to your workplace is an opportunity to let people in your organization who might not otherwise be in the spotlight take center stage. There are bound to be people who are experts in a number of coffee areas throughout the company – so use their expertise at occasional events and allow them to share their coffee wisdom with the rest of the group. If that sounds crazy, consider:

  • Hosting tasting events: we have already highlighted the importance of keeping your office coffee menu fresh. A great way to keep the office coffee culture blooming is to host tasting events to coincide with the changing seasonal offerings in your coffee service catalog. These can serve as a great opportunity to explain the differences between new roasts, why seasonal spicing combos are popular and even offer a prize for the winner of an office coffee pop quiz.
  • Offering “brewtorials”: particularly when you have new equipment in the office, or are considering getting something completely different for the break room, offering a tutorial session on how to use the new brewing equipment can be a great opportunity for people to share knowledge and enjoy a cup of coffee together.
  • Having tasting and/or brewing competitions: pit your office coffee aficionados against one another in monthly contests to brew the best or identify the most products through blind taste testing. It can be fun for the teams participating, as well as the observers.

By sharing the in-house wisdom you have gained through working with a great office coffee supplier, and inviting others to share their coffee knowledge, you breed a collaborative environment that is a great foundation for better inter-departmental working, enriched creative processes and an overall inclusive approach to company-wide projects. We were not kidding when we told you, coffee culture is powerful stuff.

Be Inclusive

We talk a lot about coffee culture, coffee products, office coffee and just about everything “coffee” here, but there is more to coffee culture and a successful break room – there, we said it.

There are a raft of other tremendous beverages and snack products that provide excellent nutrition, sustenance and refreshment to the coffee lovers on your teams as well as those people who either do not care for or can not enjoy coffee as much as we do.

And a great office coffee culture embraces those products as well as the more caffeinated ones. Remember to include non-coffee products in your office surveys, tasting parties, trivia contests and other activities because failing to do so automatically alienates a number of people in the building – the last thing a successful office culture should ever do is exclude people.

If your team is interested in building a great coffee culture at work, reach out and contact one of the Corporate Essential’s coffee culture gurus today. Our teams are skilled in the art of striking a balance between dreams and reality, and we are happy to help you achieve the office culture your team deserves.

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Judson Kleinman

As the founder and CEO of Corporate Essentials, Judson set out with every intention of bringing a new meaning to the words "office culture". As leaders in the industry, his company constantly sets the bar by investing in, and improving their product offerings, technology, people and training. 20 years and 1500 clients later, Judson can proudly say that Corporate Essentials continues to positively fuel culture and allow over 150,000 employees to work happy.